Table of Contents November 2018

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Some people go big, but this month, Discover is going small. We're diving to the level of the quantum — about as small as it's possible to go — for a look at how the rules of quantum mechanics affect everything we do in our daily lives.

Zooming back out a little, we'll also examine another basic building block of our lives: proteins. They're folded inside our bodies in ways that would make an origami master blush, and it's vital to our health that they do it correctly. Now, one researcher is hoping to understand these crucial crimps so he can build his own.

Back on the human scale, our November issue also argues that we should put our hopes of a driverless commute on hold — at least for a little, while the technology catches up. Finally, let us be your guide to a very important meeting some 8,000 years ago, when the farmer met the forager.

Digital editions

FEATURES

Danube
Eight thousand years ago, early agriculturalists moved into the lands of hunter-gatherers in Europe. What happened next changed history.
QuantumSpread
How the science of the super small affects our everyday lives.
Self-driving-car
Automakers are revving up for a very near future of fully autonomous vehicles. But the road ahead is rough.
David-Baker
Biochemist David Baker changed the study of proteins — now he's changing the proteins.

DEPARTMENTS

laser
They’ve won a lot of Nobels, helped detect lost cities and chronicled the drift of the moon.
Luck
Why we latch on to superstitious behaviors, and how to give them up.
Sprite-Illustration
Scientists hope the world’s smallest satellites will boldly go where no probe has gone before.
DeerinckforWeb
Zoom in on four decades of microscopy advances.
World-Wide-Web
Half of humans still lack dedicated internet access.
Migraine
Chest-tightening, world-spinning attacks leave a 25-year-old grasping for answers.
Studying Ancient Viruses Could Save Humans From Modern Diseases
A surge of research into ancient killers may help us outsmart them in the future.

THE CRUX

Breast Cancer’s Financial Toll
You talk with your doctor about your physical health. But what about your pocketbook?
Building Blocks
A dinosaur that's out of place, a hungry star and the secret to better math and reading skills.
A closer look at the services that digitally connect our lives, and some that came and went.

NASA is studying what personality an astronaut candidate needs to make the journey to Mars.

The big picture on fighting orchard infection.
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