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Observations

Observations

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

Smart Phones: Good for Being Social and Anti-Social

Smart Phones: Good for Being Social and Anti-Social

It’s not uncommon in a New York City subway car, an airport terminal or just about any other public space to see a dozen or more people completely consumed by what’s happening on the screen of their smartphone, to the exclusion of the world around them...

August 17, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of Hard-to-Treat Breast Cancer among African-American Women

Deaths from breast cancer have been dropping in the U.S. since the 1990s. However, African-American women still have a 40 percent higher risk of dying from the disease compared to white women, according to an American Cancer Society report.Part of the reason for the unsettling statistic has been that these women are at a higher risk of getting the especially tough-to-treat estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-negative (ER-/PR-) version of the disease, which make up about a quarter of the 207,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in U.S...

August 16, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

Get Your Iceberg Water, Here

There's something about the idea of towing an iceberg from sea to sea that appeals to one's inner mad scientist (or rather, mad engineer). Most recently, entrepreneur Georges Mougin made news by backing up such a plan—to transport icebergs to drought-stricken regions as a source of freshwater—with digital technology.A team of engineers from software company Dassault Systemes created a computer simulation for Mougin...

August 10, 2011 — Sophie Bushwick

Bye-Bye Blue Pills: Nanotech Patch Could Deliver Viagra Via the Skin

The Viagra (sildenafil citrate) ads that seem to accompany every televised sporting event end typically with several caveats—including warnings of a dozen or so side effects, including a possible sudden loss of hearing or vision, chest pain and an erection that is painful or lasts longer than four hours...

August 9, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine