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Animal Copies Reveal Roots of Individuality

Genetically identical animals raised under similar conditions can make very different choices. These distinctions are helping researchers map the biological basis of individuality.


A Surprise for Evolution in Giant Tree of Life

The largest evolutionary tree ever compiled leads researchers to conclude that chance mutation — not natural selection — drives the development of new species.

The Quantum Fabric of Space-Time

Interactive: What Is Space?

Imagine the fabric of space-time peeled back layer by layer.

The Quantum Fabric of Space-Time

How Quantum Pairs Stitch Space-Time

New tools may reveal how quantum information builds the structure of space.

The Quantum Fabric of Space-Time

Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

A bold new idea aims to link two famously discordant descriptions of nature. In doing so, it may also reveal how space-time owes its existence to the spooky connections of quantum information.


Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Computer scientist Stuart Russell wants to ensure that our increasingly intelligent machines remain aligned with human values.

origins of life

How Structure Arose in the Primordial Soup

Life’s first epoch saw incredible advances — cells, metabolism and DNA, to name a few. Researchers are resurrecting ancient proteins to illuminate the biological dark ages.


For Persi Diaconis’ Next Magic Trick …

A mathematician who has analyzed card shuffling for decades is tackling one final nemesis: “smooshing.”


A Grand Theory of Wrinkles

A collaboration between mechanical engineers and mathematicians has revealed universal rules for how wrinkles form.