Magazine article Natural History

Eclipse, Epidemic, Evolution, Ecology

Magazine article Natural History

Eclipse, Epidemic, Evolution, Ecology

Article excerpt

On August 21, people living in the contiguous United States will have a rare moment all to themselves, as the Moon's umbral shadow makes a path only across mainland America. Joe Rao, in his Skylog column, "A Moment of Darkness," on pages 43-45, tells when, where, and what to expect, and warns about the risk of viewing the event.

Microbiologist Kathryn Lougheed traces our attempts, since the 1940s, to devise effective drugs to treat the very persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Any hope of combating the disease will depend on our ability to develop new and transformative drugs. See "Killing the Unkillable" on pages 34-39.

Stephen Jay Gould, from his study of the array of bizarre fossils found in the Burgess Shale of the Canadian Rockies, concluded there was nothing inevitable about which species survived and how they evolved. Much of the evidence for Gould's contingency argument came from the early writings of University of Cambridge paleontologist Simon Conway Morris, who has since become the champion of a counter argument: that "evolutionary convergence is completely ubiquitous. …

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