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Features

The Specter of Biological Weapons

States and terrorists alike have shown a growing interest in germ warfare. More stringent arms-control efforts are needed to discourage attacks

By Leonard A. Cole

Primordial Deuterium and the Big Bang

Nuclei of this hydrogen isotope formed in the first moments of the big bang. Their abundance offers clues to the early evolution of the universe and the nature of cosmic dark matter

By Craig J. Hogan

Creating Nanophase Materials

The properties of these ultrafine-grained substances, now found in a range of commercial products, can be custom-engineered

By Richard W. Siegel

Cell Suicide in Health and Disease

Cells can—and often do—kill themselves, in a process known as apoptosis. This capacity is essential to the proper functioning of the body; flawed regulation may lie behind many diseases

By Richard C. Duke, David M. Ojcius and John Ding-E Young

A Cricket Robot

Can a simple electromechanical system perform a complex behavior of a living creature? There was one sure way to find out

By Barbara Webb

Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

Workmen and their families lived some 3,000 years ago in the village ow known as Deir el-Medina. Written records from the unusually well educated community off er fascinating descriptions of everyday activities

By Andrea G. McDowell

Why Freud isn't Dead

By John Horgan

Departments

  • Atmospheric Dust and Acid Rain

  • From the Editor

    Experienced Readers for Young Minds

  • Letters

    Erratum

  • Letters to the Editors, December 1996

  • Recommended

    The Scientific American Young Readers Book Awards

  • Anti Gravity

    The Victors Go Despoiled

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    50, 100 and 150 Years Ago: Atomic Peacefare, Diphtheria in Japan and Neptune

  • In Brief

    In Brief, December 1996

  • Profile

    The Man Who Would Conquer Malaria

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Cows in the Maze

  • Amateur Scientist

    Dissecting the Brain with Sound

  • Science and the Citizen

    Down the Drain

  • Beyond the Test Ban

  • Sex and the Spinal Cord

  • Hard to Melt

  • Fear and Fecundity

  • By the Numbers

    Deaths Caused by Alcohol

  • Working Knowledge

    Pop Tops--Working Knowledge

  • Connections

    Sweet Dreams

  • Departments

    Annual Index 1996

  • Cyber View

    Snap, Crunch or GigaPOP?

  • Field Notes

    Jungle Medicine

  • Technology and Business

    The Sale of a New Machine

  • Where the Wind Blows

  • Plastic Power

  • Welding with a Match

  • Recently Netted...

  • In Focus

    Deadly Enigma

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December 1996

Think Outside the Gift Box