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On the Cover

March-April 2014 Volume 102, Number 2

A snorkeler off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, dives to get a close-up shot of a whale shark (Rhincodontypus). Despite its gaping mouth, this filter-feeding shark poses no threat to the diver. The whale sharkpopulation is thought to be in decline, but much of the creature’s behavior is still poorly known....


FEATURE ARTICLES

Engineered Molecules for Smarter Medicines

Darlene K. Taylor, Uddhav Balami

Specially designed polymers can dodge the body’s immune defenses to deliver vital medicine where it is needed most.


Social Media Monitors the Largest Fish in the Sea

Tim K. Davies

Snap-happy tourists can help researchers working to understand and conserve whale sharks.


The Challenge of Manufacturing Between Macro and Micro

Robert J. Wood

Classic ways of folding paper into dynamic shapes—origami, pop-up books—inspire methods to engineer millimeter-scale machines.


Simulating Star Formation on a Galactic Scale *

Clare Dobbs

Powerful calculations provide an unprecedented view of stellar birthplaces.


Twisted Math and Beautiful Geometry

Eli Maor, Eugen Jost

<em>Spira Mirabilis...</em>

Four families of equations expose the hidden aesthetic of bicycle wheels, falling bodies, rhythmic planets, and mathematics itself.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

“The Sight That Met Us Was Shocking”

Dianne Timblin

A review of Bergen-Belsen 1945: A Medical Student's Journal, by Michael John Hargrave

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

Podcasts, Slideshows, and Videos, Oh My!

Fenella Saunders

TECHNOLOGUE

A Path for Nuclear Power

A novel but tested technology, the pebble-bed reactor, can make fission energy safe.

Lee S. Langston

PERSPECTIVE

Little Interactions Mean A Lot

Noncovalent bonds are weaklings compared to familiar chemical reactions, but they add up to strongly influence the shape and behavior of molecules.

Roald Hoffmann

ENGINEERING

Impossible Points, Erroneous Walks *

Botched representations of pencils and horses are not just irksome. They can lead to broad misperceptions about how mechanical systems work.

Henry Petroski

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Uniquely Me!

How much information does it take to single out one person among billions?

Brian Hayes

ARTS LAB

Invitation to an Insect Rendezvous

Artist Brandon Ballengée asks us to spend an intimate evening with bugs.

Leila Christine Nadir

Click to Enlarge Image

SIGHTINGS

Watching Earth Change

Satellite instruments document the transformations wrought both by the human footprint and by natural processes.

Catherine Clabby

2014-03SightingsF1p99.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SPOTLIGHT

First Person: Exploring the Unconscious Brain

An interview with Nicholas Schiff about a continuum of brain activity.

Sandra J. Ackerman

Briefings


LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Good Sharers

Long Live the Data!

Saving Paper


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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