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Toward a Rational Strategy for Oil Exploration

How much oil does the U.S. have left? Clues are yielded by computer simulation of the results of drilling for oil at random, but decisions on energy policy call for a thoroughgoing inventory of the resource

By H. William Menard

Viroids

They are the smallest known agents of infectious disease: short strands of RNA. They cause several plant diseases and possibly are implicated in enigmatic diseases of man and other animals

By T. O. Diener

The Total Artificial Heart

Mechanical substitutes for the natural heart are steadily getting better. In time they will be ready for human beings needing them, a development with social implications as well as medical ones

By Robert K. Jarvik

The Andromeda Galaxy

The large spiral galaxy nearest our own, it has been a laboratory for the study of the evolution of stars and galaxies. Even today it presents puzzles; for example, how are its spiral arms arrayed?

By Paul W. Hodge

The Wild Gene Resources of Wheat

Modern plant-breeding practices have reduced the genetic variability of the cultivated wheats. The best hope for future crop improvements lies in exploiting the abundant gene pool of the plant's wild relatives

By Moshe Feldman and Ernest R. Sears

The Mind-Body Problem

Could calculating machines have pains, Martians have expectations and disembodied spirits have thoughts? The modern functionalist approach to psychology raises the logical possibility that they could

By Jerry A. Fodor

Gels

They are mostly fluid, given form by a network of polymer strands. A balance of forces maintains this state of affairs; disturbing it infinitesimally can bring on a phase transition and collapse the gel

By Toyoichi Tanaka

Two Paths to the Telephone

As Alexander Graham Bell was developing the telephone Elisha Gray was doing the same. Bell got the patent, but the episode is nonetheless an instructive example of simultaneous invention

By David A. Hounshell

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: January 1981

  • Science and the Citizen, January 1981

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, January 1981

  • Recommended

    Books, January 1981

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, January 1981

  • Departments

    The Authors, January 1981

  • Metamagical Themas, January 1981

  • Bibliography, January 1981

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January 1981

See the World from a Different Perspective

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