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On the Cover

November-December 2005 Volume 93, Number 6

A three-dimensional image, built of slices from a confocal laser-scanning microscope, shows the complex structure of a laboratory-grown biofilm of Escherichia coli bacteria, the cause of many human infections. The biofilm's microbial residents are knitted together by a slimy matrix that helps protect them from environmental stress—including antibiotic drugs. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Biofilms

Joe Harrison, Raymond Turner, Lyrium Marques, Howard Ceri

A new understanding of these microbial communities is driving a revolution that may transform the science of microbiology


Yawning *

Robert Provine

The yawn is primal, unstoppable and contagious, revealing the evolutionary and neural basis of empathy and unconscious behavior


Ancient Wollemi Pines Resurgent *

Stephen McLoughlin, Vivi Vajda

Ten years after its discovery, a vanishingly rare tree from the Cretaceous Period is a scientific darling and may soon become a commercial success too


Imaging Earthlike Exoplanets *

Thomas Sherrill

Two space missions now under development aim to uncover sister worlds to our own


How Tunas and Lamnid Sharks Swim: An Evolutionary Convergence

Robert Shadwick

These fishes diverged millions of years ago, but selection pressures have brought them very similar biomechanical schemes for movement


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

The Marvels of PostScript

George Francis

A review of Mathematical Illustrations: A Manual of Geometry and PostScript, by Bill Casselman. A PostScript tutorial that addresses the role of computer graphics in geometrical illustrations.

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

ESSAY

Natural and Unnatural Disasters

Brian Hayes

Reflections on a city made possible and made vulnerable by reliance on technology

MACROSCOPE

Divertimento for Strings

Jean-Pierre Hébert

An artist's homage to theoretical physics as the Einstein centenary ends

SIGHTINGS

FluorEssence

Felice Frankel

See the winning image from this year's Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

MARGINALIA

Being Stalked by Intelligent Design

Pat Shipman

Scientists must stop ignoring Intelligent Design—religious prejudice disguised as intellectual freedom

ENGINEERING

Shopping By Design *

Henry Petroski

Supermarkets, like other inventions, didn't just happen; they were designed, developed—and patented

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Rock of Ages

Christopher R. Brodie

Could a single cell live for 250 million years?

Dial L for Location

David Schneider

Calling 911 from a cell phone may or may not bring help to the right spot

To Be Free, or Not To Be

Roger Harris

What is the commercial value of biodiversity data?

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Building a Better Mattress Flip

Hydrogen Jets

Automating Projectors

FROM THE PRESIDENT

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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