Social media has scored big successes in helping crowds to gather and communicate online to challenge oppressive regimes in recent weeks, but digital gathering places that are basically public—and the crowd-sourced data they generate—also carry risks...
Some mammals have an attractive solution for coping with long winters—sleep through them. Black bears ( Ursus americanus ) for example can hibernate for five to seven months of the year, going without food and water or the light of day...
The answer is: For its next assignment, this Jeopardy! champion will have to work on its bedside manner.
If you replied, "What is Watson?" give yourself a round of applause...
How do you get a bear to ride a bicycle? In addition to "very carefully," the answer is operant conditioning. A trainer rewards a particular behavior when performed by a subject, reinforcing the behavior in that subject...
Genetic findings often underscore the notion that organisms with similar-looking body parts aren't always close evolutionary relatives. Wings for flying or sharp teeth for ripping into food can be the result of convergent evolution, in which natural selection results in similar-looking solutions to problems faced by different species—whether they are distantly or closely related...
As IBM preps for its next big man–machine showdown (and latest high-tech publicity stunt), Scientific American took a brief, informal, unscientific poll on Monday of 26 print and online staffers to determine whether there was a consensus on who would win this week's Jeopardy!...
If it stinks, it's chemistry—that's one memory trick some smart-aleck high-school students might recommend to identify the core sciences. But chemistry goes far beyond noxious fumes...
The umber tinge accenting the tips of many of Vincent van Gogh's famous sunflowers has vexed conservators and chemists alike, who know that this hue was not what the artist had first daubed on his canvases...
If you're a fan of clever and fun, you must check out this video from Vi Hart, a self-proclaimed recreational "mathemusician". This video went viral a few weeks ago.
Some 340 million kilometers away, out beyond the orbit of Mars, the Stardust spacecraft is getting ready for a big Valentine's Day date. On February 14 the NASA craft will fly past Comet Tempel 1 at a planned distance of only 200 kilometers, getting a good look at the second comet it has investigated at close range since the probe's 1999 launch...
STAFFBehind the scenes at Scientific AmericanRead
Anecdotes from the Archive
Anthropology in Practice
Exploring the human condition.Read
Insights into intelligence, creativity, personality, and well-beingRead
Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kidsRead
Critical views of science in the newsRead
Dark Star Diaries
Explore the science behind the dog in your bedRead
News and research about endangered species from around the worldRead
Eye of the Storm
The Science Behind Extreme WeatherRead
Frontiers for Young Minds
Science by and for kids ages 8-15Read
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Climate science in a changing worldRead
Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday DeceptionsRead
Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiologyRead
Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Roots of Unity
Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.Read
Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.Read
STAFFIllustrating science since 1845Read
STAFFA science blog, sans blagueRead
The Artful Amoeba
A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on EarthRead
Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.Read