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Features

The Antarctic Ozone Hole

Each spring for the past decade the ozone layer in the atmosphere has thinned at the South Pole. Is the loss an anomaly, or is it a sign that the ultraviolet-absorbing layer is in jeopardy globally?

By Richard S. Stolarski

How Killer Cells Kill

These immune-system cells recognize a target, close in on it and bind tightly to it. Then they secrete onto its surface a lethal pore-forming protein that causes the target cell to leak and die

By John Ding-E Young and Zanvil A. Cohn

The Reality of the Quantum World

Einstein held that quantum-mechanical descriptions of physical systems are incomplete. Laboratory tests show he was probably wrong; the bizarre nature of the quantum world must be accepted

By Abner Shimony

The Very-Long-Baseline Array

An array of 10 radio antennas across the U.S. will provide the most detailed images yet of the universe. With it astronomers will explore such cosmic puzzles as the mysterious processes powering the quasars

By A. Richard Thompson and Kenneth I. Kellermann

Intertidal Fishes

Fishes that live between the tides are alternately buffeted by waves and isolated in pools and on mud flats. Anatomy, physiology and behavior suit them to their rigorous habitat

By Michael H. Horn and Robin N. Gibson

The Not-So-Rare Earths

The rare-earth elements, on which electronic, metallurgical and glass industries depend, are not all that scarce in minerals. The elemental abundances reveal the geochemistry that leads to a mineral's formation

By Gunter K. Muecke and Peter Mller

Art, Illusion and the Visual System

Form, color and spatial information are processed along three independent pathways in the brain. That explains why certain images can create surprising visual effects

By Margaret S. Livingstone

The Transformer

Just a century ago this inconspicuous device made the distribution of electric power a practical endeavor. Many elements of modern life depend on it, yet it remains one of technology's unsung heroes

By John W. Coltman

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: January 1988

  • The Crash

  • Twice Burned

  • "Neural Darwinism"

  • Phasing In

  • Cosmic Complex

  • Optimalists Under Fire

  • The Nautilus and the Bomb

  • Alzheimer's Proteins

  • The 57th Variety

  • Heavy Metal

  • Flat Out

  • Computer Recreations, January 1988

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, January 1988

  • Errata, January 1988

  • Recommended

    Books, January 1988

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, January 1988

  • Departments

    The Authors, January 1988

  • Annual Index 1988

  • Bibliography, January 1988

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January 1988

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