Table of Contents April 2004

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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If landing on Mars looks tricky, imagine what NASA faces trying to slingshot Messenger to the planet closest to the sun
China kept its most enlightened era behind palace walls. Now that legacy comes to the West.
Scientists say morality may be hardwired into our brains by evolution
Are gangs of orcas feasting on protected seals, sea lions, and otters because we fished their normal food supply out of the oceans?

They're harder, stronger, and basically just better.

Neurosurgeon Keith Black is determined to enter the brain in a friendly way.


We know of only a few stars that have passed within two light-years of the sun in the past million years
Will a young mother bleed to death after giving birth?


Colors in the flower shop of the future may have little to do with nature
How computer animators illuminate the evanescent complexity of the natural world

The amount of plant matter in fossil fuels is astounding.

These critters use different methods to navigate short and long distances.

Convulsive ice ages continue to reshape the rusty surface of the Red Planet.

What happened to the animals displaced by Africa's current species?
The problem of biology is not to stand aghast at the complexity but to conquer it’
Venus—so strange, yet so like our home planet—takes its turn in the spotlight

Quick scientific facts and finds. 

Marriage may not be so good for your mental health. 

Introversion may increase the risk of premature death, at least in rats.

Charting seismic waves to map what's under the crust.