Table of Contents September 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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Rookie controllers, antiquated equipment, and federal mismanagement combine to produce inefficiency and danger.
NASA is gambling $4 billion that there's life beneath the thin atmosphere, lethal radiation, and miles-thick ice on Europa.
Brain researchers have found the sources of many of our darkest thoughts, from envy to wrath.
For years, gene therapy produced tons of hype but no results. Recently, though, new approaches have yielded its first successes: breakthrough treatments for blindness, cancer, and the deadly bubble boy disease.
Rediscovery of a long-lost species sends a message of hope about second chances for all of us. Goodall relates two beautiful examples: the tiny Caspian horse and the Lord Howe Island phasmid (it's a bug).


Simply cleaning up soot could work wonders for the climate.
Hint: It represents a best-selling piece of literature.
As computers get smaller, keeping them cool has become a major problem—until now.
Meet the forgotten 90 percent of your brain: glial cells, which outnumber your neurons ten to one. And no one really knows what they do.
One of the greatest thinkers in physics says the human brain—and the universe itself—must function according to some theory we haven't yet discovered.
Synthetic biologist Reshma Shetty predicts that we will eventually engineer organisms to grow everything that we manufacture today.
An exhaustive new marine census is tracking everything that swims in the sea, one fish at a time.
A typical hurricane releases some 600 trillion watts of heat energy, equivalent to 200 times the world’s total electrical generating capacity.
Devices that are smart, green, portable, and super tough
A sore hip launches a patient on an odyssey through the world of medical care before giving way to a surprisingly simple conclusion.


Recent digs show long-distance trade and complex social structures were around for longer than archaeologists thought.
DVD-size disks that hold 10 terabytes. Memory chips that remember even when the power's off.
Ancient bones from many animals lying in a big jumble are more easily put in context than you might think.
What the dragonfish discovered through evolution, the U.S. military wants to apply to the battlefield.
New studies show promise for using a person's own stem cells to protect them from autoimmune disorders like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.