Math’s ‘Oldest Problem Ever’ Gets a New Answer
A new proof significantly strengthens a decades-old result about the ubiquity of ways to represent whole numbers as sums of unit fractions.
New Map of Meaning in the Brain Changes Ideas About Memory
Researchers have mapped hundreds of semantic categories to the tiny bits of the cortex that represent them in our thoughts and perceptions. What they discovered might change our view of memory.
Mathematicians Outwit Hidden Number Conspiracy
Decades ago, a mathematician posed a warmup problem for some of the most difficult questions about prime numbers. It turned out to be just as difficult to solve, until now.
The Brain Processes Speech in Parallel With Other Sounds
Scientists thought that the brain’s hearing centers might just process speech along with other sounds. But new work suggests that speech gets some special treatment very early on.
How Animals Map 3D Spaces Surprises Brain Researchers
When animals move through 3D spaces, the neat system of grid cell activity they use for navigating on flat surfaces gets more disorderly. That has implications for some ideas about memory and other processes.
Chemistry Nobel Prize Honors Technique for Building Molecules
Benjamin List and David MacMillan received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of asymmetrical organocatalysis.
Medicine Nobel Prize Goes to Temperature and Touch Discoveries
David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of how we detect heat and touch.
To Learn More Quickly, Brain Cells Break Their DNA
New work shows that neurons and other brain cells use DNA double-strand breaks, often associated with cancer, neurodegeneration and aging, to quickly express genes related to learning and memory.
The Brain Doesn’t Think the Way You Think It Does
Familiar categories of mental functions such as perception, memory and attention reflect our experience of ourselves, but they are misleading about how the brain works. More revealing approaches are emerging.