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The Scientific American 50

Our first annual celebration of visionaries from the worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for everyone

The Enigma of Huntington's Disease

Nearly 10 years after scientists isolated the gene responsible for Huntington's, they are still searching for how it wreaks its devastation

By Elena Cattaneo, Dorotea Rigamonti and Chiara Zuccato

Order in Pollock's Chaos

Computer analysis is helping to explain the appeal of Jackson Pollock's paintings. The artist's famous drips and swirls create fractal patterns, similar to those formed in nature by trees, clouds and coastlines

By Richard P. Taylor

On Thin Ice?

How soon humanity will have to move inland to escape rising seas depends in great part on how quickly West Antarctica's massive ice sheet shrinks. Scientists are finally beginning to agree on what controls the size of the sheet and its rate of disintegration

By Robert A. Bindschadler and Charles R. Bentley

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