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Observations

Observations

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

Federal government approves Cape Cod offshore wind farm

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a federal blessing for the controversial Cape Wind project today—clearing a path for mammoth wind turbines to be built offshore of the Massachusetts vacation destination, the first such offshore wind farm in the U.S...

April 28, 2010 — David Biello

To sleep, perchance to dream--and learn

Dreams might be helping your brain do more than express Freudian fixations or practice escapes from prehistoric predators. They are there, in part, to help you learn, according to a new study from Harvard University...

April 22, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Good teachers really do make a difference

Twin studies have shown that genetic factors can account for as much as 82 percent of the variability in children's reading skills. But while genes might set the bar for reading potential, a new study published April 23 in Science shows that teachers play a leading role in helping kids reach it...

April 22, 2010 — Katie Moisse

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

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