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VOLUME 102 | NUMBER 5 | September 2014

Why Is It So Hard to Stop Sports Concussions?

Stephen Piazza

Human behavior conspires with the complex mechanics of head impacts to keep injury rates high. New helmet technology could help.

Pencil, Paper, and Pi

Brian Hayes

A gargantuan calculation of pi in the 1850s ran up against the limits of manual arithmetic; figuring out where it went wrong calls for forensic mathematics.

Master of Missing Elements

Eric R. Scerri

Henry Moseley’s discoveries sorted out the periodic table and transformed how scientists look for new forms of the most basic substances.

Quietest Places in the World

Trevor Cox

One man’s search for silence in natural and artificial environments.

New Twists in Earth's Radiation Belts

Daniel Baker

Rings of high-energy particles encircling our planet change more than researchers realized. Those variations could amplify damage from solar storms.

Aspirants, Apprentices, and Student Engineers

Henry Petroski

From the construction of the Erie Canal to now, companies and schools have tried many creative ways to find enough skilled and professional workers.

Paleontology’s X-ray Excavations

Catherine Clabby

Digital scans and computer-aided visualizations are liberating ancient life from stone.

The Superorganism Revolution

Robert L. Dorit

The bacteria living on and in us are challenging paradigms in community ecology.

A Threat to New Zealand's Tuatara Heats Up

Kristine L. Grayson, Nicola J. Mitchell, Nicola J. Nelson

This reptile produces excess male offspring when temperatures rise.

Neural Networking

In Memory of Austin Green

Fenella Saunders

New Information from Ancient Genomes

Sandra J. Ackerman

High-tech sequencing teams up with creative scientific thinking to help resolve a few nagging questions from prehistoric times.

First Person: Joan Strassmann

Katie L. Burke

Etching the Neural Landscape

Greg Dunn

A neuroscientist-artist draws inspiration from the materials and techniques of Asian scroll painting to visualize the complex wiring of the brain.

What's in a Grasp?

David A. Rosenbaum, Oliver Herbort, Robrecht van der Wel, Daniel J. Weiss

Simple acts of picking up a water glass or turning a handle are the product of multilayered cognitive plans and sophisticated neural computations.

Of a Feather

Dianne Timblin

A review of Extraordinary Birds: Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library, by Paul Sweet, and Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual: Renewing the World's Bird Supply Since 2031, by Kate Samworth

Don't Try This at Home

Jorge Cham

A review of What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe

The Cheese Plate Stands Alone

Emily Buehler

A review of The Science of Cheese, by Michael H. Tunick

Bringing Ancient Flora to Life with X-ray Technology

Catherine Clabby

This issue's Sightings column features digital scans and computer-aided visualizations of late Jurassic Period flora. View a slide show of the interior of rare seed cone fossils from the Morrison Formation in Utah.

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