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Mollusk Eyes Reveal How Future Evolution Depends on the Past
The visual systems of an obscure group of mollusks provide a rare natural example of path-dependent evolution, in which a critical fork in the creatures’ past determined their evolutionary futures.
Complex Structures Like ‘Entropy Bagels’ Emerge From Simple Rules
Simple rules in simple settings continue to puzzle mathematicians, even as they devise intricate tools to analyze them.
How Quickly Do Large Language Models Learn Unexpected Skills?
A new study suggests that so-called emergent abilities actually develop gradually and predictably, depending on how you measure them.
Radio Maps May Reveal the Universe’s Biggest Magnetic Fields
A controversial technique has produced detailed maps of the magnetic fields in colossal galaxy clusters. If confirmed, the approach could be used to reveal where cosmic magnetic fields come from.
What Your Brain Is Doing When You’re Not Doing Anything
When your mind is wandering, your brain’s “default mode” network is active. Its discovery 20 years ago inspired a raft of research into networks of brain regions and how they interact with each other.
Researchers Approach New Speed Limit for Seminal Problem
Integer linear programming can help find the answer to a variety of real-world problems. Now researchers have found a much faster way to do it.
The Best Neighborhoods for Starting a Life in the Galaxy
Some neighborhoods in the Milky Way may be better suited for making habitable planets than others.