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# Abstractions blog

## Latest Articles

### ‘Impossible’ Particle Discovery Adds Key Piece to the Strong Force Puzzle

The unexpected discovery of the double-charm tetraquark has given physicists a new tool with which to hone their understanding of the strongest of nature’s fundamental forces.

### Mathematician Answers Chess Problem About Attacking Queens

The *n*-queens problem is about finding how many different ways queens can be placed on a chessboard so that none attack each other. A mathematician has now all but solved it.

### Mathematical Analysis of Fruit Fly Wings Hints at Evolution’s Limits

A painstaking study of wing morphology shows both the striking uniformity of individuals in a species and a subtle pattern of linked variations that evolution can exploit.

### How Ancient War Trickery Is Alive in Math Today

Legend says the Chinese military once used a mathematical ruse to conceal its troop numbers. The technique relates to many deep areas of modern math research.

### How Computationally Complex Is a Single Neuron?

Computational neuroscientists taught an artificial neural network to imitate a biological neuron. The result offers a new way to think about the complexity of single brain cells.

### The Complex Truth About ‘Junk DNA’

Genomes hold immense quantities of noncoding DNA. Some of it is essential for life, some seems useless, and some has its own agenda.

### To Learn More Quickly, Brain Cells Break Their DNA

New work shows that neurons and other brain cells use DNA double-strand breaks, often associated with cancer, neurodegeneration and aging, to quickly express genes related to learning and memory.

### Banach-Tarski and the Paradox of Infinite Cloning

One of the strangest results in mathematics explains how it’s possible to turn one sphere into two identical copies, simply by rearranging its pieces.

### Computer Scientists Discover Limits of Major Research Algorithm

The most widely used technique for finding the largest or smallest values of a math function turns out to be a fundamentally difficult computational problem.