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Observations

Observations

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

Should advanced dementia be considered a terminal illness?

Advanced dementia has often been treated as an amalgamation of symptoms in the aging, rather than a deadly illness in itself. A new study, published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine , proposes that it may be beneficial—for patients and caretakers alike—to take the latter approach...

October 14, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Silent but deadly? Electric cars may be too quiet for pedestrian safety

Enjoy (or fear) the silence while it lasts. Battery-driven vehicles are touted for their potential to cut down on harmful emissions spewed for decades by gasoline-powered cars, but electric and hybrid vehicles may be too quiet to be heard by pedestrians, posing a particular danger to people without sight...

October 14, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Hospital error leads to CT scan radiation overdoses in 206 patients

How well do hospital medical technicians know their equipment? Not well enough in the case of some health care workers at Cedars–Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where 206 x-ray computed tomography (CT) scan patients were given eight times the normal dose of radiation during brain scans over an 18-month period...

October 13, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

It's all Chinese to me: Dyslexia has big differences in English and Chinese

Chinese dyslexia may be much more complex than the English variety, according to a new paper published online today in Current Biology . English speakers who have developmental dyslexia usually don't have trouble recognizing letters visually, but rather just have a hard time connecting them to their sounds...

October 12, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Is an HPV vaccine for boys cost-effective?

An advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of Gardasil, a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), for use in males.

October 9, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

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