Skip to main content


Computers in Music

Computers can make sounds that no usual instrument can duplicate. Both varieties of sound can be integrated in a piece of music if the composer works with technicians in articulating the underlying ideas...

By Pierre Boulez and Andrew Gerzso

The Self, the World and Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity—in which the immune system recognizes and attacks the self's own tissues-is not as simple as it seemed. Self-recognition appears to be at the heart of health as well as of certain diseases...

By Irun R. Cohen

The Membrane Paradigm for Black Holes

How can one picture the interaction of a hole in spacetime with the matter and fields of its environment? It is fruitful to conceive of the black hole as an electrically conducting, spheroidal membrane...

By Richard H. Price and Kip S. Thorne

Energy-Efficient Buildings

Energy conservation and economic development can go hand in hand. Efficiently designed homes and offices will slash energy bills, liberate investment capital and avoid the expense of building new power plants...

By David Hafemeister and Arthur H. Rosenfeld

Light Switches for Plant Genes

How do rays of sunlight plot the destiny of a sprouting seedling? Biologists have found segments of DNA that respond to light energy by turning on genes necessary for the development of living plants...

By Phyllis B. Moses and Nam-Hai Chua

The Effects of Spin in Gases

The nucleus of an atom can have a spin, somewhat like a tiny top. How can that spin, which is isolated from the outside world, dramatically change the properties of a gas, such as its ability to conduct heat?...

By Franck Laloë and Jack H. Freed

The Behavior of Baleen Whales

These marine mammals have diverse social and feeding behaviors that are reminiscent of the terrestrial grazers from which they evolved about 55 million years ago

By Bernd Würsig

Trembley's Polyps

Elegant experiments done on hydras by Abraham Trembley in the 174's marked the dawn of experimental zoology. Yet his name and the details of his studies are little known, even among biologists...

By Howard M. Lenhoff and Sylvia G. Lenhoff


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago

  • Intelligence Test

  • Cosmic Forgery

  • Pie in the Sky?

  • Deeply Moved

  • Paste and Cut

  • New Kinship for Old Cells

  • Creatures of the Quarry

  • The Oldest Glory

  • Welfare's Worth

  • Damage Control

  • Virtue in Viruses

  • Now There are Three

  • Star-Struck?

  • Self-Destruct

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, April 1988

  • Recommended

    Books, April 1988

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, April 1988

  • Departments

    The Authors, April 1988

  • Computer Recreations, April 1988

  • Bibliography, April 1988

Purchase To Read More

Already purchased this issue? Sign In to Access
Select Format
Scroll To Top