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Lucy's Baby

An extraordinary new human fossil renews debate over the evolution of upright walking

By Kate Wong

Weighty Matters

The century-old artifact that defines the kilogram, the fundamental unit of mass, is to be replaced by a more accurate standard based on an invariant property of nature

By Ian Robinson

The Red Planet's Watery Past

New observations by rovers and orbiters indicate that liquid water not only existed on Mars, it once covered large parts of the planet's surface, perhaps for more than a billion years

By Jim Bell

Angela Belcher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology This eclectic investigator draws inspiration from nature's genius for building things at the nanoscale

By JR Minkel

Swiss Re

Zurich, Switzerland A top insurer highlights the dire consequences that could result from global warming

By JR Minkel

On the Road to Green

Chemists and automakers mark progress toward environmentally benign fuels and vehicles

By Steven Ashley

Unlocking Alzheimer's

Understanding the workings of a key protein may presage treatments

By Christine Soares

Beginning to See the Light

Two-dimensional light waves point toward optical imaging of viruses and the Invisible Man

By George Musser

Robots on the Move

Improved mathematical models and sensors endow robots with enhanced mobility

By Brie Finegold

Material Progress

Designers have crafted new structures ranging from nanorods to mimics of mother-of-pearl

By Charles Q. Choi

Sight Savers

Technology that could help the blind see is now in the laboratory

By Charles Q. Choi


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December 2006

The Antidote to Anti-Intellectualism