Table of Contents June 2014

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In the June issue of Discover, get an up-close look at Solar Impulse, a technologically dazzling solar-powered plane that adventurists Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg plan to fly around the world. You’ll meet the cacophony of characters that wheel and deal in the lucrative meteorite market. We’ll also take you inside the womb where parental genes battle for dominance.

Also in this issue, meet the man who reads the leaves to monitor climate change, and explore Mars' geologic oddities.

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FEATURES

MeteoriteGarvie03

From Morocco's mountains to Arizona's deserts, collectors, scientists and profit-minded middlemen are searching for The Rock.

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After a successful — if sometimes harrowing — flight across the U.S. in a prototype, two intrepid pilots strive to create a solar-powered plane capable of circling the globe. 

early-world-map

Beautifully detailed portolan charts present historians with a puzzle: How were they made? A mathematical analysis offers some clues.

genetic-battle

How parental genes fight for dominance in the womb. 

DEPARTMENTS

heartache

A young patient sends a physician on a mystery tour of forgetfulness, nonchalance and revelation.

bonnie-bassler

Princeton biologist Bonnie Bassler studies bacterial "quorum sensing" — the chemical communication that makes pathogens so dangerous.

andrew-richardson

An ecologist records nature's color signals to understand the feedback between plants and a changing climate.

Rat-on-Mars

No forests or rats in there — but those eye-catching images of Mars terrain do have some alien messages for us.

THE CRUX

Land and water aren't the only places with thriving ecosystems. 

Archaeologists get their best chance yet to study Kurdish origins.

The answer boils down to wartime politics. 

Inside the electrifying relationship between plants and insects.

One simply does not mess with a daredevil. 

A new kind of model could change how surgeons learn to operate.

The pesky insects that transmit the disease could also deliver a vaccine. 

A company that turned garbage into biofuel was too radical for its own good.

Conditions on early Earth may have been too extreme for life to begin, but not so on our planetary neighbor.

HOT SCIENCE

future-wheels-BMW

The future of driving is all about connectivity, sleek designs and zero emissions.

animal-madness

Our favorite picks for smart and entertaining books worth reading this summer.

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Check out the hottest new video games and gaming gadgets at E3, or grab some work gloves and help clean up your local parks.

soccket

Kids can now enjoy the world's most popular sport while charging a lamp that will allow them to read or do homework.

lemur-center

The Duke Lemur Center is home to the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar.

urban-skygazer

The most impressive regions of the Milky Way return to prominence in summer.

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