Table of Contents September 2012

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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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FEATURES

seanation
Autonomous communities, 
floating in international waters, would allow political pioneers to test novel forms of government.

illuminated
Using the new science of optogenetics, scientists can activate or shut down neural pathways, altering behavior and heralding a true cure for psychiatric disease.

vesta1
A daredevil spacecraft is giving us our first look at the asteroid Vesta—a unique survivor from the demolition derby that created our own celestial home.

socialpolitic
In the coming decade, 
online primaries and elections might loosen 
America’s gridlock politics.

chf
New materials could let us make everything from programmable matter to materials that heal themselves.
egypt
After the Arab Spring: A chilling reminder that social media can foster political oppression.


DEPARTMENTS

Home diagnosis kits will soon let you give yourself a checkup whenever and wherever you want.
With the shuttles retired, today’s space 
explorers are preparing for Russian rockets, private capsules, and uncertain destinations.

Today's technology is shaping the politics not just of today but for decades to come.
Billions of planets in our galaxy have the potential for life. Now 
astronomers are developing powerful yet affordable ways to find it.
Some show misdiagnoses, some involve pruning shears, and some have included tasting sessions.
ER doctors cannot explain a young 
woman’s sudden confusion and pain. What are they missing?

DATA

pigdung
Science sleuths solve the mystery of exploding manure pits.
synthetic
It's time for us to learn to stop worrying and love synthetic biology.
heart
“You should be able to convert any cell to the cell type you like,” says the creator of a new biotech trick.
giraffe
Some animals might look a lot different in human-guided future.
graffiti1
New software makes connections helps cops keep tabs on gang activity.
pies
The widely used Body Mass Index (BMI) is crude and should be replaced; here's a more modern suggestion.
velocirobot
A balancing trick used by geckos, and possibly dinosaurs, is helping to make more agile and helpful rescue robots.
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