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Clearing the Air in Los Angeles

Although Los Angeles has the most polluted skies in the nation, it is one of the few cities where air quality has improved in recent decades

By James M. Lents and William J. Kelly

Large Igneous Provinces

These vast fields of lava record powerful but geologically brief pulses of magmatic activity. Their formation may have triggered significant changes in the global environment

By Millard F. Coffin and Olav Eldholm

Evolutionarily Mobile Modules in Proteins

Many proteins consist of a fairly small set of modular elements. How these units spread and multiplied during evolution is not altogether clear, but a pattern may be emerging

By Russell F. Doolittle and Peer Bork

Electrorheological Fluids

Some liquids solidify instantly when exposed to an electric field. Such protean materials may give engineers quicker, more adaptive machines

By James E. Martin and Thomas C. Halsey

Water-Pollinated Plants

Once thought to be mere aberrations of nature, these flowering aquatic species provide evidence for the evolutionary convergence toward efficient pollination strategies

By Paul Alan Cox

Simulating Brain Damage

Adults with brain damage make some bizarre errors when reading words. If a network of simulated neurons is trained to read and then is damaged, it produces strikingly similar behavior

By Geoffrey E. Hinton, David C. Plaut and Tim Shallice

Raising the Vasa

This Swedish man-of-war foundered on her maiden voyage and slept for three centuries at the bottom of Stockholm Harbor. Here is the story of her resurrection

By Lars-ke Kvarning

The Death of Proof

Computers are transforming the way mathematicians discover, prove and communicate ideas, but is there a place for absolute certainty in this brave new world?

By John Horgan


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