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The Detonation of Explosives

A detonation sweeps through an explosive as a supersonic shock wave driven by the energy-releasing chemical reactions the wave induces. A comprehensive theory that describes the process is still lacking

By William C. Davis

The Cosmic Synthesis of Lithium, Beryllium and Boron

The three light elements, which cannot withstand the violent stellar environment where most elements were born, are created as cosmic rays collide with low-density clouds of gas and dust permeating the galaxy

By Grant J. Mathews and Victor E. Viola

Synapses that Compute Motion

How do nerve cells process the information they receive from the environment? Studies of cells in the eye that interpret movement may define a mechanism involved in many other neural operations

By Christof Koch and Tomaso Poggio

Symbiosis in the Deep Sea

The remarkable density of life at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is explained by the mutually beneficial symbiosis of invertebrate animals and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that colonize their cells

By James J. Childress, Horst Felbeck and George N. Somero

Reappearing Phases

Matter becomes more orderly as it is cooled. Some systems, however, seem to become disordered again as the temperature con tin ues to fall. The reason lies in the interplay between energy and entropy

By Chester A. Vause and James S. Walker

Glucose and Aging

Once considered biologically inert, the body's most abundant sugar can permanently alter some proteins. In doing so it may contribute to age-associated declines in the functioning of cells and tissues

By Anthony Cerami, Helen Vlassara and Michael Brownlee

Climate Modeling

Will the "greenhouse effect" bring on another Dust Bowl? Would nuclear war mean nuclear winter? Computer models of the earth's climate yield clues to its future as well as to its checkered past

By Stephen H. Schneider

A Surge in Inequality

International competition and the feminization of poverty are distorting the distribution of income. The remedy may be an aggressive investment in education and technology

By Lester C. Thurow

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