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Observations

Observations

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

White rice raises risk of type 2 diabetes

White rice joins the growing list of refined carbohydrates with links to increased risks for diabetes, according to a new large study that quantified odds for consumers of white rice—as well as brown rice...

June 14, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Hayabusa spacecraft headed back toward Earth, perhaps with asteroid dust in hand

A Japanese spacecraft that visited an asteroid and perhaps even sampled its surface is returning home. The Hayabusa probe, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2003, will release a heat-shielded return capsule on June 13 that may contain the first ever samples captured directly from an asteroid...

June 11, 2010 — John Matson

Were some gigantic Jurassic sea creatures warm-blooded?

In ancient Mesozoic seas, the biggest predators might not have been entirely cold-blooded killers. Rather, a new study suggests some of these rapacious reptiles might have been able to regulate their own body temperature, thereby expanding their hunting ranges. 

Some modern aquatic reptiles, including leatherback turtles, as well as some sharks and tuna are able to keep their body temperatures relatively stable compared to the fluctuating water temperatures around them...

June 10, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

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