All Articles

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat
Q&A

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Art for "Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries"
developmental biology

Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries

Stem cells seem to retain memories of old injuries to improve future healing. When that system goes wrong, chronic inflammation can result.

Art for "How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees"
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘How Equality and Inequality Shape Birds and Bees’

Puzzle solvers explored how evolution may have used negative and positive control mechanisms to shape the conflicting parental functions of reproduction and child rearing.

Art for "Adaptations or Neutral Changes? Evolutionary Theory Seeks a Balance"
evolution

Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is

For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations rather than adaptive ones at the level of DNA. Real genomic data challenges that assumption.

abstractions blog

New Proof Shows Infinite Curves Come in Two Types

Alexander Smith’s work on the Goldfeld conjecture reveals fundamental characteristics of elliptic curves.

Art for "In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Position"
cell biology

In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Location

Using a new CRISPR-based technique, researchers are examining how the position of DNA within the nucleus affects gene expression and cell function.

combinatorics

Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

Ewine van Dishoeck at Noordwijk beach in the Netherlands.
Thinking Places

Ewine van Dishoeck, the Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin

The astrochemist and winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has wondered about the cosmic origin of water while enjoying Noordwijk beach near her hometown of Leiden.

number theory

Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough

A new statistical model appears to undermine long-held assumptions in number theory. How much should it be trusted when all that really matters is proof?