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Features

Space-Based Ballistic-Missile Defense

President Reagan's "Star Wars" program seems unilkely ever to protect the entire nation against a nuclear attack. It would nonetheless trigger a major expansion of the arms race

By Hans A. Bethe, Richard L. Garwin, Kurt Gottfried and Henry W. Kendall

Prions

These agents of infectious disease present a biological conundrum: Prions contain protein and reproduce in the living cell, yet no DNA or RNA has been found in them. What is the nature of their genome?

By Stanley B. Prusiner

Seismic Tomography

By analyzing many earthquake waves with this technique, it is now possible to map the earth's mantle in three dimensions. The maps throw light on the convective row that propels the crustal plates

By Don L. Anderson and Adam M. Dziewonski

Cartilage

It holds spaces for tissues in the embryo and then it cushions the body. Its fundamental properties of strength and resilience are now explained in terms of the tissue's molecular structure

By Arnold I. Caplan

Epsilon Aurigae

Intrared and ultraviolet observations made during the latest eclipse of this binary star system suggest the eclipsing object is a hot, young star surrounded by a large cloud of dust and gas that gave it birth

By Margherita Hack

A Late Ice-Age Settlement in Southern Chile

A settled community flourished in the forests of southern Chile some 13,000 years ago. The well-preserved site shows that New World Pleistocene culture was much more advanced than has been thought

By Tom D. Dillehay

The Continuous Processing of Metals in the U.S.S.R.

A research institute has developed ways to uninterruptedly convert iron and other ores into finished products so that waste is reduced, quality is improved and output is raised

By A. I. Tselikov

The Crystal Palace

Designed by a duke's gardener and built in 17 weeks, its modular construction, prefabricated elements and glass walls anticipated modern aesthetic and method

By Folke T. Kihlstedt

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: October 1984

  • Science and the Citizen, October 1984

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, October 1984

  • Recommended

    Books, October 1984

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, October 1984

  • Departments

    The Authors, October 1984

  • Computer Recreations, October 1984

  • Bibliography, October 1984

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October 1984

Think Outside the Gift Box