scientificamerican.com
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Scientific American (informally abbreviated SciAm or sometimes SA) is an American popular science magazine. Many famous scientists, including Albert Einstein, have contributed articles to it. It is the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States (though it only became monthly in 1921). Scientific American was founded by inventor and publisher Rufus M. Porter in 1845 as a four-page weekly newspaper. Throughout its early years, much emphasis was placed on reports of what was going on at the U.S. Patent Office.Source
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Brain-Invading Tapeworm That Eluded Doctors Spotted by New DNA Test

Brain-Invading Tapeworm That Eluded Doctors Spotted by New DNA Test

Doctors at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital could not figure out what was wrong with the 29-year-old man sitting before them. An otherwise healthy construction worker from Nicaragua, the patient was suffering from a splitting headache, double vision and ringing in his ears. Part of his face was also numb. The cause could have been anything—from an infection to a stroke, a tumor or some kind of autoimmune disease. The Emergency Department (ED) staff took a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the man’s brain, performed a spinal tap and completed a series of other tests that did not...

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Kat McGowan
Jun 22, 2017
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Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

We humans have evolved a rich repertoire of communication, from gesture to sophisticated languages. All of these forms of communication link otherwise separate individuals in such a way that they can share and express their singular experiences and work together collaboratively. In a new study, technology replaces language as a means of communicating by directly linking the activity of human brains. Electrical activity from the brains of a pair of human subjects was transmitted to the brain of a third individual in the form of magnetic signals, which conveyed an instruction to perform a...

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Robert Martone
Nov 2, 2019
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Is the human race evolving or devolving?

Is the human race evolving or devolving?

A similar question was previously answered by Meredith F. Small, associate professor in the anthropology department at Cornell University.This time we asked Michael J. Dougherty, assistant director and senior staff biologist at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study in Colorado Springs, Colo., to offer his opinion.From a biological perspective, there is no such thing as devolution. All changes in the gene frequencies of populations--and quite often in the traits those genes influence--are by definition evolutionary changes. The notion that humans might regress or "devolve" presumes that there...

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Jun 9, 2019
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A Proposed EPA Regulation Would Endanger the Public’s Health

A Proposed EPA Regulation Would Endanger the Public’s Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has one job: to protect public health and safety and the environment we live in, with the best available science. It is a mission that saves lives. But that mission could end if EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler succeeds in restricting the science that the agency can use.Wheeler is pushing a new proposed rule—cloaked in the rhetoric of “transparency”—that in most cases would effectively bar the EPA from using a study in its policy making if all of that study's data, computer code and models have not been made public. In practice, this eliminates all...

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Andrew Rosenberg
Feb 13, 2020
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Second-Ever Interstellar Comet Contains Alien Water

Second-Ever Interstellar Comet Contains Alien Water

Astronomers have spotted signs of water spraying off comet 2I/Borisov, which is flying towards the Sun on a journey from interstellar space. It is the first time scientists have seen water in our Solar System that originated somewhere else. “There’s water—that’s cool, that’s great,” says Olivier Hainaut, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany. The discovery isn’t surprising, he says, because most comets contain a lot of water. But confirming its presence in an interstellar comet is an important step towards understanding how water might travel between the...

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Alexandra Witze
Nov 3, 2019
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Health Concerns Mount as More Old Sewer Pipes Are Lined with Plastic

Health Concerns Mount as More Old Sewer Pipes Are Lined with Plastic

Earlier this year Nicole Davis arrived at one of the San Antonio, Tex., offices of the audiology practice she co-ownsready to see the day’s patients. But upon entering her office, Davis says she quickly noticed a noxious odor that smelled like paint thinner. Her eyes started burning. By noon, she felt nauseated and dizzy, with the burning sensation spreading to her nose and throat. Her mouth went numb. Co-workers in the building told Davis that they felt ill, too. By the evening, she says, she was vomiting. Two days later, Davis received an e-mail from an employee for a construction firm...

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Robin Lloyd
Dec 3, 2019
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Alone in a Crowded Milky Way

Alone in a Crowded Milky Way

On the 15th of January in 1790, nine mutineers from HMS Bounty, 18 people from Tahiti and one baby arrived on Pitcairn Island—one of the most isolated habitable places on the planet. Surrounded by the southern Pacific Ocean and with hundreds of miles of open water between it and the nearest other islands, Pitcairn is the epitome of solitude.This is a preview. Make a selection below to access this issue.Already have access? .Having trouble accessing this article? Please visit our page for more informationMore in the January 2020 issue of Scientific AmericanVisit our for additional...

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Feb 13, 2020
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Sweating Robot Beats the Heat

Sweating Robot Beats the Heat

Electronics cannot handle the heat. That is why computers rely on fans, and car engines need radiators. But these cooling devices are necessarily rigid, which makes them a bad fit for made from stretchy, flexible plastics instead of metal. So some Cornell University researchers have taken their inspiration from perspiration and developed a soft robotic gripper that automatically starts sweating when temperatures rise.Thanks to their squishy construction, soft robots are sometimes more adaptable and durable—and can be less likely to cause injury—than their metallic counterparts. Yet these...

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Sophie Bushwick
Feb 13, 2020
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Algorithmic Foreign Policy

Algorithmic Foreign Policy

Last year, China unveiled its development of a new artificial intelligence system for its foreign policy. It’s called a “geopolitical environment simulation and prediction platform,” and it works by crunching huge amounts of data and then providing foreign policy suggestions to Chinese diplomats. According to one source, China has already used a similar AI system to vet almost every foreign investment project in the past few years.Consider what this development means: Slowly, foreign policy is moving away from diplomats, political-risk firms and think tanks, the “go-to” organizations of the...

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Abishur Prakash
Aug 31, 2019
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Quick-Thinking AI Camera Mimics the Human Brain - Scientific American

Quick-Thinking AI Camera Mimics the Human Brain - Scientific American

Researchers in Europe are developing a camera that will literally have a mind of its own, with brainlike algorithms that process images and light sensors that mimic the human retina. Its makers hope it will prove that artificial intelligence—which today requires large, sophisticated computers—can soon be packed into small consumer electronics. But as much as an AI camera would make a nifty smartphone feature, the technology’s biggest impact may actually be speeding up the way self-driving cars and autonomous flying drones sense and react to their surroundings.The conventional digital...

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Dhananjay Khadilkar
Jun 23, 2017
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