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Features

Accidental Nuclear War

Modifications to superpower arsenals and to procedures for handling them could substantially reduce the risk of unintended Armageddon

By Bruce G. Blair and Henry W. Kendall

The Surface of Venus

Razor-sharp images of the earth's near twin reveal a mix of familiar and perplexing geologic features

By R. Stephen Saunders

How Cells Maintain Stability

A member of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences shares his model of how cells recover from blows to their protein-making machinery

By Igor N. Todorov

The Birth of Molecules

In less than a trillionth of a second, atoms can collide, interact and give birth to molecules. With lasers and molecular beams, it is now possible to witness the motions of molecules as one substance changes to another

By Ahmed H. Zewail

The Legacy of Gestalt Psychology

Since its inception early in this century, Gestalt theory has made significant contributions to the study of perception, learning and social psychology. These contributions remain influential today

By Irvin Rock and Stephen Palmer

Frozen and Alive

A variety of animals freeze solid during the winter months and thaw in the spring. This natural ability to survive freezing may yield clues to the cryopreservation of human tissue

By Kenneth B. Storey and Janet M. Storey

The Emergence of Modern Humans

The theory that all humans are descended from a recent African ancestor was promoted by geneticists who study living populations. The fossil record provides independent support for this model

By Christopher B. Stringer

The Body Against itself

By John Rennie

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: December 1990

  • Measuring Eternity

  • Far Out

  • Going to Pot

  • Beam of Hope

  • Double Trouble

  • Acacia Trees Kill Antelope in the Transvaal

  • Clearing the Airways

  • Mussels may Clump Together to Improve their Food Supply

  • Dr. Greenhouse

  • Narrow Bandwidth

  • This Number is You

  • Sugar Fix?

  • Field Effects

  • Food for Thought

  • Garbage In, Garbage Out

  • Letters

    Errata

  • Letters to the Editors, December 1990

  • Recommended

    Books, December 1990

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Recreations, December 1990

  • Departments

    The Analytical Economist, December 1990

  • Annual Index 1990

  • Essay: Should we implant life on Mars?

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December 1990