Table of Contents December 2001

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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There's a hot crack in the Earth under the Indian Ocean. Can a shipload of 35 scientists find it, dive on it, make sense of it, and come back with enough to justify the $1.5 million cost?
When London was a distant outpost of the Roman Empire 1,900 years ago, the favorite local pastime was watching slaves pair off in an arena to kill each other. Artifacts found in an ancient grave site suggest that one of the heroes of the ring was a woman
When it comes to evolution, survival of the fittest is only half the story. The handicap principle holds that humans make showy and sometimes dangerous displays of courage to increase their status and attract mates
When modern medicine needs some help, surgeons call in mother nature's little helper—the leech
Orbital space around the Earth is full of deadly debris from old missions. Now NASA has to figure out how to keep a hail of space junk from bringing down the shuttle, the space station, and a lot of satellites
Welcome to Discover's annual selection of science and technology toys adults can enjoy without guilt (you're learning!)


Sometimes the immune system turns on its host