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Reactor Fuel Elements

As the evolution of nuclear reactors proceeds, their fissionable material and its protective coating assume remarkably intricate forms. These are the result of subtle technological compromises...

By James F. Schumar

The Circulatory System of Plants

Substances required in the metabolism of plant cells not only travel up from the roots but also move about in other ways. This circulation has recently been clarified by experiments using radioactive tracers...

By Orlin Biddulph and Susann

The Perception of the Upright

How do we know which way is up? An investigation of this question has become a study of personality, because the way in which we perceive is related to what we are like

By Herman A. Witkin

Alfred Russel Wallace

This great 19th-century naturalist and Charles Darwin simultaneously announced the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. He later went beyond Darwin in applying the theory to human evolution...

By Loren C. Eiseley


It is now apparent that the three viruses which cause polio belong to a family of more than 50 viruses which ordinarily dwell in the human alimentary tract without causing disease

By Joseph L. Melnick

Metamorphosis, Polymorphism, Differentiation

The wondrous transformation of insects is explained by two familiar growth processes. One accounts for differences among individuals in a species; the other, for differences among tissues in an organism...

By V. B. Wigglesworth

How Water Freezes

The formation of ice crystals requires not only low temperature but nuclei of appropriate size and shape. Such nuclei explain the strange diversity of snowflakes, "ice worms" and frost heaves...

By Bruce Chalmers

Pidgin Languages

These humble by-products of colonialism are still useful in contacts between peoples. Far from haphazard grammatically, they at times evolve into national languages called creoles

By Robert A. Hall Jr.


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: February 1959

  • Science and the Citizen: February 1959

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, February 1959

  • Recommended


  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Bibliography

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