"FASCINATING" APTLY describes the October 2005 issue. Consider Dennis Drayna's "Founder Mutations," which covered genetic changes resulting in conditions such as sickle cell and lactose intolerance that can be used to trace human migrations over thousands of years and also lend support to the Out of Africa theory. And "The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips," in which John Horgan conjured up an odd nostalgia for mid-20th-century brain-chip technology as he looked back on the achievements of brain-stimulation pioneer Jose Delgado and his then controversial vision of a "psychocivilized society." Contemporarily contentious was "Fill This Prescription" [SA Perspectives], about the debate over pharmacists' right to refuse to dispense birth-control prescriptions. Paul S. Braterman of Denton, Tex., wrote, "Imagine what would happen to a checkout staffer who refused to sell cigarettes based on conscience. Why should pharmacists be any different?" But Steve Murphy asked via e-mail, "If a state allows assisted suicide, am I, as a doctor, not allowed to refuse if I believe it to be murder?"
HUMANITY'S GENETIC TRAIL
In "Founder Mutations," Dennis Drayna made an incorrect assumption when he concluded that there was no "successful interbreeding between [Homo] sapiens and other human groups" during the out-migration from Africa.