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Observations

Observations

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

Could a microchip help to diagnose cancer in minutes?

Current cancer screening often requires painful procedures and weeks of waiting to obtain results. But what if doctors could read a biological sample with a small hand-held device and come back with an answer in less than an hour?...

September 28, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Uganda embarks on bubonic plague prevention program

As reports of bubonic plague in the Democratic Republic of Congo have filtered into neighboring Uganda, the Ugandan government is taking preemptive action, according to Uganda's Daily Monitor and reported by ProMED-mail...

September 28, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Are Torosaurus and Triceratops one and the same?

A rare horned dinosaur known as Torosaurus may not be a distinct species, after all, according to a presentation given Friday at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Bristol, England...

September 28, 2009 — Kate Wong

Surrogates: A little too true to life

When l was an astronomy teaching assistant in grad school, some of my students would look through the telescope eyepiece at Saturn, pull back as if they didn't know what to make of it, look again, and ask: “That’s really Saturn?...

September 24, 2009 — George Musser

Caster Semenya and the issue of gender ambiguity

The controversy over South African athlete Caster Semenya's gender has given the public a view into the complexities of gender. At first blush, the issue should be fairly straightforward: a person is either a male (with an X and a Y chromosome) or a female (with two X chromosomes)...

August 21, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Physicist Stephen Hawking hospitalized, "very ill"

Stephen Hawking, the physicist who brought cosmology to the masses with the best-seller A Brief History of Time, is "very ill" and has been taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England, according to the University of Cambridge...

April 20, 2009 — John Matson

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