Table of Contents July-August 2009

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 metals of modern technology lie hidden in a handful of unlikely spots, from frozen Russian plains to sweltering African valleys.
Penetrating chunks of amber and ancient rock, powerful new imaging machines render 3-D portraits of fossil creatures concealed for millions of years.
No matter how silly and misguided, Ghost Hunters captures an element of science that Numb3rs, House, and even Mythbusters miss.
Former Nature editor John Maddox on one of the most famous scientists of our age.
Stephen Hawking, the master of time, space, and black holes, steps back into the spotlight to secure his scientific legacy—and to explain the greatest mystery in physics: the origin of the universe.
New research shows that memories are constantly being re-written by our minds.
Marine biologist Edie Widder's underwater spy camera is an underwater SETI, finally giving humans a chance to see the freaky world of deep-ocean bioluminescent animals.
A sonic tour of New York, from the agonizing screech of the Union Square subway station to one of the quietest rooms in the city: Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.
DISCOVER Fiction: In the post-economic future, big-ticket science is dead and amateurs hunt aliens using gear scored cheap on eBay.
Fiction from Bruce Sterling: "If you can read a popular-science publication (and enjoy it), then you most likely have enough brainpower to help us make massive scientific breakthroughs..."
For 300 years, scientists thought of bacteria as individual killers, like a bunch of piranhas. Recently, we've found that's almost entirely wrong.


Clashes with aliens, America vs. Science, really horrible sci-fi, and more
Since 2005, Swiss pathologist Frank Rühli has focused on the cause of death for patients who died thousands of years ago.
A new Olympus camera lets you take pictures like a photojournalist or a 19th-century photo pioneer.
What seems like an ordinary urinary tract infection can sometimes be much worse.
Hint: It dates back to 6th-century China but never really caught on until the mid-1800s, when it was introduced in its packaged, modern form.
Scientists hunt for the unseen matter that glues together the cosmos. But some wonder whether it even exists.
One company's special manufacturing process turns out yarns and sheets millions of time the size of normal nanotubes.
Electronic computers are great at what they do. But to accomplish really complicated physical tasks—like building an insect—Erik Winfree says you have to grow them from DNA.
Researchers say a wandering mind may be important to setting goals, making discoveries, and living a balanced life.


In the evolutionary arms race to defeat the disease, subtle and indirect maneuvers like targeting old mosquitoes and locking malaria inside blood cells may ultimately prove most effective.
Artificial intelligence is becoming ever better at doing science, from archaeology to physics to genetics.
The Obama administration has turned away from fuel cells, but there's still promising research in the field.