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Patenting Life

Although entrepreneurs can now legally protect any novel plants, animals or microorganisms they invent, the courts have not yet settled many questions about the reach of biotechnology patents

By John H. Barton

The Tevatron

Because it produces antiprotons, accelerates them in a ring using superconducting magnets and smashes them into protons, it is now the world's most powerful source of data on elementary particles

By Leon M. Lederman

What Controls the Cell Cycle

Although the recursive events leading to the birth of new cells are well known, biologists are only now learning how those events are regulated. One protein is the major regulator in virtually all organisms

By Andrew W. Murray and Marc W. Kirschner

Plateau Uplift and Climatic Change

The formation of giant plateaus in Tibet and the American West may explain why the earth's climate has grown markedly cooler and more regionally diverse in the past 40 million years

By John E. Kutzbach and William F. Ruddiman

Nonimaging Optics

Nonimaging concentrators- "funnels" for light-collect and intensifY radiation far better than lenses and mirrors do. The devices are used in fields ranging from high-energy physics to solar energy

By Roland Winston

Tumbleweed

This enduring symbol of the American frontier was actually an import from southern Russia that exploited the ecology of the Great Plains, becoming a major agricultural pest in the late 19th century

By James A. Young

Surveying Ancient Cities

A ground-level search of abandoned settlements yields enough artifacts to reconstruct urban history. It even turns up evidence that sharply focused excavation would miss

By Anthony M. Snodgrass and John L. Bintliff

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: March 1991

  • Death with Dignity

  • A Modest Proposal on Altruism

  • Sex and Silversides

  • X-Ray Riddle

  • Down for the Count

  • The Leading Theory of the Universe Survives Another Attack

  • Guessing Game

  • A Nitrogen Fix for Wheat

  • Grim Expectations

  • Supercomputer Solo

  • Rx for Addiction

  • Light Traffic

  • Plane Geometry

  • Through the Grapevine

  • Thinking Cap

  • Complete Combustion

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, March 1991

  • Recommended

    Books, March 1991

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Recreations, March 1991

  • Departments

    Humanizing Economics

  • AIDS and the Next Pandemic

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