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On the Cover

September-October 2009 Volume 97, Number 5

An illustration of the Sun's surface shows solar-flare activity, violent explosions that release huge amounts of energy and particles. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Mitochondrial Death Channels

Keith A. Webster

In heart attacks, cells die if they aren’t perfused with fresh oxygen—and kill themselves if they are. Understanding cell suicide may greatly improve outcomes


Reconnecting Magnetic Fields

James L. Burch, James F. Drake

The huge amounts of energy released from the relinking of magnetic fields in outer space are both mysterious and potentially destructive


Taking Measure of Biofuel Limits *

Thomas R. Sinclair

When pinning hopes on biofuels, an energy-hungry world must adapt to plant production capacities and resource limits


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Family Album

Brian Hayes

A review of Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World, a book of portraits by Mariana Cook

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

How Do Scientists Really Use Computers?

A Web-based survey offers clues

Greg Wilson

COMPUTING SCIENCE

The Higher Arithmetic

How to count to a zillion without falling off the end of the number line

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Infrastructure*

The United States' underpinnings get a report card

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

Keyboards, Codes and the Search for Optimality

In biology, as in technology, we should not confuse persistence with perfection

Robert L. Dorit

SIGHTINGS

See How the Earth Moves

See How the Earth Moves

Catherine Clabby

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Savory Individuals

A field study reveals new evidence for airborne communication in sagebrush plants

Anna Lena Phillips

Building a Better Salt Trap

With cell-specific bioengineering, scientists may have found a way to make plants more salt tolerant

Catherine Clabby

Molecular Movie Stars

“It’s all about combining accuracy and aesthetics in the interest of transforming people’s understanding…”

Morgan Ryan

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Did Mercury Harm Darwin?

You Can Log and Protect Water

Unknowns and Indeterminates

Consider Earth's Rotation

Errors of Omission?

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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