August 2, 1997 | Volume 152 | Number 5
Chess isn't the only game in which computers can now compete at
or near the championship level. Researchers and software
developers have used a variety of strategies to make significant
improvements in the capabilities of programs that play such games
as checkers, backgammon, bridge, Go, and Scrabble.(Photo
illustration: Mark Gilvey, Design Imaging)
MathLand TimeLine Food for Thought The Mystery Box
Early Flowering Tree Discovered
An ancient plant lineage rediscovered in Madagascar is expected to provide new insights into the evolution of flowering plants.
Two research groups have independently identified a protein used by the intestines to grab needed iron out of food.
Whistling a superfluid quantum melody
Helium-3 atoms can quantum mechanically shuttle back and forth between two reservoirs connected by an array of tiny apertures, demonstrating the superfluid analog of the Josephson effect in superconductors.
Is synergy of estrogen mimics an illusion?
The withdrawal of a much-touted, year-old scientific article describing extraordinary synergy between estrogenlike pollutants has catalyzed discussion of what constitutes synergy.
Preschoolers get grip on hidden emotions
Children between 3 and 5 years old can distinguish between real and feigned emotions, as well as the social rules guiding emotional expression.
Odd companions create unusual environment
Oil and water both adhere to a specially treated titanium dioxide surface.
Fetal cells may trigger autoimmune disease
Lingering fetal cells may cause a woman's immune cells to attack her tissue.
Craters and extinctions: Time of reckoning
A buried crater discovered last year in South Africa may explain extinctions at the end of the Jurassic period.
Factual brains, uneventful lives
Three people who suffered brain damage early in life yield evidence that different cerebral regions take responsibility for event memory and fact memory.
Heading out of the hippocampus
Rat experiments suggest that, contrary to prior scientific assumptions, brain areas outside the hippocampus can direct some forms of spatial memory.
El Nino gathers steam in Pacific
The equatorial Pacific is warming rapidly in response to a strong El Nino.
Flying on sunlight
A pilotless solar-powered plane has soared to record-breaking heights.
Spying Diseases from the Sky
Satellite data may predict where infectious microbes will strike
Scientists studying Lyme disease, cholera, and other infectious diseases are testing whether remote sensing data can be used to identify regions likely to be afflicted.
Silicon Champions of the Game
Computers have conquered tic-tac-toe, checkers, and chess. What's next?
Researchers and software developers have used a variety of strategies to bring computer programs that play games, including chess, checkers, backgammon, bridge, Go, and Scrabble, to the expert level.
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