Table of Contents April 2013

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European resistance to genetically modified crops took a violent turn in recent years, forcing many researchers to abandon their work. Over at Harvard, meanwhile, bioengineering is alive and well, with researchers looking to the natural world for inspiration to create new materials and drugs. Also in this issue, why living like a caveman isn't all it's cut out to be, the benefits of a rare form of dwarfism in Ecuador, and a maverick artist's take on science.
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FEATURES

better-nature-1

At Harvard, researchers absorb the lessons of the natural world, from the human immune system to an insect-trapping plant, then tweak them to create bold, new technologies for health.

crops-wars-1

Genetically modified corn and soy dominate U.S. farms, but activist raids have kept Europe GMO-free. The fight over the next Green Revolution has just begun.

paleo-7

A growing movement seeks to reproduce the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: running barefoot, pondering polygamy, relying on a diet of meat. But even our ancestors never lived this way. And besides, modern humans have evolved.

joe-davis-1

Maverick Joe Davis creates art—and controversy—out of bacteria, deep space transmissions, and lightning.

genes-1

In a remote corner of Ecuador, doctors researching a rare form of dwarfism make a startling discovery: People who inherit the genetic defect may be immune to cancer and other diseases.

DEPARTMENTS

Chimeras in the lab may lead to improved stem cell therapy.

Swing through the stars with the Hubble telescope, taste the science at a new eatery in Portland, and get your windows robo-washed.

April is full of anniversaries, such as Apollo 13's near-disaster, and big events, including National Robotics Week. No foolin'.

A counterintuitive fishery in Brazil's Amazon yields 40 million tropical fish a year while protecting the rainforest.

A brilliant attorney's nasty behavior could cost him his career, unless I can get to the bottom of it.

A seemingly simple trip to the world at the edge of the solar system is looking more like a voyage into the perfect meteor storm.

Joe. Java. Go juice. Whatever you call it, you're probably drinking it. Now find out how coffee is connected to a Bach cantata, enemas, and elephant dung.

Clouds and a full (or nearly so) moon are required for a sight almost as rare as a werewolf: the elusive moon dog.

DATA

temple-grandin

The world's most famous person with autism uses her unusual cognitive abilities to reduce animal suffering. 

microbial-powerhouses

Genetically modified bacteria and yeast can make gold, pharmaceutical compounds and fuels.

mouse-brain

An experiment reveals just how malleable memory can be.

cochlea

Electrochemical activity in the cochlea can charge tiny transmitters.

voyager_lg

Turning raw feeds from Voyager 1's magnetometer into a space odyssey symphony.

turtle-urine

Learning from tricky turtles may help humans with kidney failure.

computing-1

By translating shapes into computerized images, this system can turn any surface into a touch-screen.

health-checkup

Are routine doctor visits healthy or harmful?

robert-sampson

A sense of trust is key to making urban neighborhoods thrive.

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