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Observations

Observations

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

3-D Imaging Improves Breast Cancer Screening

The mammograms most women receive are decidedly two-dimensional. An x-ray machine takes images of the breast from the sides, and radiologists examine the resulting image to see if it offers up any hits of potentially cancerous irregularities...

November 13, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Engineers of the Future Design Star Trek-Inspired Tricorder Device

A group of college and high school students has designed a Star Trek-inspired sensing device that can beam environmental data to a smart phone. The team developed their project during a summer internship program run by the Wright Brothers Institute and the Air Force Research Laboratory...

November 12, 2012 — Marissa Fessenden

Allergies from Pollen Projected to Intensify with Climate Change

Spring and summer allergy sufferers might already have noticed a slight increase in days spent sneezing each year. And new research suggests that allergies triggered by pollen are set to increase—in both duration and severity—with climate change.The seasonal scourge ragweed has already been expanding its range in North America, thanks in large part to warming temperatures...

November 9, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Oldest Arrowheads Hint at How Modern Humans Overtook Neandertals

Archaeologists excavating a cave on the southern coast of South Africa have recovered remains of the oldest known complex* projectile weapons. The tiny stone blades, which were probably affixed to wooden shafts for use as arrows, date to 71,000 years ago and represent a sophisticated technological tradition that endured for thousands of years...

November 7, 2012 — Kate Wong

Newer Docs Might Be Driving Up Health Care Costs

Health care spending increases have slowed over the past couple years. Still, we are spending some $2.6 trillion—that's trillion with a "T"—a year on health costs, which is a higher percentage of our GDP than any other developed country...

November 5, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

New York City Marathon Runs Anyway

The 2012 New York City Marathon may not be televised, but it is being organized on an unofficial basis by men and women who have banded together to run anyway.

November 4, 2012 — Christine Gorman

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