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On the Cover

July-August 2008 Volume 96, Number 4

The polar bear on a melting iceberg has become the universal cliché symbolizing global warming, but the penguin, the iconic animal from the opposite end of the Earth, might be just as suitable. On the Antarctic Peninsula—the long arm of land reaching toward the tip of South America—winter temperatures have risen 6 degrees Celsius since 1950, more than anywhere else in the world. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Binary Stars with Habitable Planets *

Nader Haghighipour

Although they have not yet been found, Earthlike worlds with two suns most likely exist


Ecological Responses to Climate Change on the Antarctic Peninsula

James McClintock, Hugh Ducklow, William Fraser

The peninsula is an icy world that's warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, threatening a rich but delicate biological community


The Psychoacoustics of Harmony Perception *

Norman D. Cook, Takefumi Hayashi

Centuries after three-part harmony entered Western music, research is starting to clarify why different chords sound tense or resolved, cheerful or melancholy


The First Discovery of DNA *

Ralf Dahm

Few remember the man who discovered the "molecule of life" three-quarters of a century before Watson and Crick revealed its structure


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Achieving Immortality

David Walker

A review of The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation, Nutrition and Aging in the Evolution of Lifespans, by Caleb. E Finch. Finch offers a comprehensive overview of the effects of free radicals in aging and age-related diseases; he also integrates the free-radical theory with what is known about other forms of damage, particularly inflammation

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

Examining the Vision

A group of scientists, engineers, astronauts and policy analysts ponders the president's "New Vision for Space Exploration"

Louis D. Friedman and G. Scott Hubbard

COMPUTING SCIENCE

The Britney Spears Problem

Tracking who's hot and who's not presents an algorithmic challenge

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

William Barclay Parsons*

The man behind the subway brought engineering to New York high society

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

All Things Small and Great

It's time for a new, conservation-minded view of the microbial communities that live on and in us

Robert Dorit

SIGHTINGS

Symmetric Bat Flight

An award-winning image models the flow of air around a bat's wings

Robert Kosara

SCIENCE OBSERVER

La Vie en Rose

You might think that farming salmon would relieve pressure on wild populations. But, in fact, it only makes things worse

David Schneider

Addicts Bet on the Present

Smokers don't put stock in "what might have been" when making choices

Fenella Saunders

Sites for Change

Thousands of Superfund sites are designated as active by the U.S. government. An online project will highlight 365 of the worst

Anna Lena Phillips

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Concrete Solutions
Getting Our Heads Together
Safety First
Mistakes Were Made

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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