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Predicting the Next Great Earthquake in California

On part of the San Andreas fault an earthquake of magnitude 8 in the next 30 years is assigned a probability of 50 percent. Precise predictions a wait better knowledge of how quakes are triggered...

By Robert L. Wesson and Robert E. Wallace

How the Trypanosome Changes Its Coat

The parasite, which deprives much of Africa of meat and milk, survives in the bloodstream by evading the immune system. Its trick is to switch on new genes encoding new surface antigens

By John E. Donelson and Mervyn J. Turner

Gamma-Ray Bursters

Intense flashes of high-energy radiation appear unpredictably in the sky. Limited observational data have frustrated attempts to determine their cause, but likely mechanisms have been proposed...

By Bradley E. Schaefer

Brownian Motion

Observing the random course of a particle suspended in a fluid led to the first accurate measurement of the mass of the atom. Brownian motion now serves as a mathematical model for random processes...

By Bernard H. Lavenda

Reproductive Success in Red Deer

A 12-year study of more than 1,000 of these gregarious animals in a nature reserve of the U.K. has revealed the determinants of the lifetime breeding success among red deer stags and hinds...

By T. H. Clutton-Brock

Phased-Array Radars

Such a radar can track or search for objects without moving its antenna. To steer the beam it relies on wave interactions among signals from a multitude of small antenna elements

By Eli Brookner

The Functional Replacement of the Ear

Implantable prostheses designed to deliver electrical stimuli directly to the auditory nerve hold considerable promise for people with a type of deafness in which the sensory hair cells of the inner ear are damaged...

By Gerald E. Loeb

Damascus Steels

They contained more carbon than most modern steels. Along with skillful forging, this property accounted for the renowned strength and toughness of Damascus swords and for their beautiful markings...

By Oleg D. Sherby and Jeffrey Wadsworth


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: February 1985

  • Science and the Citizen, February 1985

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, February 1985

  • Recommended

    Books, February 1985

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, February 1985

  • Departments

    The Authors, February 1985

  • Computer Recreations, February 1985

  • Bibliography, February 1985

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