What's up in

Abstractions blog

Art for "How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals"
Abstractions blog

How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals

Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.

Abstractions blog

Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex

Jellyfish didn’t need novel genes to take an evolutionary leap in complexity.

Abstractions blog

Ancient Turing Pattern Builds Feathers, Hair — and Now, Shark Skin

A primordial developmental toolkit shared by all vertebrates, and described by a theory of the mathematician Alan Turing, sets the growth pattern for all types of skin structures.

Illustration of lock with polynomials surrounding it
Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption

Digital security depends on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. A new proof shows why one method for breaking digital encryption won’t work.

Abstractions blog

What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life

Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own “supra-kingdom” of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered by new sequencing technologies.

Abstractions blog

Why Black Hole Interiors Grow (Almost) Forever

The renowned physicist Leonard Susskind has identified a possible quantum origin for the ever-growing volume of black holes.

Abstractions blog

What Defines a Stem Cell? Scientists Rethink the Answer

As it becomes clear that the body’s cells have more diverse regenerative capabilities than expected, experts have had to reconsider their approach to stem cell research.

abstractions blog

New Proof Shows Infinite Curves Come in Two Types

Alexander Smith’s work on the Goldfeld conjecture reveals fundamental characteristics of elliptic curves.

Photo of Stromatolites
Abstractions blog

World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

Evidence for life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks appears to be crumbling away.

Abstractions​ navigates promising ideas in science and mathematics. Journey with us and join the conversation.