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Nuclear Power in Space

The best course for space-borne reactors? Ban them from Earth orbit and use them in deep space, the authors say

By David W. Hafemeister, Joel R. Primack, Oleg F. Prilutsky, Stanislav N. Rodionov and Steven Aftergood

The Quasar 3C 273

It is one of the most luminous objects in the known universe and the nucleus of an active galaxy. As astronomers scrutinize the spectrum of radiation from 3C 273, they are learning what makes quasars shine...

By E. Ian Robson and Thierry J.-L. Courvoisier

Streptococcal M Protein

The bacteria that cause strep throat and rheumatic fever depend on this cell-surface molecule to evade the body's defenses. The key to the protein's power is its remarkable structure

By Vincent A. Fischetti

Polar Stratospheric Clouds and Ozone Depletion

Clouds rarely form in the dry, Antarctic stratosphere, but when they do, they chemically conspire with chlorofluorocarbons to create the "ozone hole" that opens up every spring

By Owen B. Toon and Richard P. Turco

Early Bow Design and Construction

The most effective tool of hunter and warrior for millennia, early bows display a variety of modifications that reflect the functional requirements of their users

By Christopher A. Bergman, Edward McEwen and Robert L. Miller

Laser Surgery

Precise, powerful and at times subtle in their effects, lasers are increasingly important medical tools. These knives of light can be used to treat individual cells as well as whole organs...

By Michael W. Berns

Arthur Stanley Eddington

He led an astronomical expedition to test Einstein's theory of general relativity, expounded the idea of an expanding universe and inferred the internal structure of the stars

By Sir William McCrea

Peering Inward

New technologies enable geophysicists to discern the structures hidden deep within the earth. Their findings even offer a glimpse into the future of the planet.

By Corey S. Powell


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: June 1991

  • Science? Nyet

  • Do Screwy Images Solve a Superconductor Mystery?

  • Homeobox Harvest

  • From the Ashes

  • Of Two Minds about Privacy

  • There's the Rub

  • Double Vision

  • Second Guessing

  • Questioning the "It from Bit"

  • Flat Horizons

  • Lighten Up

  • Reading Books Byte by Byte

  • Starting from Scratch

  • Clot Spotter

  • Selling Cells

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, June 1991

  • Recommended

    Book Reviews, June 1991

  • Mathematical Recreation

    A Swift Trip over Rugged Terrain

  • Departments

    Sorting Out Chaos on Wall Street

  • Essay: The State of Soviet Science

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