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The Recombinant-DNA Debate

The four-year-old controversy over the potential biohazards presented by the gene-splicing method and the effectiveness of plans for their containment is viewed in a broader context

By Clifford Grobstein

The Atmosphere of Mars

It is less than a hundredth as dense as that of the earth, but it is still the principal agency altering the surface of the planet. Its winds and clouds resemble their terrestrial counterparts...

By Conway B. Leovy

Viral Hepatitis

Much has been learned in recent years about the epidemiology and immunology of this debilitating disease. Soon a vaccine should be available that will offer protection against one form, hepatitis B...

By F. Blaine Hollinger, Gordon R. Dreesman and Joseph L. Melnick

Biological Regeneration and Pattern Formation

Certain animals can grow new legs and even extra ones. Studies of how they do so are revealing much about the basic principles of the organization and growth of complex structures in animals...

By Peter J. Bryant, Susan V. Bryant and Vernon French

The Solidification of Cement

What happens after water is added to cement to transform it from a soft slurry to a rock-hard mass? Chemical reactions give rise to a system of interlocking particles that knit the material together...

By A. Hellawell and D. D. Double

Anions of the Alkali Metals

Alkali metals, such as sodium, are familiar as cations: positively charged ions formed when atoms lose an electron. Now it has been learned they can also gain an electron to form very reactive anions...

By James L. Dye

The Compound Eye of Insects

It has hundreds of facets, each representing an ommatidium, or "little eye." The size, pattern and aiming of the ommatidia are determined by the requirements of the insect's way of life

By G. Adrian Horridge


A child prodigy who became the leading mathematician of his age, he was equally at home with the abstractions of number theory, the long calculations of astronomy and the practicalities of applied physics...

By Ian Stewart


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, July 1977

  • Science and the Citizen, July 1977

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, July 1977

  • Recommended

    Books, July 1977

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, July 1977

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, July 1977

  • Departments

    The Authors, July 1977

  • Bibliography, July 1977

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