By genetically instructing cells to perform tasks that they wouldn’t in nature, synthetic biologists can learn deep secrets about how life works. Steven Strogatz discusses the potential of this young field with researcher Michael Elowitz.
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Dinosaur Bone Study Reveals That Not All Giants Grew Alike
A survey of prehistoric bones reveals that T. rex and some of its cousins had more than one way to reach enormous sizes. Evolution may have preserved that variation in modern animals too.
The Unpredictable Abilities Emerging From Large AI Models
Large language models like ChatGPT are now big enough that they’ve started to display startling, unpredictable behaviors.
Coloring by Numbers Reveals Arithmetic Patterns in Fractions
In a recent paper, two mathematicians showed that a particular pattern is unavoidable when fractions are categorized.
Global Microbiome Study Gives New View of Shared Health Risks
The most comprehensive survey of how we share our microbiomes suggests a new way of thinking about the risks of developing some diseases that aren’t usually considered contagious.
Shadows in the Big Bang Afterglow Reveal Invisible Cosmic Structures
Cosmologists are using secondary signatures from the cosmic microwave background to map the universe’s hidden matter.
The Researcher Who Would Teach Machines to Be Fair
Arvind Narayanan uses quantitative methods to expose and correct the misuse of quantitative methods.
Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Meets With Resistance
A paper in Nature reports the discovery of a superconductor that operates at room temperatures and near-room pressures. The claim has divided the research community.
Black Holes Will Eventually Destroy All Quantum States, Researchers Argue
New calculations suggest that the event horizons around black holes will ‘decohere’ quantum possibilities — even those that are far away.
Supergenes that lock inherited traits together are widespread in nature. Recent work shows that their blend of genetic benefits and risks for species can be complex.
The Joy of Why
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