Table of Contents October 2011

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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Do-it-yourself biologists are 
hunting down genetic disorders and 
creating synthetic life-forms 
in garages, closets, and backyards 
around the world.

Medical researchers are working 
on new kinds of vaccines 
that could cure everything from 
diabetes to nicotine addiction.

Beyond the drug cocktail. 
Beyond a vaccine. Scientists are 
talking about total cure. 

Researchers dubbed it "Halicephalobus mephisto," from the Greek for “he who loves not the light.”
Tree experts solve a dangerous mystery involving the wooden bats used in America's pastime.
Robots that act like snakes rather than tanks may be our best chance to save some people stuck in rubble.
The Square Kilometre Array should be able to pick up signals coming from aliens living halfway around the galaxy.
One World Trade Center rises with a bomb-resistant fortified base, a 
superstrong mix of concrete, and a fleet of elevators that can really move.
When you can't abide to fly coach and can't afford to fly first class, try flying in the guts of a bird.
No dice yet on getting a jetpack in every garage, but the near future will include some other nice improvements to our lives and communities.


A cobbled-together, $10,000 suit can protect you from radiation, chemicals, bullets, and pretty much any other insult of modern life—including socializing.
This week's earthquake in Virginia calls to mind another part of the country that faces a surprising level of earthquake risk: the New Madrid Seismic Zone, near the middle of the Mississippi River.
A body scan reveals a lemon-size mass in the chest 
of a 16-month-old boy. Fearing cancer, surgeons perform a risky operation to save his life.
Could our universe be just one of a multitude, each with its own reality? It may sound like fiction, but there is hard science behind this outlandish idea.
The huge decrease in human violence, the great risk of cyber attacks, and the paralyzing fear of pandemic disease.
There’s an old joke: if you tell someone the universe is expanding, he’ll believe you. If you tell him there’s wet paint on the park bench, he’ll want to touch it to make sure...
A British family with a bizarre speech deficit 
has led linguists to FOXP2: a gene that begins to 
explain how our ancestors acquired language.
Fire makes water. Fire is a tree running in reverse. Fire is not a thing at all.


A seven-year study looks closely at the carbon emitted and absorbed by forests.
A researcher's beautiful image of fire in a space simulator—all in the name of science, of course
In a giant wind tunnel, trains meet the challenge of rain, snow, sleet, and heat.