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Observations

Observations

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

The Best Video of Earth from Space Ever Made

This timelapse video of photographs taken from the International Space Station between August and October is just stunning: The photographs were taken by astronaut Ron Garan, whose photographs were the subject of a Compound Eye post from a few weeks back...

November 14, 2011 — Michael Moyer

Vote for the Most Annoying Earworm [Poll]

We solicited readers' nominations for the most annoying earworms yesterday via Facebook. We winnowed the list and now are presenting the poll below to ask readers to vote for the worst, most tiresome earworm plaguing us, thanks to supermarket music, radio and TV jingles, waiting room speakers and so on...

November 11, 2011 — THE EDITORS

The Science of Earworms, or Why You Can't Get that Damn Song Out of Your Head

They go by many names: Brain worms, sticky music (thanks Oliver Sacks), cognitive itch, stuck song syndrome. But the most common (if also the most repugnant) is earworms, a literal translation from Ohrwurm , a term used to describe the phenomenon (and perhaps bring to mind an immediate association with corn earworms)...

November 11, 2011 — Gary Stix

Specialized Immune Cells Fight Hardening Arteries

Immune cells do more than just fend off infections. When cholesterol starts building up in arteries, scavenger white blood cells known as macrophages report to the scene to start trying to digest it...

November 10, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

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

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