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On the Cover

September-October 2007 Volume 95, Number 5

The sequencing of the dog genome, completed in 2005, revealed large overlaps between the dog and human genomes. Some of the patterns in dog-human homology—similarity arising from shared ancestry—are depicted here in a circular diagram created by Martin Krzywinski of Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Genetics and the Shape of Dogs

Elaine A. Ostrander

Studying the new sequence of the canine genome shows how tiny genetic changes can create enormous variation within a single species


Are Planetary Systems Filled to Capacity?

Steven Soter

Computer simulations suggest that the answer may be yes. But observations of extrasolar systems will provide the ultimate test


Secrets in the Shell *

Roberto Ballarini, Arthur H. Heuer

The body armor of the queen conch is much tougher than comparable synthetic materials. What secrets does it hold?


Revolutionary Minds

Susan Solomon, John S. Daniel, Daniel L. Druckenbrod

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison participated in a small "revolution" against British weather-monitoring practices


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

A Witness for Nature

David Schoonmaker

A review of The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement, by Mark Hamilton Lytle, and Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson, edited by Peter Matthiessen. Reflections on two books that bring to life Carson's writings, convictions and dedication

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Sorting Out the Genome

Brian Hayes

To put your genes in order, flip them like pancakes

MACROSCOPE

Modern Cosmology: Science or Folktale?

Michael J. Disney

Current cosmological theory rests on a disturbingly small number of independent observations

SIGHTINGS

Circular Logic

Felice Frankel

Volvelles, the precursors to computational visualization tools, reveal information in aesthetically pleasing and effective ways

MARGINALIA

The Undiscovered Country

Robert Dorit

The statistics of death show leaps in modern life expectancy but fail to answer the question: Why do we die?

ENGINEERING

The Cantilever *

Henry Petroski

Galileo's canted lever set the stage for the Grand Canyon Skywalk

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Junk Food

Anna Lena Phillips

It really can kill you—if you're a condor chick

Who's Resuscitating the Electric Car?

David Schneider

Laptop batteries may soon be powering our vehicles

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Please Repeat the Question

The Life of Miss Potter

Sweet Chemicals

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)

SUPPLEMENT

Embracing Globalization

Meeting the challenges to U.S. scientists and engineers


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