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Features

Civilian Casualties from Counterforce Attacks

New estimates of the number of civilian deaths resulting from nuclear attacks by one superpower on the strategic forces of the other further undermine the rationale for such attacks

By Barbara G. Levi, Frank N. von Hippel, Theodore A. Postol and William H. Daugherty

Finding the Anti-Oncogene

Inheritance of certain growth-suppressing genes in a mutated form confers susceptibility to cancer. The first such gene to be isolated gives rise to a predisposition to retinoblastoma, an eye tumor

By Robert A. Weinberg

Detecting Individual Atoms and Molecules with Lasers

Every atom or molecule emits and absorbs light of characteristic wavelengths. By tuning a laser to match specific wavelengths, atoms and molecules can be detected with unprecedented sensitivity

By Vladilen S. Letokhov

The Insulin Factory

The pancreatic beta cell is a factory for the production of insulin. New investigative techniques give an unprecedented view of the hormone's manufacture and pathway to the blood

By Alain Perrelet, Jean-Dominique Vassalli and Lelio Orci

A Close Look at Halley's Comet

The armada of spacecraft that flew by the comet two years ago provided spectacular images and data that continue to yield quantitative information about the nature of the faithful visitor

By Hans Balsiger, Hugo Fechtig and Johannes Geiss

The Fossils of Montceau-Les-Mines

Some 300 million years ago central France lay at the Equator. The paleoecology of this bygone world has been reconstructed from a superb fossil cache

By Cecile M. Poplin and Daniel Heyler

Plasma-Sprayed Coatings

The hot, high-speed flame of a plasma gun can melt a powder of almost any ceramic or metal and spray it to form a coating for protection against corrosion, wear or high temperature

By Herbert Herman

The Discovery of the Visual Cortex

Soldiers who suffered head wounds in the Russo-Japanese War were among those who contributed to the identification of the brain's visual center and the first description of its organization

By Mitchell Glickstein

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: September 1988

  • "Star Wars of the Seas"

  • Winds of Change

  • Now you See it ...

  • The Solar Inconstant

  • Microwave Mystery

  • Woody Witnesses

  • The Hard Shell

  • Thrilled to the Marrow

  • Safer Skies?

  • Phase Transition

  • Pitching Electrons

  • All Fall Down

  • Clouded Crystal Ball

  • Patent Medicine

  • Change Artist

  • Making Manufacturers

  • Silicon Minstrels

  • Books, September 1988

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, September 1988

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, September 1988

  • Departments

    Computer Recreations, September 1988

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September 1988

Think Outside the Gift Box