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Art for "With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Has Quietly Become the Biggest Thing in Physics"
quantum physics

With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Is Now the Big Thing in Physics

The stunning emergence of a new type of superconductivity with the mere twist of a carbon sheet has left physicists giddy, and its discoverer nearly overwhelmed.

Art for "Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis"
Abstractions blog

Dark Matter Gets a Reprieve in New Analysis

A strange glow coming from the Milky Way’s center was thought to be due to ordinary pulsars. But a new look at a years-old study shows that dark matter might still be responsible.

Art for "Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses"
Abstractions blog

Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses

New work raises the estimated diversity of viruses in the seas more than twelvefold and lays the groundwork for a better understanding of their impact on global nutrient cycles.

Art for "A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers"
Abstractions blog

A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers

Quantum computers can’t selectively forget information. A new algorithm for multiplication shows a way around that problem.

Art for "New Turmoil Over Weighing Genes’ Share of Complex Traits"
genomics

New Turmoil Over Predicting the Effects of Genes

Promising efforts at disentangling the effects of genes and the environment on complicated traits may have been confounded by statistical problems.

Art for "Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood"
evolution

Icefish Study Adds Another Color to the Story of Blood

The rainbow of pigments that animals use for blood illustrates a central truth of evolution.

Q&A

The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Art for "Math Puzzle: The Joy of Recursion"
insights puzzle

The Bulldogs That Bulldogs Fight

Solve a linguistic whodunit about a college mascot by thinking like a self-referencing computer subroutine.

Art for "Dormant Microbes Bide Their Time Over Decades - Old Fires"
ecology

Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire

In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.