All Articles

genetics

A Secret Flexibility Found in Life’s Blueprints

A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell.

Q&A

The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality

The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that evolution and quantum mechanics conspire to make objective reality an illusion.

cosmology

Physicists Hunt for the Big Bang’s Triangles

The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky.

dark matter

Debate Intensifies Over Dark Disk Theory

In the new, free-for-all era of dark matter research, the controversial idea that dark matter is concentrated in thin disks is being rescued from scientific oblivion.

neuroscience

Mapping the Brain to Build Better Machines

A project to decipher the brain’s learning rules could revolutionize machine learning.

insights puzzle

Why Sleeping Beauty Is Lost in Time

The famous Sleeping Beauty problem has divided probability theorists, decision theorists and philosophers for over 15 years. Puzzle columnist Pradeep Mutalik claims to have discovered the source of confusion.

geometry

Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.

Quantized Columns

Is AlphaGo Really Such a Big Deal?

The Go-playing program teaches itself to replicate something very much like human intuition, an advance that promises far-reaching consequences.

synthetic biology

In Newly Created Life-Form, a Major Mystery

Scientists have created a synthetic organism that possesses only the genes it needs to survive. But they have no idea what roughly a third of those genes do.