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Art for "Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly"
evolution

Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly

If highly repetitive gene-regulating sequences in DNA are easily lost, that may explain why some adaptations evolve quickly and repeatedly.

Photo of Priya Natarajan
Q&A

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

Priyamvada Natarajan has pioneered the mapping and modeling of the universe’s invisible contents, especially dark matter and supermassive black holes.

artificial intelligence

Foundations Built for a General Theory of Neural Networks

Neural networks can be as unpredictable as they are powerful. Now mathematicians are beginning to reveal how a neural network’s form will influence its function.

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.

Quantized Columns

The Double Life of Black Holes

Perfect black holes are versatile mathematical tools. Just don’t mistake them for the real thing.

Art for "The Trouble With Turbulence"
In Theory

The Trouble With Turbulence

Turbulence is everywhere, yet it is one of the most difficult concepts for physicists to understand.

mathematical physics

A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism

People have known about magnets since ancient times, but the physics of ferromagnetism remains a mystery. Now a familiar puzzle is getting physicists closer to the answer.

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.