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Features

Building a Market Economy in Poland

How is a previously centralized economy to be transformed? Poland's experience thus far offers lessons for other Eastern European nations and a challenge for the West

By Jeffrey Sachs

The Patch Clamp Technique

A simple procedure can easily isolate ion channels on cell membranes. Its Nobel Prize-winning developers explain what the technique has revealed about cellular signaling

By Bert Sakmann and Erwin Neher

Textures and Cosmic Structure

Particle physics theories offer new clues to the origin of structure In the universe. The authors propose that primordial field defects known as textures seeded galaxies and galaxy clusters

By David N. Spergel and Neil G. Turok

Why Aromatic Compounds are Stable

Molecules containing benzenelike rings survive intact over geologic time and even persist in the harsh environment of nebulae. Researchers can now mathematically describe the reasons for the exceptional stability

By Jun-ichi Aihara

Spider Webs and Silks

Spiders' silk and web designs are governed by the same rules and constraints that apply to human materials science and structural engineering. So spiders may be able to teach us a thing or two

By Fritz Vollrath

Infrared Video Cameras

Similar to home video cameras, these devices can see thermal radiation. This emerging technology offers a host of applications, including night vision, visualization of heat flow and medical analysis

By Jerry Silverman, Jonathan M. Mooney and Freeman D. Shepherd

Catching the Wave

Scientists hope to explore the nature of gravity and the frontiers of the universe by detecting gravitational waves. The U.S. government has promised them $211 million to build two kilometer-size detectors. Will they succeed?

By Russell Ruthen

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: March 1992

  • Reflecting Differences

  • Tuning in Hot Signals

  • Relative Hunger

  • Unlikely Places

  • Going through Proper Channels

  • Pointing Fingers

  • Trojan Horse

  • Volcanic Disruption

  • Add Ozone to the Global Warming Equation

  • The Lonely Odysseus of Particle Physics

  • The Gundestrup Cauldron

  • Holey Silicon

  • Executive Fix

  • Vested Interests

  • Drag Race

  • Objective Data

  • Getting Out the Bugs

  • Women and Aids

  • Letters

    Errata

  • Letters to the Editors, March 1992

  • Recommended

    Book Reviews, March 1992

  • Amateur Scientist

    Seeing Infrared

  • Departments

    Disarming Developments

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March 1992

Think Outside the Gift Box