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The Useful Algae

Ranging from single cells to treelike colonies, these primitive plants support a whole hierarchy of marine life and also contribute directly to the needs of man

By Francis Joseph Weiss

Artificial Muscle

What is the mechanism of muscular contraction? A promising new approach to the problem involves reducing the tissue to its constituent molecules and, putting them together again

By Teru Hayashi and George A. W. Boehm

The Curious Behavior of the Stickleback

This insignificant fish has a ceremonious sex life. To attract females the male builds a house, changes color and does a kind of dance, a ritual singularly useful to the study of instinct...

By N. Tinbergen

The Nature of Solids

The theory that explains their various properties is a comparatively recent development of physics. From it practical benefits already begin to flow

By Gregory H. Wannier

The Social Influence of the Potato

The humble tuber has shaped many cultures, notably the Peruvian and the Irish. For some peoples the richness of its food content and the ease of its cultivation have ironically been a disaster...

By Redcliffe N. Salaman

The Breeder Reactor

The realization of cheap atomic power hinges on our ability to build reactors that make more fissionable material than they burn. Some details of our first attempts to build one

Traumatic Shock

The dangerous complication of serious injuries is countered by transfusion, but not always successfully. An experimental study of such failures suggests a hitherto unsuspected cause

By Jacob Fine


A century ago the valleys of the Southwest were green; now they are brown and cut by gullies. Man is blamed for the change, but he has only added a factor to the geologic cycle that causes it...

By Sheldon Judson


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: December 1952

  • Science and the Citizen: December 1952

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editor, December 1952

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments


  • Children's Books

  • An Index of Articles and Authors

  • Bibliography

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