# Archive

## Latest Articles

### Animal Mutation Rates Reveal Traits That Speed Evolution

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

### What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Vaccines?

Should Covid-19 vaccines be judged by how well they prevent disease or how well they prevent death? Anna Durbin, a public health expert and vaccine researcher, talks with Steven Strogatz about the science behind vaccines.

### Hobbyist Finds Math’s Elusive ‘Einstein’ Tile

The surprisingly simple tile is the first single, connected tile that can fill the entire plane in a pattern that never repeats — and can’t be made to fill it in a repeating way.

### How Randomness Improves Algorithms

Unpredictability can help computer scientists solve otherwise intractable problems.

### How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes

A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all equally stuffed with noncoding sequences.

### The Colorful Problem That Has Long Frustrated Mathematicians

The four-color problem is simple to explain, but its complex proof continues to be both celebrated and despised.

### 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.

### Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility

The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint meets creation.

### The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy

Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics.