Table of Contents April 2012

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.
Order this issue
Digital editions


Scientists are making their first forays into the mysterious world of biology miles up in the air. Their startling conclusion: That ecosystem in the sky might influence tomorrow's weather and next year's harvest.
Neil deGrasse Tyson—the acclaimed astrophysicist, writer, and director of the Hayden Planetarium—lays out what it will take for America to remain the leading superpower in space.

They called it a 
myth as fantastical 
as the unicorn, 
but scientists have 
now found the engram, 
the physical trace 
of memory in the brain.


Where Earth is coldest, where the digital universe was born, and where humanoids have four arms.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander makes the tough, smart decisions necessary to save cities and lives.
Get out of your car and into your flying train, 
superclean superbus, and most impressive of all, your personal subway.
Once we model the connectome—the million 
billion points of contact between neurons in 
the brain—we’ll glimpse the anatomy of the mind.
Not only will the world not end this year, it will bring more progress and technological advance.
Six years ago, physicists hid an object behind an invisibility cloak for the first time. Now they're cloaking actual events.
The geniuses who fudged data, the cheaters who did it in plain sight, and the frauds who got away with it
The Columbia University researcher describes his quest for HIV in San Francisco and SARS in China, the immune cascades that may cause autism, and the infectious roots of psychiatric disease.
A patient’s heart tumor is all but inaccessible to 
his surgeons. The only way to deal with it: 
Remove the heart and operate on it outside the body.


Curiosity will satisfy its curiosity by zapping rocks on the Red Planet and watching the resulting plasma.
In the right circumstances, humble gas and dust can form into powerful, majestic stars.
Researchers discover an impressive ability never seen in plants before.
Over 40,000 years ago, ancient Australians were using sophisticated equipment to bring in impressive hauls.
Comet C/2011 N3, a 160-foot-wide ball of rock and ice, was brutally incinerated by the sun’s atmosphere. But it was quite a sight.
Even in the oldest, deadest galaxies out there, young stars continue to be born.