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Observations

Observations

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

Student ROV operators show they are ready for deepwater missions

Students from across the globe converged on the University of Hawaii at Hilo last week to test their abilities to build and pilot remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) at the ninth annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's 2010 International ROV Competition.

June 30, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

The coming shortage of helium

LINDAU, Germany—Quick: What do MRI machines, rockets, fiber optics, LCDs, food production and welding have in common?They all require the inert, or noble, gas helium for their use or at some stage of their production.

June 30, 2010 — Mariette DiChristina

How did life begin on Earth?

LINDAU, Germany—What steps led to the origin of life on Earth? Scientists may be zeroing in on that most profound of questions. “We’ve gone a long way to showing” the processes that “set the stage” for cellular life on Earth, Jack Szostak said Tuesday here in his talk at the 60th annual Nobel Laureate Lectures at Lindau.Recent findings—such as that life seems to be everywhere on Earth—have encouraged scientific inquiries into the nature of life’s beginnings, said Szostak.

June 29, 2010 — Mariette DiChristina

What happens when coal is gone?

LINDAU, Germany--What’s the best way to address a politically charged topic such as the future of energy? Remove the politics. “We’re going to skip over the politics,” Robert P.

June 29, 2010 — Mariette DiChristina

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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine