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On the Cover

March-April 2011 Volume 99, Number 2

In the blackness of a cave, the glowworms of New Zealand may bemuse prey by mimicking a starry nighttime sky. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Refuting a Myth About Human Origins

John J. Shea

Homo sapiens emerged once, not as modern-looking people first and as modern-behaving people later


Ancestors of Apollo *

Dennis Danielson

Ten bold astronomers, five centuries ago, performed feats of imagination that prepared for the advent of human space flight 50 years ago


The Evolution of Cave Life *

Aldemaro Romero

New concepts are challenging conventional ideas about life underground


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

How Our Minds Make Sound into Music

Peter Pesic

A review of The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It, by Philip Ball. Writing vividly, Ball provides a feast of information on a variety of topics, says Pesic, with particular attention to contemporary neurological and psychophysiological approaches to music

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

When PPLO Became Mycoplasma

The smallest cell has had a long career in the spotlight

Harold J. Morowitz

COMPUTING SCIENCE

The Memristor

The first new passive circuit element since the 1830s might transform computer hardware

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Arches and Domes*

These celebrations of divine and human spirits raise our consciousness along with the roof

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

One Shocked Chemist

Molecular surprises are sometimes right in front of us, if only we’d do the math

Roald Hoffmann

ETHICS

Honesty

Ultimately, ethics in scientific publishing, as in life, comes down to one word

John F. Ahearne

SIGHTINGS

Probing Deep-Sea Domains Off Indonesia

The ship Okeanos Explorer brings back images of creatures never seen before

Catherine Clabby

SLIDE SHOW

Creatures of the Deep

This issue's Sightings features sea life found in deep waters off Indonesia. View more of these images in this slide show.

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Bats Gorge During Exercise

Analysis of bat breath reveals an unusual ability to digest rich food while working out

Elsa Youngsteadt

Bringing Up Robots

Machines learn to walk faster, and better, if they figure out crawling first

Fenella Saunders

The Algorists

An exhibit of early digital art encourages viewers to explore the history of new media

Anna Lena Phillips

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Imperfect Peer Review

Bridging Cultures

All That We See

A Better Energy Strategy?

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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