Table of Contents May 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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Determining when life begins is complicated by a process that unfolds months before a sperm meets an egg
Are the brain's emotional circuits hardwired for speed?
Can biologists resurrect the mighty chestnut that once dominated the forests of eastern America?
Two miles long, with towers nearly as tall as those of the World Trade Center, the Messina Bridge challenges science's ability to design around wind, earthquakes, and environmentalists.
Scientists have discovered that fish in the ocean glow, gleam, spark, and light up like neon signs. Now they want to know how.

If we want to be a spacefaring nation, we'll have to get better at predicting the weather the nearest star throws at us.


A young athlete stumbles around the emergency room like an old man.


Microsoft discovers that software should be—surprise!—a thing of beauty.
We're not the only creatures with personalities, minds, and feelings.

We're preparing for the next outbreak, by looking to the past.

A surge of water reveals an ancient treasure trove. 

A track record of the outcomes from cloning various species.

Engaging in baby talk can nurture your child's creativity.

A papaya's Y chromosome bears a striking resemblance to humans'.

Distant galaxies are older than we thought.

A new way to cut the cheese from America's dairy land.

Electronic skullduggery could create greater confusion than hanging chads.

Wanted: Adventure spots where astronauts will not be crushed, burned, or irradiated.

Leonardo DaVinci is credited with creating the first man-made plastic.


Cell phones top the list of the most-despised technology.

The most likely causes of ice ages are changes in Earth’s orbit and orientation.

Teaching two-wheeled machines to play the "beautiful game."

The fish you should enjoy for dinner, and the fish to avoid. 

A household item gives a new spin to to an experiment in the lab.