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Controlling Indoor Air Pollution

Airborne combustion products, toxic chemicals and radioactivity are more abundant indoors than outdoors. Should indoor air be regulated? If so, how? Putting risks in perspective helps to answer both questions...

By Anthony V. Nero

Squeezed Light

Quantum noise, or fluctuation, in light waves limits the precision of measurements. A solution is to make part of a wave quieter by making another part noisier

By Bernard Yurke and Richart E. Slusher

Tumor Necrosis Factor

First identified because of its anticancer activity, the factor is now recognized to be one of a family of proteins that orchestrate the body's remarkably complex response to injury and infection...

By Lloyd J. Old

Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo

Is the earth headed for a reversal of its magnetic field? No one can answer this question yet, but rocks magnetized by ancient fields offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core...

By Kenneth A. Hoffman

The Platypus

This ancient mammal is surprisingly specialized. It has mechano and electroreceptors on its beak for detecting prey and is better than many placental mammals at regulating its body temperature...

By Mervyn Griffiths


As the name implies, these unusual solids are remarkably light and porous, made more of air than of gel. Their structure endows them with intriguing properties that science has only begun to exploit...

By Jochen Fricke

The Indian Neck Ossuary

A 1,000-year-old group burial on Cape Cod is the first clue on a trail of evidence implying that the southern New England coast had a settled population centuries before the Pilgrims

By James W. Bradley and Francis P. McManamon

The Mystery of the Cosmological Constant

According to theory, the constant, which measures the energy of the vacuum, should be much greater than it is. An understanding of the disagreement could revolutionize fundamental physics...

By Larry Abbott


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: May 1988

  • The Violent Yanomamö

  • Star Games

  • Shear Magic

  • Embarrassment of Riches

  • Dark Solitons

  • Ultraviolet Verdict

  • Built for Speed

  • Have you Heard DAT?

  • ISDN: Betting Billions

  • Patented Remedy

  • Malaria Vaccines

  • Fetal Fossils

  • Cause and Affect

  • Heartening News

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, May 1988

  • Recommended

    Books, May 1988

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, May 1988

  • Departments

    The Authors, May 1988

  • Computer Recreations, May 1988

  • Bibliography, May 1988

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