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Abstractions blog

Art for "Goals and Rewards Rewrite the Brain’s Map of the World"
Abstractions blog

Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World

Two new studies show that the brain’s navigation system changes how it represents physical space to reflect personal experience.

Abstractions blog

Sum-of-Three-Cubes Problem Solved for ‘Stubborn’ Number 33

A number theorist with programming prowess has found a solution to 33 = x³ + y³ + z³, a much-studied equation that went unsolved for 64 years.

Art for "Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox "
Abstractions blog

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox

Astronomers claim in a new paper that star motions should make it easy for civilizations to spread across the galaxy, but still we might find ourselves alone.

Art for "The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson"
Abstractions blog

The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson

No new particles have been found at the Large Hadron Collider since the Higgs boson in 2012, but physicists say there’s much we can still learn from the Higgs itself.

Abstractions blog

Smarter Parts Make Collective Systems Too Stubborn

As researchers delve deeper into the behavior of decentralized collective systems, they’re beginning to question some of their initial assumptions.

Art for "How Our Universe Could Emerge as a Hologram"
Abstractions blog

How Our Universe Could Emerge as a Hologram

Physicists have devised a holographic model of “de Sitter space,” the term for a universe like ours, that could give us new clues about the origin of space and time.

Art for "Smaller Is Better: Why Finite Number Systems Pack More Punch"
Abstractions blog

Smaller Is Better: Why Finite Number Systems Pack More Punch

Recent progress on the “sum product” problem recalls a celebrated mathematical result that revealed the power of miniature number systems.

A row of skulls ending with homo sapiens, foreground, found at The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Human Origins.
Abstractions blog

Artificial Intelligence Finds Ancient ‘Ghosts’ in Modern DNA

With the help of deep learning techniques, paleoanthropologists find evidence of long-lost branches on the human family tree.

Photo of the female penis structure of the cave insect Neotrogla aurora.
Abstractions blog

Why Evolution Reversed These Insects’ Sex Organs

Among these cave insects, the females evolved to have penises — twice. The reasons challenge common assumptions about sex.