Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > PAST ISSUE

On the Cover

March-April 2006 Volume 94, Number 2

Seen from the underside, a tokay gecko displays its unique feet to good advantage. Geckos generate remarkably strong adhesive forces with the pads on their toes, allowing them to run on smooth vertical or even inverted surfaces. The structures that generate these forces—ridges covered with hairs that split into hundreds of tiny endings—have been known for some time, but how they worked has remained controversial until recently. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

How Gecko Toes Stick *

Kellar Autumn

The powerful, fantastic adhesive used by geckos is made of nanoscale hairs that engage tiny forces, inspiring envy among human imitators


Winning the Accuracy Game *

Hugh G. Gauch, Jr.

Three statistical strategies—replicating, blocking and modeling—can help scientists improve accuracy and accelerate progress


The Cognitive Psychology of Belief in the Supernatural *

Jesse Bering

Belief in a deity or an afterlife could be an evolutionarily advantageous by-product of people's ability to reason about the minds of others


Filaments of Light

Jérôme Kasparian

Pulsed terawatt lasers create some surprising effects when shone through the air—including the channeling of light


Knot Theory's Odd Origins *

Daniel Silver

The modern study of knots grew out of an attempt by three 19th-century Scottish physicists to apply knot theory to fundamental questions about the universe


* access restricted to members and subscribers


DEPARTMENTS

ENGINEERING

Bridges of Charleston *

Henry Petroski

The Cooper River has repeatedly challenged engineers' resourcefulness

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Reverse Engineering

Brian Hayes

backward and forward both run to need may they ,faster run to are computers If

MACROSCOPE

Liberating Science from Politics

Daniel Sarewitz

The notion that science can be used to reconcile political disputes is fundamentally flawed

SIGHTINGS

Metaphorically Speaking

Felice Frankel

Artist Viktor Koen explains how he creates visual representations of complex ideas

MARGINALIA

American Dinosaurs: Who and What Was First

Keith Stewart Thomson

Who gets credit for the first dinosaur in North America depends on one's definition of a description and a fossil

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Life on Mars?

Martin Baucom

Geological and biological processes observed on Earth provide hunky-dory explanations for methane on Mars

Can't Log the Forest for the Trees?

Roger Harris

Newly revealed effects of selective logging emphasize the need to enforce best management practices

Immune to Fear

Christopher R. Brodie

Lupus antibodies in mice alter memory and emotion

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ruminating on Films

To Pine or Not?

Yawn

Does This Compute?

Classy Numbers

FROM THE PRESIDENT

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


Subscribe to American Scientist