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Features

The Quiet Path to Technological Preeminence

The U. S. government is relying on ambitious research projects to spur commercial competitiveness. Instead it should speed the commercialization of new technologies wherever they may be developed

By Robert B. Reich

The Mitotic Spindle

Just how this spindle-shaped biological machine parcels the DNA of a dividing cell into two equal clusters is only now becoming clear. The spindle turns out to be as dynamic as it is accurate

By J. Richard McIntosh and Kent L. McDonald

The Stanford Linear Collider

The world's first linear collider is up and running. Stanford's "Z° factory" allows physicists to measure the mass and lifetime of the Z° mediator of the electroweak force with unprecedented precision

By John R. Rees

The Cycling of Calcium as an Intracellular Messenger

The concentration of calcium in a cell has generally been portrayed as a switch turning cellular processes on and off. But the ion's role in prolonged responses belies the traditional model

By Howard Rasmussen

Carbon Monoxide and the Burning Earth

Measurements of atmospheric carbon monoxide from space have found large amounts of the gas in unexpected places. Tropical burning rivals transportation and industry as a source of carbon monoxide

By Henry G. Reichle, Reginald E. Newell and Wolfgang Seiler

Waterweed Invasions

Vast vegetative mats of the two most noxious aquatic weeds plague the world's waterways. Investigations of the water hyacinth and the kariba weed are leading to new programs for weed control

By Spencer C. H. Barrett

Scanned-Probe Microscopes

By examining a surface at very close range with a probe that may be just a single atom across, they can resolve features and properties on a scale that eludes other microscopes

By H. Kumar Wickramasinghe

The Origins of Indo-European Languages

Almost all European languages are members of a single family. The author contends that they spread not by conquest, as has been thought, but along with the peaceful diffusion of agriculture

By Colin Renfrew

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: October 1989

  • Land-Locked

  • Who's Minding the Store?

  • Batteries not Included

  • Cosmic Quarrel

  • Low-Zone

  • Out of its Field

  • Heavy-Ion Fusion

  • Diluvian Tremens

  • Spacecraft on a String

  • First Impressions

  • Trans-Kingdom Sex

  • Sudden Impact

  • Glass Menageries

  • Status Symbol

  • Light Talk

  • Homebody

  • Good Intentions

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, October 1989

  • Recommended

    Books, October 1989

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, October 1989

  • Departments

    The Analytical Economist: The Cost of Capital

  • Computer Recreations, October 1989

  • Essay: The Sorry State of Science Education

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October 1989

Think Outside the Gift Box