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Observations

Observations

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

Hear that? All is quiet as Ford's Transit Connect Electric hits New York City's streets

Ford Motor Co. was in New York City on Tuesday (in anticipation of the upcoming International Auto Show that starts later this week) to show off its first attempt to go gas-free—the Transit Connect Electric.  Scientific American went for a spin in the all-electric compact van (about the size of a minivan but with much more headroom) on the rain-slicked streets of New York to get some idea of what the vehicle looks, sounds and feels like...

March 30, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

BPA a "chemical of concern"--EPA makes it official

First U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson warned in September 2009 that reform of chemical regulations was coming and that bisphenol A, or BPA—a building block of many plastics—was among those that might be due for enhanced scrutiny...

March 30, 2010 — David Biello

District court overturns patents on breast cancer genes

Some 20 percent of the human genome is already patented. But a court ruled yesterday that one company does not have the rights to some of its patents on two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 , commonly tested for mutations to determine risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers...

March 30, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Is there any way to stop a subway bombing?

Killing commuters with bombs has to be one of the most cowardly (and dastardly) forms of terrorism. And that's exactly what happened in Moscow earlier today, as suicide bombers from Chechnya detonated themselves as trains pulled into the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations...

March 29, 2010 — David Biello

The U.K. finally gets its own space agency

The United Kingdom has firmed up its position within the ranks of the space-faring, announcing on March 23 the creation of a new space center and an impending consolidated national space agency...

March 25, 2010 — John Matson

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