All Articles

evolution

Scientists Debate the Origin of Cell Types in the First Animals

July 17, 2019

Theories about how animals became multicellular are shifting as researchers find greater complexity in our single-celled ancestors.

planetary science

Wandering Space Rocks Help Solve Mysteries of Planet Formation

July 16, 2019

After an interstellar asteroid shot past the sun, scientists realized that there’s probably a lot of itinerant rocks out there.

Abstractions blog

How (Relatively) Simple Symmetries Underlie Our Expanding Universe

July 15, 2019

Although Einstein’s theory of space-time seems more complicated than Newtonian physics, it greatly simplified the mathematical description of the universe.

Q&A

Curious About Consciousness? Ask the Self-Aware Machines

July 11, 2019

Consciousness is a famously hard problem, so Hod Lipson is starting from the basics: with self-aware robots that can help us understand how we think.

Abstractions blog

How Swarming Insects Act Like Fluids

July 10, 2019

By studying a swarm of flying midges as though it were a fluid, physicists have learned how collective behaviors might stabilize a group against environmental disruptions.

Abstractions blog

How Randomness Can Make Math Easier

July 9, 2019

Randomness would seem to make a mathematical statement harder to prove. In fact, it often does the opposite.

cell biology

Cellular Life, Death and Everything in Between

July 8, 2019

The discovery that apparently dead cells can sometimes resurrect themselves has researchers exploring how far they can push the point of no return.

Abstractions blog

The Quantum Theory That Peels Away the Mystery of Measurement

July 3, 2019

A recent test has confirmed the predictions of quantum trajectory theory.

geometry

Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order

July 2, 2019

Mathematicians have proved that a random process applied to a random surface will yield consistent patterns.