What Have We Learned from the BP Oil Spill?

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Ships assist in clean up and containment near the source of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill July 27, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.
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Since the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April, 205.8 million gallons of oil have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the latest estimates by federal scientists. (Imagine a cube filled with oil, where each side is as long as an American football field.) In the months since the explosion, BP has made more than a dozen attempts to stop the flow of oil. Last night BP started a "static kill," a procedure that could permanently seal the well. 

What have scientists learned from this spill?  Can we prevent this from happening again? 

The BP oil spill has been a trial-and-error process for the scientists and engineers working to seal the well. We talk with David Biello, associate editor of environment and energy at Scientific American, about how the BP oil spill crisis may leave us better prepared for the future, despite the massive environmental costs.