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On the Cover

May-June 2014
Volume 102, Number 3

The exoplanet HD80606b has the most elliptical orbit of any known planet. Its proximity to its parent star is the strongest factor determining temperature on the planet, which can be as high as 1,500 kelvin. The sequence on the cover shows the results of a computer simulation of the glow of infrared light on the night side of HD80606b in almost daily intervals as it passed by the closest point to its parent star during its 111-day orbit...


FEATURE ARTICLES

On the Trail of the First Placental Mammals *

Maureen A. O'Leary

A matrix of phenomic, genomic, and fossil evidence supports the scientific account of how the animals exploded in diversity 65 million years ago.


The Hidden Past of Invisible Ink *

Kristie Macrakis

Often synonymous with international espionage, secret writing also had a long-forgotten heyday in stage magic and science demonstrations.


The Fine Art of Decay

Sara C. Robinson

A woodworker becomes a scientist in seeking out the perfect fungal pigments


War and Redemption in Gorongosa

Edward O. Wilson

The esteemed biologist examines a park recovering from devastating conflicts.


H.M.S. Beagle, 1820–1870

Keith Thomson

Figure 5. Although this side-elevation of the <em>Beagle</em> by...

The life and times of the ship that carried Darwin on his famous voyage.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

A Vast Sea of Plastic

Katie-Leigh Corder

A review of Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by Patricia Newman

See all book reviews for this issue


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

Take Action, Online and In Person

Fenella Saunders

TECHNOLOGUE

The Quest for Randomness

Determining whether numbers truly can have no pattern has implications for quantum mechanics, not to mention the stock market and data security.

Scott Aaronson

PERSPECTIVE

The Nature of Scientific Proof in the Age of Simulations

Is numerical mimicry a third way of establishing truth?

Kevin Heng

ENGINEERING

Rise and Fall of the Pocket Protector

Designed to keep shirts clean and tools handy, this ubiquitous invention declined into a social stigma but rebounded as a symbol of nerd pride.

Henry Petroski

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Delving Into Deep Learning

The latest neural networks learn to see and hear, and maybe even dream.

Brian Hayes

ARTS LAB

A Perspective on the Migraine Mind

Visual depictions of auras offer an inside peek into the sensory chaos that lies behind a migraine’s debilitating pain.

Stephen D. Silberstein

2014-05ArtsLabFp226.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SIGHTINGS

Taking a Digital Dive

A new global survey gets the best look yet at the world’s imperiled coral reefs.

Catherine Clabby

2014-05SightingsFp178.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SPOTLIGHT

The Race to Stop a Citrus Plague

An invasive pest threatens America's orange groves. Saving them may require early detection and genetic engineering.

Katie L. Burke

First Person: How Do Living Cells Perform Quality Control?

An interview with Matthew DeLisa about the protein assembly lines at work inside our cells.

Sandra J. Ackerman

Briefings

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Getting Personal

Global Changes

Powerful Questions

Nautilus Biology


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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