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Observations

Observations

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

Blindsight: Seeing without Knowing It

Is it possible to see something without knowing you can see it? Maybe that's not so hard to imagine if you think of subliminal images flashed for a frame or two on a movie screen—too quickly for you to see consciously but perhaps long enough to add a frisson of fear...

April 22, 2010 — Graham P. Collins

Cancer research faces changes with health care reform

WASHINGTON—Many doctors and medical researchers applauded a new federal focus on comparative effectiveness research that was boosted through the 2009 stimulus package and codified with the signing of the health care reform bill in March...

April 21, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

A warming world could trigger earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes

Volcanoes, with their vast outpourings of greenhouse gases and sun-screening ash clouds, can affect climate. But what about the other way around?

A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, dated May 28, rounds up research on the ways that climate change can drive volcanic eruptions as well as other geologic hazards such as earthquakes and landslides...

April 21, 2010 — John Matson

Who needs high-speed broadband?

On paper, the main crux of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recently released National Broadband Plan is fairly straightforward: help 100 million rural, underprivileged and otherwise underserved households across the U.S...

April 20, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

Robots run wild as this year's FIRST championship wraps up in Atlanta

Thousands of budding engineers and roboticists from around the world converged in Atlanta's Georgia Dome this past weekend to see whose robot was the best of the best in the 19th annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) championship...

April 19, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

Celebrate Earth Day: Buy! Buy! Buy!

A casual spin last night through the pile of ads inserted inside my local Sunday newspaper made it clear to me that the best possible thing we all can do this week to honor Earth is to shop till we drop...

April 19, 2010 — Mark Fischetti

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