What's up in

# Abstractions blog

## Latest Articles

### The Most Important Machine That Was Never Built

When he invented Turing machines in 1936, Alan Turing also invented modern computing.

### How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed

After decades of frustration, researchers have determined how an airborne scent molecule links to a human smell receptor.

### Why Mathematicians Re-Prove What They Already Know

It’s been known for thousands of years that the primes go on forever, but new proofs give fresh insights into how theorems depend on one another.

### Tiny Jets on the Sun Power the Colossal Solar Wind

A new analysis argues that ubiquitous eruptions in the sun’s corona explain the vast flow of charged particles seen streaming out through the solar system.

### Mathematicians Find Hidden Structure in a Common Type of Space

In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” in a vector space. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more out there.

### The Electron Is So Round That It’s Ruling Out Potential New Particles

If the electron’s charge wasn’t perfectly round, it could reveal the existence of hidden particles. A new measurement approaches perfection.

### Animal Mutation Rates Reveal Traits That Speed Evolution

The first large-scale comparison of mutation rates gives insights into how quickly species can evolve.

### How Randomness Improves Algorithms

Unpredictability can help computer scientists solve otherwise intractable problems.

### Astronomers Dig Up the Stars That Birthed the Milky Way

There once was a cosmic seed that sprouted the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered its last surviving remnants.