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Observations

Observations

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

A Weighty Question: Does “Plan B” have a Weight Limit?

A Weighty Question: Does “Plan B” have a Weight Limit?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock Mother Jones today has a great piece out on how a version of “Plan B” manufactured in Europe  is less effective for women who weigh more than 165 pounds, and rendered completely ineffective for women whose weight tops 176 pounds...

November 25, 2013 — Dina Fine Maron
Winners of the Dance Your PhD Competition Revealed

Winners of the Dance Your PhD Competition Revealed

For the past 6 years, Science magazine and its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have challenged researchers to explain their doctoral research through interpretive dance...

November 25, 2013 — Julianne Chiaet
Who Owns Outer Space? [Video]

Who Owns Outer Space? [Video]

With the exception of international waters, unclaimed portions of Antarctica and a Hong Kong-sized parcel of land wedged between Egypt and Sudan, nearly every square inch of planet Earth has been claimed by a governing body...

November 25, 2013 — Eric R. Olson
Civilian Drones to Change How We Respond to Emergencies

Civilian Drones to Change How We Respond to Emergencies

You may think you know what a “drone” is. But the word  “clearly means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” according to Dean Jansen, co-director of the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC), which took place in October...

November 25, 2013 — Julianne Chiaet
FDA Was Right To Block 23andMe

FDA Was Right To Block 23andMe

A few techno-libertarians are up in arms over the FDA’s letter warning the genetics company 23andme to stop selling its personalized genome services kit.

November 25, 2013 — Christine Gorman

Scientists Find First Neutrinos from Distant Space

The world has heard the first faint whispers of the most powerful cataclysms in the universe. Scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe—the first time scientists have found neutrinos coming from outside our own solar [...]..

November 21, 2013 — Michael Moyer
Drunks and Gravediggers Wax Poetic about Climate Change

Drunks and Gravediggers Wax Poetic about Climate Change

Want to know what climate change really means to people? Emily Hinshelwood found out in a most unusual way. For days on end the Welsh poet and writer walked the 121-mile train route known as the Heart of Wales Line and asked every single person she met the same three questions: What images come to [...]..

November 19, 2013 — Mark Fischetti
Why the U.S. Destroyed Its Ivory Stockpile

Why the U.S. Destroyed Its Ivory Stockpile

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, COLO.–On a clear day outside Denver, dust filled the air surrounding an industrial rock crusher as it pulverized nearly six tons of confiscated elephant ivory...

November 19, 2013 — Kate Wong
Dengue Fever Reemerges in Texas

Dengue Fever Reemerges in Texas

Late last week Texas public health officials confirmed a new wave of dengue fever has cropped up in the southernmost tip of Texas, marking the first outbreak the state has seen since 2005...

November 18, 2013 — Dina Fine Maron

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