Table of Contents July-August 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.
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DISCOVER's fourth annual Invisible Planet special issue spots the best hard-to-see stories, from deep inside the Earth to the edge of the known universe.
Neuroscience illustrates the incredible imaginative potential of the brain and the malleability of perception.
An unknown number of women may perceive 
millions of colors invisible to the rest of us. One British scientist is trying to track them down and understand their extraordinary power of sight.
A psychological guide to your dog’s dreams, emotions, 
interests, and 
body language.
Biologists are starting to 
explore the woolly ecosystems in our homes and hospitals, and figuring out how they can make us sick or keep us healthy.
There’s an atmospheric conspiracy afoot. And on the streets of Queens, our reporter is determined to blow it wide open.
A new "quantum microphone" can measure sound waves just a few quintillionths of a meter high—"much less than the size of a proton."
New technology could allow big bottles 
back into your carry-on luggage. Oh, and it could 
fight cancer, too.
How the science of light rules organic tissue and fiber optics alike. 

Hundreds of complex variables can
 obscure a drug’s dangerous or lethal 
side effects. But a new mathematical 
trick can cut through the confusion.

You probably don't think about the Dirac equation on an average day, but it describes just about everything that happens to you.
Geologists long rejected the notion that cataclysmic flood had ever occurred—until one of them found proof of a Noah-like catastrophe in the wildly eroded river valleys of Washington State.
Sophisticated cloaking devices 
may soon hide objects from light, 
sound, water, even earthquakes.
To map the supercontinent of the future, geologists first had to solve a vexing magnetic riddle.

To save forests from a deadly beetle epidemic, scientists are using the insects’ own chemicals against them.


Tonics laced with neurotransmitters, 
amino acids, and other active chemicals 
can sharpen your thinking. Or so they claim.
Bacteria found in gold mines and frozen caves show the extreme flexibility of life, and hint at where else we might find it in the solar system.
DISCOVER's Invisible Planet issue can take you on a grand tour of just about everything in no time flat.
Strange glows on distant worlds could indicate extraterrestrial civilizations—or intriguing new astronomical phenomena.
One has been around for 40 million years, one is running into a wall, and one may soon power much of Europe.
A doctor is baffled: Why did a 
giant man walk into the ER holding 
a tiny woman by her feet?
Rebuilding the vocal tracts of extinct creatures could let us hear long-lost sounds: an ancient whale song, the cries of our ancestors.


High-energy gamma rays don't just pop up everywhere in the universe...
Because planets aren't the only places we might find alien life...
Why is gravity so pathetically weak compared to other forces? An elaborate version of a very simple device may reveal the answer.
Health journalist Jeff Wheelwright says the evidence linking small radiation doses to cancer is flimsy.
Fluctuations in the food chain mean there are tons of ticks out in the woods, and they'll be looking at us humans as food.
Male bowerbirds use forced perspective—and impressive building skills—to woo the females of the species.