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On the Cover

May-June 2009 Volume 97, Number 3

In her five-painting series Emergence, Julie Newdoll relates the five worlds of the Diné (Navajo) creation story to current scientific thinking on the origin of life. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

The Origin of Life

James Trefil, Harold J. Morowitz, Eric Smith

A case is made for the descent of electrons


Fermi, Pasta, Ulam and the Birth of Experimental Mathematics *

Mason A. Porter, Norman J. Zabusky, Bambi Hu, David K. Campbell

A numerical experiment that Enrico Fermi, John Pasta, and Stanislaw Ulam reported 54 years ago continues to inspire discovery


The Deprived Human Brain

Charles A. Nelson III, Elizabeth A. Furtado, Nathan A. Fox, Charles H. Zeanah Jr.

Developmental deficits among institutionalized Romanian children—and later improvements—strengthen the case for individualized care


Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil *

Charles A. S. Hall, John W. Day

In the 1970s a rising world population and the finite resources available to support it were hot topics. Interest faded—but it’s time to take another look


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

The Politics of Proliferation

John F. Ahearne

A review of The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation, by Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman. Reed and Stillman shed new light on some of the history of nuclear proliferation and warn that not enough is being done to restrict access to materials for making nuclear weapons

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

The Battle of Bull Run

When science meets politics and policy, the outcome may depend more on values than on objectivity

Douglas W. Larson

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Everything Is Under Control

Can control theory save the economy from going down the tubes?

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge*

Technology meets culture in the world's longest span

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

Darwin's Enigmatic Health

After his world travels, Darwin became ill -- but the cause remains unknown

Keith Thomson

SIGHTINGS

Seeing Is Believing

Microscopy and whole cells

Catherine Clabby

SCIENCE OBSERVER

A Tangled Tale of Plant Evolution

Lignin, the tough stuff so vital to the migration of plants from water to land, gets around.

Catherine Clabby

Tracking the Invaders

A new study uses air travel and climate data to predict the riskiest times for invasions by nonnative species

Anna Lena Phillips

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Another Probability Angle

We Could Crack It!

Errors Bridge Centuries

Wrong Keyes?

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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