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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Next Mars Rover Will Seek Out Signs of Past Life

NASA officials have revealed their vision for what comes after the wildly successful Curiosity rover on Mars. Think of it as Curiosity Plus. Using Curiosity’s design as a starting point, Mars 2020 (as it’s currently known) will be another rover digging around the surface of the red planet...

July 11, 2013 — Christopher Crockett

Are Pipelines Safer Than Railroads for Carrying Oil?

The glut of new oil in North America has been accompanied by a boom in moving that petroleum by train. Railway traffic of crude oil in tankers has more than doubled in volume since 2011—and such transport led to tragedy in the early hours of July 6...

July 10, 2013 — David Biello

Mystery Lingers around Origin of GM Wheat in Oregon

When the fresh wheat samples arrived at her lab this spring, Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist, didn’t know what to expect. The concerned farmer who sent them had contacted her because a patch of wheat had refused to die after being treated with a powerful herbicide called Roundup...

July 9, 2013 — Arielle Duhaime-Ross

Today the Earth Falls Towards the Sun

Notice anything different today? Is the sun looking a little smaller? Or the Earth moving a little slowly?Well, today is Aphelion Day.Around 11 A.M. Eastern, Earth passes through the point in its orbit that is farthest from the sun, a point called the aphelion...

July 5, 2013 — Christopher Crockett

Vote for the Best Summer Books on Science

Earlier this month, Scientific American editors and contributors published a list of this summer's best science books, collecting titles from the "Recommended" page in our magazine and the "Books" section of our website.Now we want to bring you closer to the authors of these books...

July 2, 2013 — Bryan Bumgardner

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