Table of Contents October 1992

Discover Magazine's mission is to enable readers to lead richer lives by explaining and expanding their universe.  Each month we bring you in depth information and analysis from various topics ranging from technology and space to the living world we live in.
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Cosmology rarely makes the front pages. But this past spring, thanks to satellite named COBE, an astrophysicist named George Smoot announced a discovery of truly cosmic proportions.
When Columbus and his successors invaded the Americas, the most potent weapon they carried was their germs. But why didn't deadly disease flow in the other direction, from the New World to the Old?
Computer simulations reveal the molecular choreography behind the often bizarre behavior of H2O--nature's hardest liquid.
Can you tell the past from the future? Physicists can't--not yet, anyway.
For two decades a team of scientists has been trying to find out what makes a forest work.
A new theory shakes up earthquake predictions.