To Our Readers, Dec. 4, 1995

REPORTERS DO SOME OF THEIR best work between assignments, when a sixth sense leads them to the next big story--sometimes simply by nudging them to call the right source and ask, "What's new?" Senior correspondent Madeleine Nash made one of those breakthrough calls last summer. But Nash was sniffing out a story that's 543 million years old.

"What's new about the Cambrian?" she asked David Jablonski, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago.

"You must come down here today, now, this very minute," Jablonski replied. He told Nash that a colleague had just returned from an expedition to Namibia, where he...

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