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Observations

Observations

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

Hey FDA, Poop Is Not a Drug

Hey FDA, Poop Is Not a Drug

Imagine if in the 1960s surgeons like Christiaan Barnard or Norman Shumway had had to use the same rules that govern the development and testing of pharmaceutical medications when they were teaching the rest of the world how to transplant hearts from the recently deceased into their patients...

February 19, 2014 — Christine Gorman
How Many More Coal Ash Spills?

How Many More Coal Ash Spills?

What is the largest type of trash produced in the U.S.? It’s not whatever you’re thinking, most likely. It’s coal ash. Burning coal produces more than 100 million metric tons of coal ash per yearthe gray or black sooty aftermath of our fossil fuel habit...

February 10, 2014 — David Biello
CVS Anti-Tobacco Move Possible Boon for Electronic Cigarettes?

CVS Anti-Tobacco Move Possible Boon for Electronic Cigarettes?

When retail giant CVS Caremark unveiled its announcement this morning that it will no longer sell cigarettes or other tobacco products in its stores it was rightly hailed as a boon for public health, even netting public praise and a thank you – from the White House...

February 5, 2014 — Dina Fine Maron
Are “Big Brain” Projects Really Worth Billions?

Are “Big Brain” Projects Really Worth Billions?

When does it make sense to throw vast sums of money at a single problem? The question animates a lot of debate in science policy circles, and it was a topic of discussion among scientists and policymakers at the World Economic Forums annual meeting in Davos...

February 4, 2014 — Fred Guterl
12 Graphics that Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

12 Graphics that Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

Climate change is real, it’s here and it will be affecting the planet for a long, long time. That’s the lesson of the latest iteration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s state of climate science report, released in its entirety on January 30...

January 31, 2014 — David Biello

Mobile Emergency Room Will Treat Super Bowl Fans On Site

The 80,000 or so football fans converging on MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII are paying anywhere between $500 and $2,500 per ticketor much, much more on the resale marketfor the privilege of being there...

January 30, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier

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