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VOLUME 105 | NUMBER 2 | March 2017

Curiosity Expands our Worldview

Jamie L. Vernon

Art and Science in the Romantic Imagination

Rogan Brown

Creativity assumes a variety of natural, yet imaginary, forms in these painstakingly carved paper sculptures.

How to Detect Faked Photos

Hany Farid

Techniques that analyze the consistency of elements within an image can help to determine whether it is real or manipulated.

Bottle and Can Openers as Levers

Henry Petroski

A simple machine can take on myriad forms to get the job done, but all the variations still operate on the same mechanical principles.

Risks and Benefits of Radiation

Timothy J. Jorgensen

The story of radon’s study in public health can be a guide for how to best weigh the pros and cons of radiation use.

Colonoscopy Care

Nuclear Power Debate

Stats and Fiction

Katie L. Burke

Andy Field’s An Adventure in Statistics, provides solid statistical instruction, and it does so like no other textbook: Field has embedded his lessons in a novel-length science fiction story illustrated with graphic-novel artwork.

Explosive Truths

James G. Lewis

When Mount St. Helens exploded in May 1980, predicting volcanic eruptions was still a nascent science. As Steve Olson demonstrates in Eruption, the lack of clear scientific guidance and an absence of straightforward jurisdictional relationships fostered government inaction at all levels, with disastrous results.

A New Window on Alien Atmospheres

Kevin Heng

The James Webb Space Telescope, originally intended for scanning the outer reaches of the cosmos, is now expected to break new ground exploring exoplanets.

Metformin: Out of Backwaters and into the Mainstream

Philip A. Rea, Anderson Y. Tien

This ubiquitous diabetes drug took a convoluted route to become the standard of care, and is still finding new uses.

Nanoparticle Visions

Robert Frederick

Too small to be seen by the human eye, nanoparticles are already transforming many scientific fields, from electrical engineering to materials science. Now scientists are working to optimize production.

Pressure in the Pink

Fenella Saunders

A pressure-sensitive paint is helping NASA accurately model the extreme forces that spacecraft experience during launch.

First Person: George Weiblen

Katie L. Burke

Q&A with one of the first plant biologists registered to study cannabis.


Katie L. Burke

The Biodiversity Conservation Paradox

Mark Vellend

Even in places where nature is perceptibly altered by human actions, the number of species does not necessarily decline.

Lighting Up the Animal Kingdom

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