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Observations

Observations

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

New Toxic Nocturnal Primate Species Discovered

The slow loris shouldn't be a difficult object of study. For one thing, it's slow—very slow (think sloth slow). And these small primates, which are unique in possessing a toxic bite to ward off predators, are charismatic due in large part to their compelling, wide-eyed faces...

December 14, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Have Scientists Found Two Different Higgs Bosons?

A month ago scientists at the Large Hadron Collider released the latest Higgs boson results. And although the data held few obvious surprises, most intriguing were the results that scientists didn’t share.The original Higgs data from back in July had shown that the Higgs seemed to be decaying into two photons more often than it should—an enticing though faint hint of something new, some sort of physics beyond our understanding...

December 14, 2012 — Michael Moyer

New U.S. Commission Would Try to Improve Weather Forecasting

UCAR president Thomas Bogdan leads the movement to form a U.S. Weather Commission. Photo by Carlye Calvin Despite the ever-present caveat that predicting the weather is a difficult and inexact science, it seems that forecasts have been getting better and better...

December 13, 2012 — Mark Fischetti

C-Sections Save Kids and Moms in Tanzania

It never ceases to amaze me how much the world says it wants to save children’s lives and how rarely it tries to do the one thing that has been proven to protect more youngsters than anything else—keeping their mothers alive...

December 10, 2012 — Christine Gorman

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

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