What's up in

# Abstractions blog

## Latest Articles

### Why ‘De-Extinction’ Is Impossible (But Could Work Anyway)

Several projects are aiming to bring back mammoths and other species that have vanished from the planet. Whether that’s technically possible is beside the point.

### Physicists Pin Down How Quantum Uncertainty Sharpens Measurements

Throwing out data seems to make measurements of distances and angles more precise. The reason why has been traced to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

### Mathematicians Coax Fluid Equations Into Nonphysical Solutions

The famed Navier-Stokes equations can lead to cases where more than one result is possible, but only in an extremely narrow set of situations.

### New Proof Illuminates the Hidden Structure of Common Equations

Van der Waerden’s conjecture mystified mathematicians for 85 years. Its solution shows how polynomial roots relate to one another.

### Which Computational Universe Do We Live In?

Cryptographers want to know which of five possible worlds we inhabit, which will reveal whether truly secure cryptography is even possible.

### Researchers Gain New Understanding From Simple AI

Language processing programs are notoriously hard to interpret, but smaller versions can provide important insights into how they work.

### Life With Longer Genetic Codes Seems Possible — but Less Likely

Life could use a more expansive genetic code in theory, but new work shows that improving on three-letter codons would be a challenge.

### Newly Measured Particle Seems Heavy Enough to Break Known Physics

A new analysis of W bosons suggests these particles are significantly heavier than predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics.

### Mitochondria Double as Tiny Lenses in the Eye

The optical properties of mitochondrial bundles in the retina may improve how efficiently the eye captures light.