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Alternatives to Animals in Toxicity Testing

The use of animals in evaluating chemical safety is costly, time-consuming and increasingly criticized by animal-welfare groups. Alternative methods can reduce the number of animals needed

By Alan M. Goldberg and John M. Frazier

The Great Supernova of 1987

On February 23 of that year astronomers gained their first closeup view of a star's cataclysmic death since 1604. Worldwide observations have tested existing theory and added new puzzles

By Stan Woosley and Tom Weaver

Viral Alteration of Cell Function

Certain viruses interfere subtly with a cell's ability to produce specific hormones and neurotransmitters. Persistent infections by such viruses may underlie a multitude of glandular and organic disorders

By Michael B. A. Oldstone

Science in Pictures: The Mating of Tree Crickets

Their singing is a prelude to a fascinating array of reproductive strategies

By David H. Funk

The Metamorphosis of Information Management

Information refineries convert facts into knowledge. They rely increasingly on the power and elegance of parallel programming

By David Gelernter

The Middle-Ear Muscles

Tiny muscles behind the eardrum contract involuntarily when a person vocalizes or is exposed to a loud noise. This neuromuscular control system prevents sensory overload and enhances sound discrimination

By Erik Borg and S. Allen Counter

Maya Writing

The Maya had the most sophisticated script in pre-Columbian America. In the past decade scholars have finally been able to read it, filling in significant gaps in our knowledge of Maya society

By David Stuart and Stephen D. Houston

The Age-of-the-Earth Debate

The controversy, which embroiled Archbishop Ussher, James Hutton, Lord Kelvin, Ernest Rutherford, Bertram Boltwood and Arthur Holmes, has "aged" the earth 4.5 billion years during the past three centuries

By Lawrence Badash

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: August 1989

  • Big Brother, Ph.D.

  • Voyager 2 Nears its Final Solar-System Rendezvous before Heading for Interstellar Space

  • Surfing Photons

  • Morning after

  • Misprints

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Coming Down in Sheets

  • Bloodless Coup

  • Successful Sex

  • Superantigens

  • Bring me Sunshine

  • Giant Flux Creep

  • Fifth AIDS Conference

  • Don't Try Tiffany's

  • A Technological Fix

  • Futuristic Markets

  • Books, August 1989

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, August 1989

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, August 1989

  • Departments

    The Analytical Economist: Tracking the Unemployed

  • Computer Recreations, August 1989

  • Essay: Fetal Research: the Underlying Issue

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August 1989

Think Outside the Gift Box