All Articles

Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake

November 3, 2015

A single genetic change and some clever geometry show how single-celled organisms can band together to form cooperative multicellular entities.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Creating Art With Mathematics’

October 30, 2015

The solution to this month’s puzzle explains the artful mathematics behind symmetrical patterns.

Life’s Big Leaps: Critical Moments in Evolution

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life

October 29, 2015

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution — how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi.

Quantized Columns

The Physical Origin of Universal Computing

October 27, 2015

The physical nature of computers might reveal deep truths about their uniquely powerful abstract abilities.

Q&A

Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity

October 22, 2015

The physicist Gabriela González is on the cusp of finding the first direct evidence of gravitational waves — soundlike wobbles in space-time produced by black holes and their kin.

Mathematics

Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring

October 20, 2015

A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof.

Biology

Networks Untangle Malaria’s Deadly Shuffle

October 15, 2015

By examining regions shared between some of nature’s most variable genes, malaria researchers are piecing together an understanding of a deadly parasite.

ecology

A Twisted Path to Equation-Free Prediction

October 13, 2015

Complex natural systems defy analysis using a standard mathematical toolkit, so one ecologist is throwing out the equations.

insights puzzle

How to Create Art With Mathematics

October 8, 2015

Can you generate aesthetically pleasing, symmetrical curves with two numbers and a simple mathematical function?