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The Curious Strength of a Sea Sponge’s Glass Skeleton
A glass sponge found deep in the Pacific shows a remarkable ability to withstand compression and bending, on top of the sponge’s other unusual properties.
Galaxy-Size Bubbles Discovered Towering Over the Milky Way
For decades, astronomers debated whether a particular smudge was close-by and small, or distant and huge. A new X-ray map supports the massive option.
New Quantum Algorithms Finally Crack Nonlinear Equations
Two teams found different ways for quantum computers to process nonlinear systems by first disguising them as linear ones.
Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse
We don’t know why the universe appears to be expanding faster than it should. New ultra-precise distance measurements have only intensified the problem.
How the Slowest Computer Programs Illuminate Math’s Fundamental Limits
The goal of the “busy beaver” game is to find the longest-running computer program. Its pursuit has surprising connections to some of the most profound questions and concepts in mathematics.
How Neutral Theory Altered Ideas About Biodiversity
The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.
Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe
A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.
New Fish Data Reveal How Evolutionary Bursts Create Species
In three bursts of adaptive change, one species of cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika gave rise to hundreds.