Table of Contents September 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.
Digital editions


The lure of renewable energy sources is that they help fight climate 
change. Four experts argue that the transition to a clean economy could also jump-start economic growth and put a new generation to work. 

In the escalating war over dolphin rights, two pioneers in the study of cetacean consciousness have sacrificed their decades-old friendship for their beliefs.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the processes and skills of the subconscious mind, which our conscious selves rarely consider.
Commercial space travel is now almost within reach of ordinary citizens. But can small-a astronauts handle the ride?
While human explorers remain stubbornly stuck in Earth orbit, robotic space probes are preparing for the next great age of exploration: drilling, rolling, sailing, and prospecting where nobody has gone before.
“Pictures like these are worth a billion pieces of data,” says legendary physicist Kip Thorne.
The emerging superpower is developing a different type of reactor that should be less prone to dangers like those that emerged recently in Japan.
The secret lies right where you wouldn't expect it: in the bird's upstroke.


Irradiating food? Pssh. Old news. Engineers are working on more effective (and cooler) techniques like super-high pressure, chemical coatings, and, yes, laser ovens.
The ones that kill, the ones that fly long distances, and the ones made from pig bungs
A dermatologist treats an anxious patient for her stress-induced lesions, but new symptoms signal a more serious, and very real, disease.
New ocular implants are already illuminating colors and shapes, and promise to become far better.
Timothy Lu gets bacteria to make enzymes that attack their own biofilms, setting them up for the kill.
With so much on the line, athletes are willing to try new treatments that may be groundbreaking cures or just elaborate placebos.
Don't sell your species short; we can do some pretty impressive things.
Each glass tells you something about the wine's milieu as well as the vintner's approach.
Researchers can now get the entire genome of a fetus just by sampling the mother's blood. While this could help new parents prepare, it may also lead to more abortions and more carefully selected offspring.


But no word yet on when they plan to overthrow us.
Dogs can help themselves by deciphering humans' social interactions.
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