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On the Cover

November-December 2006 Volume 94, Number 6

Embarrassment is a nearly universal emotion that spans both cultures and time. It likely evolved to regulate social behavior in ways that benefit the embarrassed, but as Christine R. Harris explains in her article “Embarrassment: A Form of Social Pain,” it can also have negative consequences when people forgo health care or fail to help others in order to avoid potentially embarrassing situations. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Growing Up with Chernobyl *

Robert Chesser, Robert Baker

Working in a radioactive zone, two scientists learn tough lessons about politics, bias and the challenges of doing good science


Embarrassment: A Form of Social Pain *

Christine Harris

This enigmatic emotion likely evolved to smooth social interactions, but it can have less desirable consequences in the modern world


Gracilization of the Modern Human Skeleton *

Christopher Ruff

The latent strength in our slender bones teaches lessons about human lives, current and past


Tamper-Indicating Seals *

Roger Johnston

From the earliest civilizations to the present, seals have provided evidence of unauthorized access


The Sounds of Spacetime

Craig Hogan

In the biggest events in the universe, massive black holes collide with a chirp and a ring. Physicists are finding ways to listen in


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

The Dark Side of DNA

Fred Gould

A review of Genes in Conflict, by Austin Burt and Robert Trivers. It may be a surprise to most people to learn that their bodies host parasitic DNA

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Up a Lazy River

Brian Hayes

Meandering through a classic theory of why rivers meander

MACROSCOPE

Mirror, Mirror

G. A. Bradshaw, Robert M. Sapolsky

Evidence that psychology, like biology, is conserved between human and nonhuman species augurs a shake-up for science and society

SIGHTINGS

Slicing into the Past

Felice Frankel

CT scans yield a three-dimensional image of a mummy's head

MARGINALIA

Missing Links and Found Links

Pat Shipman

In and out of the water, transitional forms from the fossil record illuminate the nuts and bolts of evolution

ENGINEERING

Waldo-Hancock Bridge *

Henry Petroski

The deterioration of a landmark span offers lessons applicable to bridges everywhere

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Free Upgrades, Unfortunately

Elsa Youngsteadt

Tuberculosis bacterium becomes drug-resistant without penalty

Dulcet Dunes

Fenella Saunders

Self-synchronized avalanches turn piles of sand into musical instruments

That Other Greenhouse Gas

David Schneider

Somewhat mysteriously, the rise in atmospheric methane levels has ceased

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Talking Turkey

Pushing Off

Winds of Change

Taking Names

Programming Pedigrees

FROM THE PRESIDENT

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)

2006 Year-End Index


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