James Round for Quanta Magazine

insights puzzle

COVID-19 Is Raging. How Safe Is Your Backyard Party?

Awash in coronavirus data, misinformation and tremendous uncertainty, we need to put our risk analysis skills to the ultimate test.

Photo of one of the Russian sturgeon-paddlefish hybrids called sturddlefish.
Abstractions blog

Extra DNA May Make Unlikely Hybrid Fish Possible

The unintentional creation of “sturddlefish” hybrids may illuminate the genomic mechanisms that govern whether species can interbreed.

The cyclic universe.
Abstractions blog

Big Bounce Simulations Challenge the Big Bang

Detailed computer simulations have found that a cosmic contraction can generate features of the universe that we observe today.

number theory

Landmark Math Proof Clears Hurdle in Top Erdős Conjecture

Two mathematicians have proved the first leg of Paul Erdős’ all-time favorite problem about number patterns.

Abstractions blog

How Physics Found a Geometric Structure for Math to Play With

Symplectic geometry is a relatively new field with implications for much of modern mathematics. Here’s what it’s all about.

Photo of green leafy plants in close-up.
Center of the Milky Way
Abstractions blog

An Alternative to Dark Matter Passes Critical Test

Modified gravity theories have never been able to describe the universe’s first light. A new formulation does.

Illustration of a woman brandishing a shield to keep viruses at bay. One virus has slipped through a small hole in it.
infectious disease

Our Genes May Explain Severity of COVID-19 and Other Infections

Researchers are examining the power of subtle genetic weaknesses in the immune system to affect the severity of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

An apple being jostled by gravitons
gravitational waves

How the Bits of Quantum Gravity Can Buzz

New calculations show how hypothetical particles called gravitons would give rise to a special kind of noise.

The Joy of x Podcast


The mathematician Rebecca Goldin and the psychology researcher Brian Nosek speak with host Steven Strogatz about what it’s like to be the bearers of unpopular truths.



What Is the Geometry of the Universe?

In our mind’s eye, the universe seems to go on forever. But using geometry we can explore a variety of three-dimensional shapes that offer alternatives to “ordinary” infinite space.

Quanta Podcast

developmental biology

For Embryo’s Cells, Size Can Determine Fate

Modeling suggests that many embryonic cells commit to a developmental fate when they become too small to divide unevenly anymore.

About Quanta Magazine

Illuminating basic science and math research through public service journalism.

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Quanta Magazine is committed to in-depth, accurate journalism that serves the public interest. Each article braids the complexities of science with the malleable art of storytelling and is meticulously reported, edited and fact-checked. Launched and funded by the Simons Foundation, Quanta is editorially independent — our articles do not reflect or represent the views of the foundation.

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