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On the Cover

July-August 2004 Volume 92, Number 4

The burning of plant material releases several gases, including the ozone-destructive compounds methyl bromide and methyl chloride. This may come as a surprise to some people, even to many scientists, who usually think of these and other halogenated, carbon-containing molecules as products of human industry. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Amazing Organohalogens *

Gordon Gribble

Although best known as synthetic toxicants, thousands of halogen compounds are, in fact, part of our natural environment


Free Will and Free Won't *

Sukhvinder Obhi, Patrick Haggard

Motor activity in the brain precedes our awareness of the intention to move, so how is it that we perceive control?


Mad-Cow Disease in Cattle and Human Beings

Paul Brown

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy provides a case study in how to manage risks while still learning the facts


How Do Supercontinents Assemble? *

J. Brendan Murphy, R. Nance

One theory prefers an accordion model; another has the continents travel the globe to reunite


Gravitational Waves and the Effort to Detect them *

Peter Shawhan

A worldwide network of detectors may soon measure subtle ripples in spacetime itself, ushering in a new era of astrophysical research


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Venal Combat

Paul Rabinow

James Shreeve provides a riveting, blow-by-blow account of the technological and moral battles fought by, and between, those sequencing the human genome

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Undisciplined Science

Brian Hayes

Is the Tree of Knowledge an outdated metaphor?

MACROSCOPE

Writing on the Walls

Susan E. Hough

California's petroglyphs may document ancient earthquakes

SIGHTINGS

Walk on the Water

Felice Frankel

MIT mathematician John Bush studies the fluid dynamics of water striders

MARGINALIA

Meissen Chymistry

Roald Hoffmann

How a Saxon alchemist unlocked the secrets of Chinese porcelain

ENGINEERING

Big Dig, Big Bridge *

Henry Petroski

The Zakim Bridge is the most successful component of Boston's monumental highway project

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Sea Change

David Schneider

Reflection seismology, a tool of geologists, proves useful to oceanographers

South Beach Diet

Frank Diller

Mollusk shells provide penguin parents-to-be with the calcium they need

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Human Pyramids?

The Curl Next Door

Guiding Light

FROM THE PRESIDENT


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