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Observations

Observations

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

The Hunt for Antibiotic-Resistance Hotspots

When patients take too many unnecessary antibiotics it inches us ever closer to a world where essential drugs are no longer effective. More than two million people in the United States develop antibiotic resistant infection each year and some 23,000 of them die as a result...

July 28, 2014 — Dina Fine Maron

Lucy Film Hinges on Brain Capacity Myth

On July 25, French film writer/director Luc Besson's action thriller Lucy opens in theaters nationwide. The premise is that the title character, played by Scarlett Johansson, is exposed to a drug that unlocks her mind, giving her superhuman powers of cognition...

July 25, 2014 — Kate Wong

Scopes Monkey Trial: Guilty

July 21 is verdict day in the infamous Scopes "Monkey" Trial of 1925. The verdict came in from a jury in Dayton, Tenn., that John Thomas Scopes had committed the crime of teaching evolution to students at his high school, for which transgression he was fined $100...

July 21, 2014 — Dan Schlenoff

Biodiversity Hotspots Getting Hotter (and That's Not Good)

Biodiversity hotspots are golden places on earth where the number and diversity of animals and plants is exceptional. Environmentalists say that hotspots are the most critical of all places to protect against the ill effects of human development and climate change...

July 15, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

Critics Slam Reports of a "Polar Vortex" in July

Years ago on Saturday Night Live, Gilda Radner played a little old lady, Emily Litella, who came onto the Weekend Update news set to deliver an editorial about a burning issue of the day—only she didn't quite have the correct terminology...

July 14, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

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