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The Tragedy of Needless Pain

Contrary to popular belief, the author says, morphine taken solely to control pain is not addictive. Yet patients worldwide continue to be undertreated and to suffer unnecessary agony

By Ronald Melzack

The Variable Sun

Its steady warmth and brightness are illusory; the sun's output of radiation and particles varies. Systematic observations are beginning to unveil the causes of these changes and their effects on the earth...

By Peter V. Foukal

Science in Pictures: Chaos and Fractals in Human Physiology

Chaos in bodily functioning signals health. Periodic behavior can foreshadow disease

By Ary L. Goldberger, David R. Rigney and Bruce J. West

How Plants Make Oxygen

A biochemical mechanism called the water-oxidizing clock enables plants and some bacteria to exploit solar energy to split water molecules into oxygen gas, protons and electrons

By Govindjee and William J. Coleman

Progress in Gallium Arsenide Semiconductors

The compound is not a candidate to supplant silicon. Nevertheless, its speed and optical capabilities have spawned fast-growing applications in computing and communications

By Marc H. Brodsky

Food Sharing in Vampire Bats

Two nights without a blood meal and a vampire bat starves to death—unless it can solicit food from a roostmate. A buddy system ensures that food distribution among the bats is equitable...

By Gerald S. Wilkinson

The Archaeology of Novgorod

Once the center of one of Europe's largest states, medieval Novgorod is nearly perfectly preserved. Among the finds are 700 birch-bark manuscripts that give an intimate view of the city's life...

By Valentin L. Yanin

Positive Feedbacks in the Economy

A new economic theory elucidates mechanisms whereby small chance events early in the history of an industry or technology can tilt the competitive balance

By W. Brian Arthur


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: February 1990

  • R.I.P. Blackbird

  • Chub Hubbub

  • Aborted Research

  • Up Against the Wall

  • Roving Stones

  • Cold Storage

  • Snakes in the Grass

  • Kissing Cousins

  • Playing the Numbers

  • When Dad Drinks

  • Indecent Burial

  • The Oncogene Connection

  • Progress by Degrees

  • Antibody Bonanza

  • Banking Futures

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, February 1990

  • Recommended

    Books, February 1990

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist, February 1990

  • Departments

    The Analytical Economist: Taking Stock

  • Essay: Who Will do Science in the Next Century?

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