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Observations

Observations

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

Why Florida's Giant Python Hunting Contest Is a Bad Idea

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced that it will hold a month-long competition starting January 12, 2013, “to see who can harvest the longest and the most Burmese pythons” from designated public lands in southern Florida...

December 7, 2012 — Kate Wong

More Science in the Sunshine State

In the Sunshine State, science is ready to bloom. On December 5, I attended the official grand opening of the new, $64 million, 100,000-square-foot Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter—and the first of the Max Planck Institutes outside of Europe...

December 7, 2012 — Mariette DiChristina

Why Don't Helmets Prevent Concussions?

Helmets protect your head—but they can't fully protect your brain. This helps to explain why football players continue to incur brain trauma that may lead to debilitating brain disease.Recently, a team of researchers presented more evidence of the devastating progression of a brain disease caused by repeated brain trauma...

December 5, 2012 — Daisy Yuhas

New Slice of Wheat Genome Could Help Feed Growing Global Population

Common wheat ( Triticum aestivum ) might seem as boring as the sliced bread it is baked into. But genetically, it is vexingly complex.Its genome is about six times as big as our own, and its genes are distributed among six sets of chromosomes (we humans have just two)...

November 28, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World