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Features

Marriage and Fertility in the Developed Countries

The decline of the birthrate in the industrialized countries is both a cause and a consequence of changes in marriage and the famliy. How will nations respond to a long-term decrease in population?

By Charles F. Westoff

Nuclear Molecules

At certain energies protons and neutrons in nuclei form clusters moving in simple orbits with respect to each other. These nuclear molecules constitute a new kind of nuclear structure and dynamics

By D. Allan Bromley

Fuel-Cell Power Plants

These devices that generate electricity directly from fuel without emitting pollutants are currently being scaled up to determine if they can be economic for electric utilities

By Arnold P. Fickett

Hemoglobin Structure and Respiratory Transport

Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and helps to transport carbon dioxide back to the lungs. It fulfills this dual role by clicking back and forth between two alternative structures

By M. F. Perutz

Animal Eyes with Mirror Optics

Some man-made mirrors now have reflecting surfaces made up of multiple thin layers instead of metal. It turns out that several kinds of animals have eyes based on the same system

By Michael F. Land

The Razed Temple of Akhenaten

The Pharaoh who wanted Egypt to worship one god erected imposing monuments at Karnak. His successors took great pains to level them. What they were like is now being pieced together from the fragments

By Donald B. Redford

Fast Running Tracks

On a springy new indoor track at Harvard University runners can run faster than they can on standard tracks. The design of the track was arrived at through a close analysis of the mechanics of human running

By Peter R. Greene and Thomas A. McMahon

Gaseous Nebulas

These spectacular clouds within our galaxy are sites of star formation. Radio spectroscopy indicates, among other things, that the clouds belong to much larger systems of gas and dust

By Eric J. Chaisson

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, December 1978

  • Science and the Citizen, December 1978

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, December 1978

  • Recommended

    Books, December 1978

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games, December 1978

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, December 1978

  • Departments

    The Authors, December 1978

  • Annual Index 1978

  • Bibliography, December 1978

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