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Abstractions blog

Gene Drives Work in Mice (if They’re Female)

Biologists have demonstrated for the first time that a controversial genetic engineering technology works, with caveats, in mammals.

Portrait of Carolina Araujo at IMPA in Brazil
Q&A

A Movement to Close the Gender Gap in Mathematics

The Brazilian mathematician Carolina Araujo, who calls herself “a bit of an anarchist,” is organizing meetings and building a support network to study and solve the problems women face in mathematics.

planetary science

Asteroid Rate Jumped in Solar System’s Past

An analysis of lunar craters has found that we’ve been living in a relatively violent period in cosmic history.

Art for "Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations"
Quantized Academy

Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations

A science fiction novelist and an internet commenter made breakthroughs on a longstanding problem about the number of ways you can arrange a set of items. What did they discover?

Art for "How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals"
Abstractions blog

How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals

Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.

Art for "The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces"
neuroscience

The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces

Emerging evidence suggests that the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space, which hints at a more universal theory of cognition.

Photo of Been Kim
Q&A

A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think

Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”

Art for "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many"
astrophysics

Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many

Astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now they have the opposite problem.

Abstractions blog

Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex

Jellyfish didn’t need novel genes to take an evolutionary leap in complexity.