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

Perpetrators of HIV crimes uncovered through "evolutionary forensics"

DNA evidence has been used to link suspects to crime scenes and even to people they might have infected with HIV. Now, using tools from evolutionary biology, researchers have shown that they can establish the direction of transmission of HIV in criminal cases involving men who intentionally infected women partners during unprotected sex...

November 15, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Patent office extends green tech fast-tracking for another year

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced Wednesday that it is extending for another year its Green Technology Pilot Program to fast-track the evaluation of patent applications for "cleantech," including inventions related to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction...

November 11, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier
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In a new documentary, Bjorn Lomborg says "Cool It"

Does Bjorn Lomborg add value to the global warming conversation or does he set it back? That depends on whom you ask. In 2008 The Guardian named the Danish academic and author of the 2004 controversial bestseller The Skeptical Environmentalist "one of the 50 people who could save the planet." In contrast, many see him as a disruptive and even damaging force in the ongoing debate regarding humanity's best course for dealing with global warming.A similar dichotomy characterizes the political discussion, at least in the United States, around the issue of climate change...

November 10, 2010 — Mike Orcutt

Autism and mammography: Two stories of statistical confusion

DENVER—There was substantial public outcry last year when new recommendations for mammograms came out suggesting that women could wait until age 50 to start breast cancer screening—and then only get screened every other year...

November 10, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Obama's Indonesia trip may be cut short by deadly volcanic eruption

President Obama's visit to Indonesia this week will reportedly be cut a few hours short due to an ash plume from a volcanic eruption in the country. The eruption of Mount Merapi, more than 400 kilometers from Jakarta, where Obama is visiting, has killed more than 150 people since it began erupting in late October, according to The Washington Post ...

November 9, 2010 — John Matson

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