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Breaking Network Logjams

An approach called network coding could dramatically enhance the efficiency and reliability of communications networks. At its core is the strange notion that transmitting evidence about messages can be more useful than conveying the messages themselves


A Simpler Origin for Life

The sudden appearance of a large self-copying molecule such as RNA was exceedingly improbable. Energy-driven networks of small molecules afford better odds as the initiators of life

By Robert Shapiro

When Fields Collide

The history of particle cosmology shows that science can benefit from wrenching changes

By David Kaiser

The Traveler's Dilemma

When playing this simple game, people consistently reject the rational choice. In fact, by acting illogically, they end up reaping a larger reward--an outcome that demands a new kind of formal reasoning

By Kaushik Basu

Seeing Triple

Anticipated for decades, machines are finally displaying real objects in three true dimensions

Restoring America's Big, Wild Animals

Pleistocene rewilding--a proposal to bring back animals that disappeared from North America 13,000 years ago--offers an optimistic agenda for 21st-century conservation

By C. Josh Donlan


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June 2007

Think Outside the Gift Box