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Abstractions blog

The Downside to Neanderthal DNA

How interbreeding among early hominins harmed humans but may have slowed the Neanderthals’ decline.

Abstractions blog

A Glimpse Through a Cosmic Keyhole

What could cause galaxies millions of light years apart to all spew material in the same direction?

Abstractions blog

Have Physicists Discovered a New Boson?

A group of little-known Hungarian physicists claim to have found a new fundamental particle. Now other researchers are raising questions about the team’s past work.


An Explorer of Quantum Borderlands

Suchitra Sebastian’s searches for quantum anomalies have led to the potential discovery of a new building block of matter.

nuclear physics

Evidence of a ‘Fifth Force’ Faces Scrutiny

A lab in Hungary has reported an anomaly that could lead to a physics revolution. But even as excitement builds, closer scrutiny has unearthed a troubling backstory.

Quantum bits, or “qubits,” can be in a superposition of both zero and one.
quantum computing

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

Recent tests show that quantum computers made by D-Wave systems should solve some problems faster than ordinary computers. Researchers have begun to map out exactly which queries might benefit from these quantum machines.


Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians

A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards.

Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘A Random Place at the Table’

Try these shortcuts for solving problems that seem to require a lengthy calculation.

Native Tibetans make use of a gene derived from Denisovans to stay healthy at high altitudes.

How Neanderthal DNA Helps Humanity

Neanderthals and Denisovans may have endowed modern humans with genetic variants that helped them thrive in new environments.