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When Methane Made Climate

Today methane-producing microbes are confined to oxygen-free settings, such as the guts of cows, but in Earth's distant past, they ruled the world

By James F. Kasting

Detecting Mad Cow Disease

New tests can rapidly identify the presence of dangerous prions--the agents responsible for the malady--and several compounds offer hope for treatment

By Stanley B. Prusiner

Magnetic Field Nanosensors

Tiny devices that take advantage of a recently discovered physical effect called extraordinary magnetoresistance could be used in blazingly fast computer disk drives with huge capacities and in dozens of other applications involving the sensing of magnetic fields...

By Stuart A. Solin

The Shapes of Space

A Russian mathematician has proved the century-old Poincaré conjecture and completed the catalogue of three-dimensional spaces. He might earn a $1-million prize

By Graham P. Collins
The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript
The Sciences

The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript

New analysis of a famously cryptic medieval document suggests that it contains nothing but gibberish

By Gordon Rugg

The Extraordinary Deaths of Ordinary Stars

The demise of the sun in five billion years will be a spectacular sight. Like other stars of its ilk, the sun will unfurl into nature's premier work of art: a planetary nebula

By Bruce Balick and Adam Frank
Gene Doping

Gene Doping

Gene therapy for restoring muscle lost to age or disease is poised to enter the clinic, but elite athletes are eyeing it to enhance performance Can it be long before gene doping changes the nature of sport?...

By H. Lee Sweeney


  • Letters


  • Erratum

  • Advances

    Mickey Has Two Moms

  • Bugging for Guidance

  • Leading to Lead

  • Baby Talk Beginnings

  • Growing Pains

  • Magnetic Soot

  • Hot Stuff Coming Through

  • When Air Quality Hits Mutant

  • Permian Percussion

  • Rover and Over

  • Beta from Beta

  • Mixing in Mitochondria

  • Recommended

    Where the Wild Things Were

  • Skeptic

    God's Number Is Up

  • Anti Gravity

    Einstein's Parrot

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    Nobel Chemists -- Visionary Author -- Prescient (and Unlucky) Inventor

  • In Brief

    Data Points: July 2004

  • Brief Points: July 2004

  • Voyages

    Stars atop a Silent Volcano

  • Staking Claims

    If It's Broke, Fix It

  • Innovations

    Overcoming Self

  • By the Numbers

    Undercutting Fairness

  • Working Knowledge

    Big Air

  • Insights

    Doom and Gloom by 2100

  • Ask the Experts

    Ask the Experts: July 2004

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