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Observations

Observations

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

Why Do Antidepressants Take So Long to Work?

Why Do Antidepressants Take So Long to Work?

Kate wanted to die. She remembers the moment the psychiatrist said “the antidepressant isn’t going to work right away. Can you promise to be here next week and not kill yourself?” “I told her no,” Kate says...

November 15, 2013 — Julianne Chiaet
Was Typhoon Haiyan a Record Storm?

Was Typhoon Haiyan a Record Storm?

Breaking news can sometime include mistakes, and breaking news emerging from disaster areas can be fraught with errors. Journalists try to do follow-up stories to correct facts, and until then, other journalists reporting on the same event often resort to general language to cover the vagaries...

November 12, 2013 — Mark Fischetti
Jimmy Carter Fights to Eliminate Eye Disease That Plagued His Childhood

Jimmy Carter Fights to Eliminate Eye Disease That Plagued His Childhood

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was at Pfizer Headquarters in Manhattan on November 5th to honor the 15th anniversary of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), a non-for-profit program dedicated to eliminating the eye disease as a public health concern by 2020...

November 7, 2013 — Julianne Chiaet
The Bizarre Phenomenon of Sleep [Video]

The Bizarre Phenomenon of Sleep [Video]

Sleep is such a large feature of our lives that it’s easy to forget how utterly weird it is. Every night, if we’re lucky, our brain cells switch into a synchronized pattern, putting our lives and minds on hold for hours...

November 5, 2013 — Joss Fong
My God, Man! XPRIZE Unveils Medical Tricorder Teams

My God, Man! XPRIZE Unveils Medical Tricorder Teams

In the Star Trek universe, handheld medical tricorders became standard issue for Starfleet vessels as early as the mid-22nd century. Here in a little place we like to call “reality,” a competition seeks to help deliver such all-in-one health analyzers at least 100 years ahead of schedule...

November 4, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier
Taking a Closer Look at How Meditation Improves Our Brains [Video]

Taking a Closer Look at How Meditation Improves Our Brains [Video]

The practice of meditation can sharpen our attention, strengthen memory and improve other mental abilities. In our latest Instant Egghead video, Scientific American editor Ferris Jabr examines the changes in brain structure behind some of these benefits...

October 31, 2013 — Eric R. Olson
HealthCare.gov’s Failure to Launch

HealthCare.gov’s Failure to Launch

For a president who sailed into office on a digital-heavy campaign that helped engineer his victory, the crippling glitches plaguing the October 1 HealthCare.gov rollout were a rare mar on the administration's tech-savvy record...

October 29, 2013 — Dina Fine Maron

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