• Worlds Around Other Stars

    Theory and observation imply that planetary systems like our own should be common. Astronomical searches are closing in on planets that may orbit some nearby stars

    David C. Black| January 1, 1991|

  • The Protein Folding Problem

    In theory, all one needs to know in order to fold a protein into its biologically active shape is the sequence of its constituent amino acids. Why has nobody been able to put theory into practice?

    Frederic M. Richards| January 1, 1991|

  • The Future of Space Reconnaissance

    As the superpowers continue to launch spy satellites, many nations are planning to orbit their own. Such extensive proliferation will complicate international politics into the next century

    Jeffrey T. Richelson| January 1, 1991|

  • Self-Organized Criticality

    Large interactive systems naturally evolve toward a critical state in which a minor event can lead to a catastrophe. Self-organized criticality may explain the dynamics of earthquakes, economic markets and ecosystems

    Kan Chen and Per Bak| January 1, 1991|

  • Coevolution of the Cuckoo and its Hosts

    The cuckoo reproduces at the expense of other birds by laying its eggs in their nests. The strategy provokes an evolutionary arms race between parasite and host

    Michael Brooke and Nicholas B. Davies| January 1, 1991|

  • Calculating Reality

    Defying traditional designs, supercomputer architects are racing to build machines that are powerful enough to transform science

    Elizabeth Corcoran| January 1, 1991|

  • Building the Cathedral in Florence

    The octagonal dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, crowned by a lantern, orb and cross, is architecturally unique. Building the ensemble advanced the engineering and technology of the early Renaissance

    Gustina Scaglia| January 1, 1991|

  • Aspirin

    After more than 200 years, the mechanisms by which this venerable drug and its relatives achieve their wide range of effects have yet to be fully elucidated

    Gerald Weissmann| January 1, 1991|

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