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Q&A

Watching Evolution Happen in Two Lifetimes

September 22, 2016

The biologists Rosemary and Peter Grant have spent four decades on a tiny island in the Galápagos. Their discoveries reveal how new animal species can emerge in just a few generations.

computer security

Hacker-Proof Code Confirmed

September 20, 2016

Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.

string theory

The Strange Second Life of String Theory

September 15, 2016

String theory has so far failed to live up to its promise as a way to unite gravity and quantum mechanics. At the same time, it has blossomed into one of the most useful sets of tools in science.

Abstractions blog

From Gaia, a Twinkling Treasure Trove

September 14, 2016

The first star map from the ESA’s Gaia space telescope is poised to revolutionize our understanding of the Milky Way galaxy.

insights puzzle

Seeing Time Through a Liquid Crystal Display

September 13, 2016

What insights can an LCD display give us about time’s arrow?

Abstractions blog

Responding Rapidly to Big Discoveries

September 9, 2016

How do scientists react to major breaking science news? For astrophysicists after the big gravitational waves announcement, it was meeting for two weeks in Santa Barbara, California.

evolution

Genetic Engineering to Clash With Evolution

September 8, 2016

Gene drives promise to spread a trait across an entire population. But evolutionary forces are going to alter even the best-engineered plans.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘A Drunkard’s Walk in Manhattan’

September 7, 2016

City blocks help illustrate why walking randomly tends to take you away from your starting point.

astrophysics

Colliding Black Holes Tell New Story of Stars

September 6, 2016

Just months after their discovery, gravitational waves coming from the mergers of black holes are shaking up astrophysics.