All Articles

Obfuscation
Computer Science

Perfecting the Art of Sensible Nonsense

In a watershed moment for cryptography, computer scientists have proposed a solution to a fundamental problem called “program obfuscation.”

Jeremy England
Physics

A New Physics Theory of Life

An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties.

evolution

Under Pressure, Does Evolution Evolve?

Some organisms respond to stress by driving up their mutation rate. Are they evolving specific mechanisms to enhance evolution in times of crisis?

genetics

A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution

Mysterious episodes of genetic duplication in our great ape ancestors may have paved the way for human evolution.

Photograph of Saturn and its moons.
Mathematics

A New Tool to Help Mathematicians Pack

Improvements in how densely spheres and other shapes can be packed together could lead to advances in materials science, deep space communication and theoretical physics.

Maple leaves.
botany

The Secret Language of Plants

Striking evidence that plants warn each other of environmental dangers is reviving a once ridiculed field.

Trefoil vortex knot.
fluid dynamics

Could Knots Unravel Mysteries of Fluid Flow?

By investigating the central role played by knots in fluids and fields, physicists hope to unravel long-standing mysteries of turbulence.

neuroscience

Inside a Brain Circuit, the Will to Press On

A rare brain stimulation study suggests that a brain circuit known as the “salience network” contributes to differences in our ability to overcome challenges and cope with stress.

Image of spiral staircase.
Mathematics

To Settle Infinity Dispute, a New Law of Logic

To determine the nature of infinity, mathematicians face a choice between two new logical axioms. What they decide could help shape the future of mathematical truth.