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On the Cover

November-December 2008 Volume 96, Number 6

Large scale genomic studies are sharpening but complicating molecular biologists' views of genes and their products. In "Genomics Confounds Gene Classification," Michael Seringhaus and Mark Gerstein explore the implications of such changes, especially the need for new classifying strategies to make the most of floods of new genomics data. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Genomics Confounds Gene Classification *

Michael Seringhaus, Mark Gerstein

Large-scale genomic studies challenge traditional definitions of genes and require new approaches to classifying life at the molecular level


Virtual Fossils from 425 Million-year-old Volcanic Ash

Derek E. Briggs, Derek J. Siveter, David J. Siveter, Mark D. Sutton

A set of exceptionally preserved but difficult-to-extract fossils reveals the diverse creatures from a Silurian sea-floor community


UV Lights Up Marine Fish *

Jill P. Zamzow, Peter A. Nelson, George S. Losey

Some fish have eyes that capture and perceive ultraviolet wavelengths, and many fish must cope with UV's effects


Rocket Science and Russian Spies *

Joseph Castellano

During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the race to develop solid-fueled rockets involved secrecy, explosions and espionage


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Schrödinger's Goose

Theodore M. Porter

A review of The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation, by Steven Shapin. Have the advantages of entrepreneurial science been oversold? Are contemporary funding regimes subtly eroding the integrity of science? Quite possibly so, Porter concludes

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

Why Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?

Musing on the power of convention

Howard Wainer

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Getting Your Quarks in a Row

A tidy lattice is the key to computing with quantum fields

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Tower Cranes*

Often considered distinct, engineering and science are frequently difficult to distinguish

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

The Rat's Tale

Adding to the world of known chemical structures is a wonderful mental experiment

Pat Shipman

SIGHTINGS

Structures Smaller Than Light

Diagramming the structure of proteins

Robert Kosara

SCIENCE OBSERVER

The Language Playing Field

To improve your communication abilities, try taking up hockey

Fenella Saunders

Reversal of Fortune

County-by-county comparisons of death rates finds that lifespans dropped in some U.S. counties

Catherine Clabby

Icebergs of the Southeast

During the most recent ice age, huge chunks of ice left gouges in the U.S. continental shelf off the Carolinas

David Schoonmaker

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Living Harmoniously
Abundant Water Worries

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)

2008 Year-End Index


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