How Isaac Newton Discovered the Binomial Power Series
Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums.
The AI Researcher Giving Her Field Its Bitter Medicine
Anima Anandkumar wants computer scientists to move beyond the matrix, among other challenges.
Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses
A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has no known counterpart in more complex life.
Old Problem About Mathematical Curves Falls to Young Couple
Eric Larson and Isabel Vogt have solved the interpolation problem — a centuries-old question about some of the most basic objects in geometry. Some credit goes to the chalkboard in their living room.
‘Post-Quantum’ Cryptography Scheme Is Cracked on a Laptop
Two researchers have broken an encryption protocol that many saw as a promising defense against the power of quantum computing.
What Drives Galaxies? The Milky Way’s Black Hole May Be the Key.
Supermassive black holes have come to the fore as engines of galactic evolution, but new observations of the Milky Way and its central hole don’t yet hang together.
Electric Fish Genomes Reveal How Evolution Repeats Itself
By studying how electric organs arose in different lineages of fish, scientists gain new insights into a long-standing question of evolutionary biology.
Help Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura Overcome Astronomical Odds
In honor of the actor and activist Nichelle Nichols, this month’s puzzle imagines a Star Trek adventure in which her character, Lieutenant Uhura, faces a life-and-death conundrum.