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Chromosome Mapping with DNA Markers

Variable sequences in the DNA of human chromosomes act as genetic landmarks. Individual markers serve for tracing defective genes; collectively the markers provide the elements of a chromosome map...

By Ray White and Jean-Marc Lalouel

A Flaw in a Universal Mirror

Without a slight asymmetry in a "mirror" called CP invariance the universe as we know it would not exist; instead it would be devoid of matter. What force in nature causes the flaw?

By Robert K. Adair

GABAergic Neurons

Nerve cells not only excite their neighbors but also inhibit them. Such inhibitory activity—often mediated by an amino acid known as GABA—helps to shape the neural networks that underlie all behavior...

By David I. Gottlieb

How Climate Evolved on the Terrestrial Planets

Planets with temperate, earthlike climates were once thought to be rare in our galaxy. Mathematical models now suggest that if planets do exist outside the solar system, many of them might be habitable...

By James F. Kasting, Owen B. Toon and James B. Pollack

The Adaptable Opossum

The Virginia opossum can adapt quickly to a changing world. Part of its success may be due to a highly efficient reproductive strategy that includes the ability to adjust the sex ratios of its progeny...

By Steven N. Austad

Plastics that Conduct Electricity

Cheap, durable, lightweight and versatile-plastics have a host of commendable properties, but conductivity is usually not counted among them. The next generation of plastics will flout tradition...

By Alan G. MacDiarmid and Richard B. Kaner

Ramanujan and Pi

Some 75 years ago an Indian mathematical genius developed ways of calculating pi with extraordinary efficiency. His approach is now incorporated in computer algorithms yielding millions of digits of pi...

By Jonathan M. Borwein and Peter B. Borwein

The Bubonic Plague

A bacterial disease carried by fleas that feed on rats, it has afflicted human beings for more than 1,000 years. The factors responsible for its alternate rise and fall remain a mystery

By Colin McEvedy


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: February 1988

  • Paleolithic Compassion

  • Science at the Summit

  • As California Goes ...

  • Cosmic Mirage

  • A Light Matter

  • In from the Cold

  • Off and Running

  • Darwin in Miniature

  • Fractal Shorthand

  • Wave Watch

  • Ritual on Wheels

  • Exonerating Sodium

  • New Genes for Old

  • Supertests

  • Flying Blind

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, February 1988

  • Recommended

    Books, February 1988

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, February 1988

  • Departments

    The Authors, February 1988

  • Computer Recreations, February 1988

  • Bibliography, February 1988

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