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Observations

Observations

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

First H1N1 vaccines to arrive Tuesday

The first doses of approved vaccines for the H1N1 "swine" flu will start trickling in across the U.S. on Tuesday. The first to arrive, 600,000 doses of MedImmune's FluMist nasal spray, will be for healthy people ages two to 49, the Associated Press reported...

October 2, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Breast cancer deaths drop over past two decades

The number of women who die from breast cancer has decreased slowly (about 2 percent per year) but steadily since 1990, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society (ACS), released to mark the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month...

October 1, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Lessons from a Dead Fish

The revolution in neuroscience is often characterized as a revolution in new imaging technology.A long overdue reassessment of  neuroimaging machines—in particular the functional magnetic resonance imager—has underlined that what you see is not always what you get.A study published this year in Perspectives on Psychological Science noted that many papers in social neuroscience, the field that examines the neurobiology of social behavior, suffered from faulty analyses that produced "voodoo correlations" in their data...

September 29, 2009 — Gary Stix

NASA spacecraft to buzz Mercury a third and final time today

In a pair of flybys by a robotic explorer last year, planetary scientists began to unravel some of the mysteries of Mercury, a planet that is difficult to study from Earth and that had not been visited by a spacecraft since the 1970s...

September 29, 2009 — John Matson

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

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