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March 2011 issue

About the Cover: People can get infected by any of several thousand genetically distinct versions of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This extraordinary viral diversity has so far prevented the discovery of an effective vaccine. But a potential new vaccine, based on engineered "mosaic" proteins developed by Los Alamos researchers, is being tested in Phase I human trials. The cover image expresses the hope that these new proteins, shown forming a protective line against encroaching viruses, can save lives and help ease the global HIV pandemic.

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Los Alamos scientist Jim Tuck with the "Perhapsatron," a device he designed to slowly compress a hot plasma to nuclear fusion conditions by using magnetic fields.

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