What's up in
New Genomic Study of Placenta Finds Deep Links to Cancer
A patchwork of genomic differences in the placenta may explain the organ’s “live fast, die young” strategy and its connections to cancer.
Iceland’s Eruptions Reveal the Hot History of Mars
The new volcanic fissures are more otherworldly than they first appear.
Mathematicians Find a New Class of Digitally Delicate Primes
Despite finding no specific examples, researchers have proved the existence of a pervasive kind of prime number so delicate that changing any of its infinite digits renders it composite.
Long-Missing Midsize Black Hole Flashes Into View
Black holes seemed to come only in sizes small and XXL. A new search strategy has uncovered a black hole of “intermediate” mass, raising hopes of more to come.
The Near-Magical Mystery of Quasiparticles
The zoo of spontaneously emerging particlelike entities known as quasiparticles has grown quickly and become more and more exotic. Here are a few of the most curious and potentially useful examples.
Matrix Multiplication Inches Closer to Mythic Goal
A recent paper set the fastest record for multiplying two matrices. But it also marks the end of the line for a method researchers have relied on for decades to make improvements.
New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole
A supernova-like explosion dubbed the Camel appears to be the result of a newborn black hole eating a star from the inside out.
Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality
A new thought experiment indicates that quantum mechanics doesn’t work without strange numbers that turn negative when squared.
Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice
An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.