Table of Contents February 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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The rate of infection in some parts of the continent is 100 times higher than in the United States, yet sexual activity is similar. Epidemiologists, forced to reconsider their theories of how the disease spreads, have come up with surprising new insights.
Most diets aren't realistic or advisable, including the U.S. agriculture department's famous food pyramid. Instead, a Harvard scientist recommends a new way of eating based on the world's largest and longest food study.
Tarantulas reveal intriguing mammal-like behaviors, says a scientist who cares enough to study them (not to mention keep 500 of them alive in his lab)
Maverick cosmologists contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world.
The grandest culture north of the Maya created a city of 20,000 people, built monuments rivaling Egypt's Great Pyramid, then vanished into oblivion
A bizarre and fascinating world of icy plates, needles, and six-armed flakes emerges from the lab of Eric Erbe and William Wergin


What to read, see and visit this month.
The planets are the obvious next frontiers for human exploration
A young woman's on-again, off-again pain has an unexpected origin


Tap into a mechanical dog's brain and give it whatever personality you like
A nutrition scientist explains.
The octopus has an expandable sex organ to get more sperm to the female.
People have been cleaning their teeth far before the invention of the toothpick.
Can vaccines protect us against a terrorist attack via virus?
World's only albino gorilla dies.
Paleontologist finds the first fossilized dino flesh.
New designs and materials revolutionize the world's oldest extreme sport
Saturn howls, the sun rings, and a black hole lets loose with a basso profundo
The Census of Marine Life releases first estimate of the ocean's species.
Microbiologists mix and match proteins to reprogram cells.
Babies are less likely to suffocate in a crib than in bed with mom and dad.
Climate change is melting ice by land and by sea in the Arctic.
NASA has a new device in the works that could detect planets like ours.
How evolution arrived at the Cambrian Explosion.