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Product Technology and the Consumer

A buyer who wants to compare products in terms of safety and energy consumption is now largely in the dark. Work at the National Bureau of Standards will put more data on some products at the point of sale...

By G. Franklin Montgomery

The Nucleotide Sequence of a Viral DNA

Genetic information is encoded by the order in which nucleotides are arrayed to form a strand of DNA. Now that order has been established in full for the 5,375-nucleotide DNA of the bacterial virus ΦX174...

By John C. Fiddes

The Motion of the Ground in Earthquakes

The slippage along a fault that produces an earthquake radiates seismic waves. Exactly how these waves shake the ground bears on the design of buildings and other structures in earthquake zones...

By David M. Boore

The Epidemiology of Influenza

The phenomenon of genetic recombination between human and animal strains of the influenza virus may be responsible for the appearance of new subtypes such as the virus that caused the great pandemic of 1918-19...

By Robert G. Webster and Martin M. Kaplan

The Retinex Theory of Color Vision

A retina-and-cortex system (retinex) may treat a color as a code for a three-part report from the retina, independent of the flux of radiant energy but correlated with the reflectance of objects...

By Edwin H. Land


They are defects in warped or twisted materials. Unlike a related defect, the dislocation, they do not appear in ordinary crystals, but they abound in thin periodic structures such as virus shells...

By William F. Harris

Weaver Ants

These social insects use their own larvae as shuttles to weave leaves into large nests in the rain forests of Africa and Asia. Their behavior is coordinated by complex chemical stimuli

By Berthold K. Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

A Celtic Farmstead in Southern Britain

From the sixth century B. C. until the decades following the Roman conquest of Britain three successive settlements of Celtic farmers and herdsmen occupied a ditch-surrounded enclosure in Dorset...

By Geoffrey Wainwright


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, December 1977

  • Science and the Citizen, December 1977

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, December 1977

  • Recommended

    Books, December 1977

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, December 1977

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, December 1977

  • Departments

    The Authors, December 1977

  • Annual Index 1977

  • Bibliography, December 1977

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