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Features

Ten Years of the Chornobyl Era

The environmental and health effects of nuclear power's greatest calamity will last for generations

By Yuri M. Shcherbak

The Birth of Complex Cells

Humans, together with all other animals, plants and fungi, owe their existence to the momentous transformation of tiny, primitive bacteria into large, intricately organized cells

By Christian de Duve

Searching for Life on Other Planets

Life remains a phenomenon we know only on Earth. But an innovative telescope in space could change that by detecting signs of life on distant planets

By J. Roger P. Angel and Neville J. Woolf

Smart Rooms

In creating computer systems that can identify people and interpret their actions, researchers have come one step closer to building helpful home and work environments

By Alex P. Pentland

Alcohol in American History

National binges have alternated with enforced abstinence for 200 years, but there may be hope for moderation

By David F. Musto

Captured in Amber

The exquisitely preserved tissues of insects in amber reveal some genetic secrets of evolution

By David A. Grimaldi

Waiting for Breakthroughs

"Nanoists" envision global abundance emerging from the manipulation of single atoms and molecules. But this prophecy has been challenged by researchers who work at a scale of billionths of a meter

By Gary Stix

Departments

  • The New Backyard Seismology

  • From the Editor

    Changing to Stay the Same

  • Letters

    Errata

  • Letters to the Editors, April 1996

  • Recommended

    Reviews and Commentaries—Nature Read in Tooth and Claw

  • Anti Gravity

    Attack of the Killer Neutrinos

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    50, 100 and 150 Years Ago: Wind Tunnel Testing, Olympics and Dimagnetism

  • Wonders

    Symmetries and Civilizations

  • In Brief

    In Brief, April 1996

  • Profile

    Evolutionary Theories for Everyday Life

  • Mathematical Recreation

    How Fair Is Monopoly?

  • Science and the Citizen

    Out of Food?

  • The Berry and the Parasite

  • A Smattering of Antimatter

  • Rocking Rocks

  • The not so Enormous Theorem

  • Engendering Faces

  • By the Numbers

    Low-Birth-Weight Babies

  • Working Knowledge

    Unzipping Velcro—Working Knowledge

  • Connections

    What's in a Name?

  • Cyber View

    The Perils of an Irregular Deregulation

  • Field Notes

    Interview with a Parrot

  • Technology and Business

    Battling the Enemy Within

  • When Novelty Is Not New

  • Augmenting Discord

  • A Discerning Eye

  • In Focus

    Embryo Overpopulation

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April 1996

Think Outside the Gift Box