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Features

The Fuel Economy of Light Vehicles

As domestic oil production decreases, cars with better fuel economy become more attractive. By 1995 it should be possible without major innovations to have fuel economies of more than 60 miles per gallon

By Charles L. Gray and Frank von Hippel

Split Genes

Most genes in higher organisms are discontinuous. The DNA that codes for protein is interrupted by noncoding sequences, whose transcripts are excised to make the messenger RNA that is translated into protein

By Pierre Chambon

The Sources of Celestial X-Ray Bursts

They are probably caused by thermonuclear flashes on neutron stars In old binary systems. A single burst emits as much X-ray energy in a few seconds as the sun radiates at all wavelengths in two weeks

By Walter H. G. Lewin

The Crest of the East Pacific Rise

At a site on a mid-ocean ridge, where hot springs on the sea floor nourish a bizarre biological community, undersea exploration has revealed much about how new segments of the earth's crust emerge

By Bruce P. Luyendyk and Ken C. Macdonald

Countercurrent Systems in Animals

Exchanges between two fluids moving in opposite directions are the basis for a variety of stratagems that enable many species of animal to survive comfortably in an inhospitable environment

By Knut Schmidt-Nielsen

Highly Excited Atoms

They are floppy, fragile and huge. Some of them have been found to have a diameter of almost a hundredth of a millimeter which is 1,000,000 times the diameter of an atom in its lowest energy state

By Daniel Kleppner, Myron L. Zimmerman and Michael G. Littman

The Sunflower Crop

In the past decade the sunflower, grown mainly for the oil in its seeds, has become a major factor in U.S. agriculture. Worldwide it ranks second only to the soybean as a source of vegetable oil

By Benjamin H. Beard

Chinese Building Standards in the 12th Century

In the Sung period the emperors promulgated a code for all public buildings. It standardized features of the traditional architecture that were bnlliantly adapted to Chinese environmental conditions

By Else Glahn

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, June 1981

  • Science and the Citizen, June 1981

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, June 1981

  • Recommended

    Books, June 1981

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, June 1981

  • Departments

    The Authors, June 1981

  • Metamagical Themas, June 1981

  • Bibliography, June 1981

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May 1981

Think Outside the Gift Box