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Features

The Choice of Technology

The ripple of a new technology throughout the economy leads to effects that are not predictable by examining each industry in isolation. Every decision to introduce technology could be based on data available to all

By Wassily Leontief

The Immunologic Function of Skin

The body's largest organ is more than a passive protective covering: it is also an active element of the immune system. Specialized cells in the skin have interacting roles in the response to foreign invaders

By Richard L. Edelson and Joseph M. Fink

The Search for Proton Decay

Physicists have been keeping watch over an 8,000-ton underground detector, waiting for a sign that all matter has a finite lifetime. So far no proton has been observed to decay, but the vigil will continue

By Daniel Sinclair, Frederick Reines and J. M. LoSecco

Globular Clusters

They are dense crowds of ancient stars bound together by their own gravitation. For decades the study of clusters has yielded insights into the evolution of stars, of galaxies and of the universe as a whole

By Ivan R. King

The First Organisms

The very first systems able to evolve through natural selection are likely to have been made differently from today's organisms, and of different materials. They may have been crystals of clay

By A. G. Cairns-Smith

The Social Ecology of Chimpanzees

Wild chimpanzees have rarely been studied without the lure of food, which can distort their social relations. A study of unprovisioned apes shows their social structure is shared only with human beings

By Michael P. Ghiglieri

Siphons in Roman Aqueducts

To carry an aqueduct across a valley the Romans built either a bridge or a siphon. Their siphons relied on the principle that water in a pipe will always return to its original height

By A. Trevor Hodge

The Topology of Mirages

A mathematical operation called transfer mapping relates properties of mirage images to topological ideas. Certain features of mirages are thus understood without detailed knowledge of atmospheric conditions

By Walter Tape

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago, June 1985

  • Books, June 1985

  • Science and the Citizen, June 1985

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, June 1985

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, June 1985

  • Departments

    The Authors, June 1985

  • Computer Recreations, June 1985

  • Bibliography, June 1985

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June 1985

Think Outside the Gift Box