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The hottest topics in science in a format to fit your lifestyle — from the Editors of Scientific American.
  • The Science of Education: Back to School

    The Science of Education: Back to School

    By The Editors

    New Edition! We've updated this eBook to include content from two special reports on education. "Learning in the Digital Age" is included almost in its entirety as the new Section 7 and analyzes the effects of the digital revolution on education. In addition, two articles from MIND's report "The Science of Better Learning" are included in Section 2:  "For the Love of Math" and "The Science of Handwriting." The first examines the benefits of guided-discovery programs like JUMP in teaching math, and the second discusses research that shows forming words by hand rather than typing may lead to longer-term memories. ... Read More

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    On sale August 18, 2014

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  • Ask the Experts: Physics and Math

    Ask the Experts: Physics and Math

    By The Editors

    For going on two decades, Scientific American’s “Ask the Experts” column has been answering reader questions on all fields of science. We’ve taken your questions from the basic to the esoteric and reached out to top scientists, professors and researchers to find o ... Read More

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    On sale August 11, 2014

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  • Allergies, Asthma and the Common Cold

    Allergies, Asthma and the Common Cold

    By The Editors

    During allergy season, sufferers know the drill: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing up a storm. For the unlucky with asthma, symptoms might also include coughing and wheezing. However, asthma is not always caused by allergens like pollen and dust—non-allergenic asthma is brought on by a number of possible environmental or genetic triggers. ... Read More

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    On sale May 19, 2014

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  • Tomorrow's Medicine

    Tomorrow's Medicine

    By The Editors

    One hundred years ago, most of the medical treatments and technologies that we take for granted hadn’t even been imagined or were found in the pages of science fiction novels rather than medical journals. Today, on the other hand, medical research often sounds like science fiction. This eBook, ... Read More

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    On sale April 28, 2014

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  • Designing the Urban Future: Smart Cities

    Designing the Urban Future: Smart Cities

    By The Editors

    We expect a lot from our technology. ... Read More

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    On sale March 31, 2014

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  • Doing the Right Thing: Ethics in Science

    Doing the Right Thing: Ethics in Science

    By The Editors

    Most of us have probably had those discussions, either in a classroom setting or otherwise, where a hypothetical situation is given and you’re asked to choose between two or more unsatisfying options. If you follow option A, five people die; if you follow option B, one person dies. What do you do? ... Read More

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    On sale November 25, 2013

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  • The Secrets of Consciousness

    The Secrets of Consciousness

    By The Editors

    Consciousness is an enigmatic beast. It’s more than mere awareness – it’s how we experience the world, how our subjective experience relates to the objective universe around us. And therein lies the rub, in that tiny little word “how.” These kinds of questions were o ... Read More

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    On sale November 18, 2013

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  • The Changing Face of War

    The Changing Face of War

    By The Editors

    Advances in technology often concur with times of war—the nuclear bomb is perhaps the most iconic example. The then-new knowledge of nuclear physics and the fear that the Nazis might develop a weapon pushed some of the greatest minds in physics and chemistry to solve one of the most complex technical problems of the day. ... Read More

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    On sale October 21, 2013

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  • Becoming Human: Our Past, Present and Future*

    Becoming Human: Our Past, Present and Future*

    By The Editors

    We humans are a strange bunch. We have self-awareness and yet often act on impulses that remain hidden. We were forged in adversity but live in a world of plenty. How did we get here? What is to become of us? To these age-old questions, science has in recent years brought powerful tools and reams of data, and in this eBook, ... Read More

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    On sale September 23, 2013

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  • From Abuse to Recovery: Understanding Addiction

    From Abuse to Recovery: Understanding Addiction

    By The Editors

    Addiction is costly on many levels to the individuals affected, their families and society as a whole, but science may soon be able to offer treatment options to make the road to recovery a little smoother. In this eBook, From Abuse to Recovery: Understanding Addiction, we tackle the many facets of this complex issue. ... Read More

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    On sale September 16, 2013

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  • Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food

    Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food

    By The Editors

    Still hungry after devouring our September 2013 single topic issue: Food? Satisfy your appetite for science with our new companion eBook: Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food. With global population numbers projected to increase by 2 billion by 2050, a veritable food crisis is on the horizon. ... Read More

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    On sale August 19, 2013

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  • Fact or Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths

    Fact or Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths

    By The Editors

    Did NASA really spend millions creating a pen that would write in space? Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? Does stress cause gray hair? These questions are just a sample of the urban lore investigated in this eBook, Fact or Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths. Drawing from Scientific American’s “Fact or Fiction” and “Strange But True” columns, we’ve selected 58 of the most surprising, fascinating, useful and just plain wacky topics confronted by our writers over the years. ... Read More

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    On sale July 29, 2013

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  • Possibilities in Parallel: Seeking the Multiverse

    Possibilities in Parallel: Seeking the Multiverse

    By The Editors

    Parallel universes are a staple of science fiction, and it's no wonder. They allow us to explore the question, "what if?" in a way that lets us step completely outside of the world we know, rather than question how that world might have turned out differently. For cosmologists, the question isn't "what if the South won the Civil War?" but "what if the constants that make up the fundamental building blocks of physics were different?" Physicists argue that any slight change to the laws of physics would mean a disruption in the evolution of the universe, and thus our existence. ... Read More

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    On sale May 20, 2013

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  • Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

    Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

    By The Editors

    While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about getting—or preventing? In this eBook, ... Read More

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    On sale May 13, 2013

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  • Remember When? The Science of Memory

    Remember When? The Science of Memory

    By The Editors

    Why can you vividly recall the day your father took you to your first baseball game many years ago, but you can’t remember where you just put the car keys? We tend not to think about it much, but memory is the seat of consciousness. The process of how we remember, how we forget, and why we remember certain things and not others is a rich subject of scientific inquiry, and a fascinating window onto who we are and what makes us tick. ... Read More

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    On sale April 22, 2013

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  • The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

    The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

    By The Editors

    Since the Industrial Revolution our civilization has depended on fossil fuels to generate energy – first it was coal; then petroleum. But there are two problems: the first is that petroleum isn't an infinite resource; and the second is that burning coal and oil puts billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping heat. ... Read More

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    On sale April 8, 2013

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  • Forever Young: The Science of Aging

    Forever Young: The Science of Aging

    By The Editors

    Today, an infant born in the US will probably live to see his or her 78th birthday, a 20- year-plus increase over the average lifespan a century ago. While living well into the 80s and 90s is becoming more and more attainable, how many more years can humanity expect to gain? The two main barriers are accumulated damage to cells and organs that occurs over time and age-related illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. ... Read More

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    On sale March 25, 2013

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  • Understanding Autism: The Search for Answers

    Understanding Autism: The Search for Answers

    By The Editors

    The term “autism” comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning self, used to describe conditions of social withdrawal – or the isolated self. Around 1910, a Swiss psychiatrist first used the term to refer to certain symptoms of schizophrenia. Later in the 1940s physicians Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger independently used that name to describe what was a newly discovered developmental disorder whose primary symptom is social withdrawal. ... Read More

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    On sale March 18, 2013

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  • Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space

    Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space

    By The Editors

    Cyberspace has certainly transformed the world. From media and communications to banking, an increasing number of daily activities is performed online. We are living digital lifestyles. While this transformation has opened up exciting new frontiers, it also opens the door to security threats undreamed of in previous generations. ... Read More

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    On sale February 25, 2013

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  • Disarming Cupid: Love, Sex and Science

    Disarming Cupid: Love, Sex and Science

    By The Editors

    Sometimes All You Need Is Love; sometimes Love Is a Battlefield. Whether Love Hurts, Bites, Will Keep Us Together, Will Tear Us Apart or Is a Four-Letter Word, it seems we Want To Know What Love Is. Love – in both the abstract and the up-close-and-personal – has always provided limitless inspiration for artists, writers and musicians, but scientists are just as fascinated by these affairs of the heart, though they seldom sing about it. ... Read More

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    On sale February 11, 2013

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  • Beyond Human: A.I. and Genius Machines

    Beyond Human: A.I. and Genius Machines

    By The Editors

    In science fiction, artificial intelligence takes the shape of computers that can speak like people, think for themselves, and sometimes act against us. Sometimes the machines seem to know everything, and symbolize implacable and unknowable power, as in The Matrix. Such machines can also embody t ... Read More

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    On sale January 28, 2013

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  • The Influenza Threat: Pandemic in the Making

    The Influenza Threat: Pandemic in the Making

    By The Editors

    The onset of cold weather brings out the boots, coats, gloves – and the block-lettered, stoplight-red “Flu Shots Available Here” signs in drugstore windows. And with good reason. For many scientists and public health specialists alike, flu season has become a little like Russian Roulette. ... Read More

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    On sale January 28, 2013

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  • A Look Back: The Best of 2012

    A Look Back: The Best of 2012

    By The Editors

    It’s hard to believe 2012 is coming to a close. Lucky for us, this year has seen some amazing science, and in this eBook, we’ve compiled Scientific American’s best stories of 2012 with an eye on content, authorship and news value. Section One kicks off with the award-winners. This year, Scientific American editors received awards from the National Association of Science Writers, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the L’Oreal Fellowships for Women in Science Program and the International Fund for Animal Welfare on stories that ranged from the role of propofol in Michael Jackson’s death to advocating support to ban research testing on chimpanzees. ... Read More

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    On sale December 24, 2012

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  • Lights Out: How It All Ends

    Lights Out: How It All Ends

    By The Editors

    Traditionally, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are war, famine, plague and death; but while classical authors were familiar with only four horsemen, modern ones could add events such as environmental devastation and nearby supernovas. In this eBook we look at several "end of the world" scenarios – or at least, things that could make human life really difficult. ... Read More

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    On sale December 17, 2012

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  • A Question of Time: The Ultimate Paradox

    A Question of Time: The Ultimate Paradox

    By The Editors

    “What time is it?” That simple question is probably asked more often in contemporary society than ever before. In our clock-studded world, the answer is never more than a glance away, and so we can blissfully partition our days into ever smaller increments for ever more tightly scheduled tasks. ... Read More

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    On sale November 30, 2012

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  • Storm Warnings: Climate Change and Extreme Weather

    Storm Warnings: Climate Change and Extreme Weather

    By The Editors

    Hurricanes. Blizzards. Flooding. Drought. If extreme events like these seem to be on the rise, it’s for apparent reason. The first three-quarters of 2012 brought the worst European winter in 25 years; massive flooding in Australia, Brazil and China; a deepening drought affecting over 50% of the US; and Hurricane Sandy inflicted massive damage on the Northeast US. ... Read More

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    On sale November 12, 2012

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  • Battling Drought: The Science of Water Management

    Battling Drought: The Science of Water Management

    By The Editors

    The extreme drought in the US Southwest has brought the issues of water use and management to the forefront of media attention. Historically, arguments over water rights have plagued this area since the days of John Wesley Powell, and disputes mark the relations between states, city-dwellers, farmers, and environmentalists to this day. ... Read More

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    On sale October 22, 2012

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  • Playing Politics: The Science of Elections

    Playing Politics: The Science of Elections

    By The Editors

    Politics makes strange bedfellows, and that becomes even more apparent when trying to analyze the science of politics. Pulling from an array of disciplines including social science, behavioral science and mathematics, Scientific American does just that in this timely eBook, Playing Politics: The Science of Elections. ... Read More

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    On sale October 15, 2012

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  • The Higgs Boson: Searching for the God Particle

    The Higgs Boson: Searching for the God Particle

    By The Editors

    As the old adage goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there is effect, there must be cause. The planet Neptune was found in 1846 because the mathematics of Newton's laws, when applied to the orbit of Uranus, said some massive body had to be there. Astronomers eventually found it, using the best telescopes available to peer into the sky. ... Read More

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    On sale September 30, 2012

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  • Exploring Mars: Secrets of the Red Planet

    Exploring Mars: Secrets of the Red Planet

    By The Editors

    Our nearest planetary neighbor has been the subject of endless fascination and wide-ranging theories throughout history. Is there life on Mars? Was there ever life on Mars? What was the atmosphere like thousands or millions of years ago? From Percival Lowell, who built his own observatory so he c ... Read More

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    On sale August 29, 2012

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  • HIV and AIDS: A Global Health Pandemic

    HIV and AIDS: A Global Health Pandemic

    By The Editors

    On June 5, 1981, the scientific community received a wake-up call from the CDC regarding a terrible and mysterious new illness that caused immune system failure. A year passed before it had a name: AIDS. Reported infections skyrocketed while science raced to understand a virus that hid among our own cells and mutated quickly. ... Read More

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    On sale August 17, 2012

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  • The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics

    The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics

    By The Editors

    The Olympics are the world’s most prestigious stage for athletic competition. Fans both casual and hardcore tune in religiously every few years to watch as men and women push themselves to the limits of human performance. But what makes a champion? Is it genetics? Hours of training? A psychological advantage? ... Read More

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    On sale July 13, 2012

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