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The Long View

Many articles in American Scientist stand the test of time, remaining relevant for years past their publication date. But research marches on, and new results add to the conversation about science, while emphasizing that science must tie back into its history to give a full picture of how results build upon one another.

In The Long View, we ask researchers who have written articles for American Scientist to update their findings with data that have come out since their stories appeared in our pages.

New Brain Insights from Cochlear Implants

Michael DormanJul 12, 2016

Scans of implant patients deaf in only one ear, before and after the procedure, have uncovered how quickly the cortex can rewire itself.

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Fire’s Weird Behavior in Space

Fenella SaundersApr 13, 2016

In the microgravity environment of outer space, flames burn very differently than they do on Earth. Understanding those differences not only helps researchers grasp the properties of combustion and burning, but is also crucial for outer-space missions.

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How Hair Ice Grows

Fenella SaundersNov 9, 2015

Updated research shows how long, thin strands of ice, called hair ice, forms from decomposing wood.

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Timeline of the Controversial Belo Monte Megadam in Brazil

Mark Sabaj PérezOct 14, 2015

The history of the Belo Monte dam is fraught with controversy and legal battles, dating back to 1979.

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New Space Suit Design

A Space Suit that Squeezes

Vinita Marwaha MadillAug 18, 2015

A new space suit design uses advanced materials to combat muscle and bone loss for astronauts in outer space.

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Moth 205

A Tail of Two Moths

William E. ConnerJun 9, 2015

I predicted that any insect that flies at night must have a way of dealing with their fiercest nocturnal predators—bats. More recent findings by Akito Kawahara of the University of Florida and my former graduate student Jesse Barber of Boise State University confirm this prediction in two exciting ways.

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Space Walk Small

2,877 Hours in a Personal Spacecraft One-Tenth of an Inch Thick

Jun 3, 2015

June 3 marks the 50th anniversary of the first American space walk, or Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in NASA terms. The technology and design of space suits—called Extravehicular Mobility Units in NASA parlance—has also evolved greatly over the past 50 years. In the September-October 2015 issue of American Scientist, we will feature an article from Dave Cadogan, Director of Engineering at ILC Dover, the only company that currently makes US space suits.

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African American Female Scientist

Describing Applicants in Gendered Language Might Influence Academic Science Hiring

Wendy M. Williams, Stephen J. CeciMay 7, 2015

We recently published an article about the results of a 4.5-year program of research on gender’s influence on faculty hiring preferences for tenure-track STEM assistant professorships. Our methods brought up an interesting issue about the types of adjectives used to describe job applicants, one that we did not have space to address in the paper.

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201502_23Finkleman205

Time to Save the Leap Second

David FinklemanFeb 25, 2015

For millennia, fundamental units of time were referenced this way. The ever-changing Earth rotation interval was divided into 86,400 seconds. But Earth rotation is not constant and is unpredictable. This meant that the duration of a second had to be changed occasionally to maintain essential synchronization with Earth rotation.

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201502_13Schofield205

Robot Explorers Lose One of Their Own

Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Mark MolineFeb 13, 2015

Drs. Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, and Mark Moline wrote about their research with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) in a past issue of American Scientist. Unfortunately, an AUV called Nereus experienced a catastrophic failure in May of 2014. Read the authors's tribute about this event.

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Roman Mosaic

Evergreen Articles

Fenella SaundersFeb 9, 2015

When I have the opportunity to review the older issues of American Scientist, I always find a few gems that seem to stand the test of time...Read more.

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