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Observations

Observations

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

Nanoscale Car Built with Four-Wheel Drive

Small cars are in vogue, thanks to rising fuel costs and environmental concerns. But the Fiats and Smart Cars of the world have nothing on the new four-wheeler developed by European researchers.Netherlands-based researchers Tibor Kudernac of Twente University and Nopporn Ruangsupapichat of the University of Groningen and their colleagues have engineered a single molecule with four electric "wheels," depicted here in an artist's conception...

November 9, 2011 — John Matson

Does Science Need More Compelling Stories to Foster Public Trust?

The touching stories that advocacy groups are so good at telling—the 49-year old mother whose breast cancer was detected by an early mammogram before it had spread; the 60-year-old neighbor who had a prostate tumor removed thanks to a routine PSA test—should inspire scientists to use anecdotes of their own, argue two doctors from the University of Pennsylvania.In the scientific realm, anecdotal evidence—the individual patient, the single result—tends to be shunned in favor of large, dense data sets and impersonal statistical analyses...

November 8, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

Why Daylight Saving Time Should Be Abolished

It's that time of year in the U.S. when clocks "fall back" from Daylight Saving Time to standard time. What does that mean? Well, you get back the hour of sleep you lost last spring and you can look forward to a week or so of feeling discombobulated.The railroads were the first to set the time in the 19th century, coordinating distant clocks so that trains could run on theoretically precise timetables (this cut down on crashes.)...

November 4, 2011 — David Biello

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