Table of Contents June 2015

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Einstein theorized that time was an illusion and the future was predetermined. But Einstein may have been wrong, says a South African cosmologist who’s on a mission to prove we can shape our futures.

Also in this issue: Six years ago, a young lab assistant died in a lab fire. Now, her family is on a crusade to make research safer — but will they succeed? And new haptic screen technology may enable our future devices to create sensations as varied as real life.

Plus: Is polio resurfacing? Can we build a human body-on-a-chip? What does estrogen have to do with testosterone? We promise to deliver answers science to each of those questions and more in the June issue of Discover.

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FEATURES

haptic-screen
From smooth glass to rough sandpaper, tomorrow's haptic screens could create sensations as varied as real life.
clock-spiral
A conscientious cosmologist rejects Einstein’s notion that time is an illusion and the future is set.
undersea-museums
Once at risk from salvage and plunder, these shipwrecks are preserved in place as historical treasures for all.
death-in-the-lab
A UCLA laboratory fire took Sheri Sangji’s life. Her boss and the university closed ranks. Will her family’s crusade for justice make researchers any safer?
leeuwenhoek
How a Dutch fabric-maker became the father of microbiology.

DEPARTMENTS

parkes-observatory
With the discovery of fast radio bursts, astronomers once again navigate the path from weird result to verified science.
running-on-empty
A fever and cough strike a busy, young mom. But this is no routine case of influenza.
baby-babbles
Sophisticated speech analysis could lead to earlier screening and treatment for autism, depression, dementia and more.
wetlands
A California microbiologist is unearthing startling clues about how tiny wetland organisms influence greenhouse gas emissions.
shell-with-hole
New analysis of old finds upends conventional wisdom about where and when the first artists evolved. Hint: They weren’t Homo sapiens.
orion-spacecraft
Advances in spaceship propulsion are speeding up, promising a means to finally explore the outer solar system.
strong shoulders
The manly hormone evolved 500 million years ago — from estrogen.

THE CRUX

After an outbreak reminiscent of the early 1950s, neurologists worry about what's coming this summer.
How an insect-turned-syringe helped save the Iberian lynx.
Scientists have made a battery that's virtually harmless if ingested.
Miniature plastic chips with cells embedded are a quick and effective way to test drugs.
An affordable and portable use of quantum-based tech may soon come to a smartphone near you.
Ancient ostracod had long, and long-lived, sex cells.
Researchers recover more meteorites from Antarctica, but that doesn't mean more land there.
A newly discovered brain area could help us fall fast asleep without needing sedatives.
A wandering gas cloud escapes uncertain doom in our galaxy's center.
A scientist battles nutrition deficiencies with high beta-carotenoid orange corn.
Why libraries matter, the history of science, and separating the wheat from the chaff.
Vultures help forensic experts with CSI research.
A NASA engineer discovers a last-minute error with just days to spare.
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