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Observations

Observations

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

The quest for cool: Novel approach leads to brighter, more efficient white LEDs

For phosphor-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to continue their current trend of displacing incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, makers of these small semiconductor-based lights are looking to, among other things, continue improvements in energy efficiency, increase longevity and reduce glare...

January 18, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

Science bloggers gather to wrestle down myths about research and themselves

DURHAM, North Carolina­­­­—TV pundit and Washington Post columnist George Will has a history of misrepresenting climate science—and it's bloggers who typically make sure the record is set straight on such points.For instance, a 2009 Will editorial in the Washington Post asserting, among other things, that the extent of global sea ice today is the same as it was in 1979 drew particularly loud howls...

January 17, 2011 — Robin Lloyd

Organic milk delivers more consistent nutrition across seasons

Like produce, milk quality can vary with the season and year. Dairy cows' daily diet, much of which comes from plant forage, determines the nutritional makeup of their milk, so when their food lags in quality, so, too, does their output...

January 17, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

Not yet for sale: "Smart" water bottle and no-dials radio cube [Video]

Cambridge Consultants, a technology product design and development firm, had several prototype gadgets on display at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), including a real-time hydration alert developed for a new "smart" water bottle and a wi-fi Internet radio that works without knobs, buttons or dials...

January 14, 2011 — Larry Greenemeier

Transgenic chickens get bird flu without passing it on

Researchers have engineered a new type of chicken that might help prevent the spread of bird flu—a worrisome virus that has already caused extensive economic harm on farms, especially in Asia, and that could lead to a pandemic in humans...

January 13, 2011 — Katherine Harmon

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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World