All Articles

Biology

The Mutant Genes Behind the Black Death

October 6, 2015

Only a few genetic changes were enough to change an ordinary stomach bug into the bacteria responsible for the plague.

number theory

A Magical Answer to an 80-Year-Old Puzzle

October 1, 2015

Using crowd-sourced and traditional mathematics research, Terence Tao has devised a solution to a long-standing problem posed by the legendary Paul Erdős.

Computer Science

A New Map Traces the Limits of Computation

September 29, 2015

A major advance in computational complexity reveals deep connections between the classes of problems that computers can — and can’t — possibly do.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Road Less Traveled’

September 25, 2015

The solution to this month’s puzzle uses both mathematics and psychology to explain trouble with choosing the fastest route.

Physics

Visions of Future Physics

September 22, 2015

Nima Arkani-Hamed is championing a campaign to build the world’s largest particle collider, even as he pursues a new vision of the laws of nature.

Q&A

An Explorer of Life’s Deepest Partnerships

September 17, 2015

The biologist Nancy Moran has spent a career investigating the surprising nature of symbiosis, a phenomenon in which two species can appear to merge into one.

Biology

How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time

September 15, 2015

Cellular clocks are almost everywhere. Clues to how they work are coming from the places they’re not.

Quantized Columns

Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity

September 10, 2015

Einstein refused to believe in the inherent unpredictability of the world. Is the subatomic world insane, or just subtle?

cryptography

A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption

September 8, 2015

In the drive to safeguard data from future quantum computers, cryptographers have stumbled upon a thin red line between security and efficiency.