What's up in

Abstractions blog

Looping video that shows transformations between African cichlid species.
Abstractions blog

New Fish Data Reveal How Evolutionary Bursts Create Species

December 1, 2020

In three bursts of adaptive change, one species of cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika gave rise to hundreds.

Photo of Ashwin Sah standing in front of a sculpture in a park
Abstractions blog

Undergraduate Math Student Pushes Frontier of Graph Theory

November 30, 2020

At 21, Ashwin Sah has produced a body of work that senior mathematicians say is nearly unprecedented for a college student.

Infographic showing the ranges of possible masses of WIMPs, axions, ultralight dark matter, sub-GeV dark matter and primordial black holes, which are five different candidates for dark matter.
Abstractions blog

The Search for Dark Matter Is Dramatically Expanding

November 23, 2020

Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks.

Colorized micrograph of a cell’s nucleus, showing euchromatin and heterochromatin.
Abstractions blog

Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard

November 16, 2020

Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced.

A pink beam at the center of a metallic experimental apparatus.
Abstractions blog

Physicists Pin Down Nuclear Reaction From Moments After the Big Bang

November 11, 2020

The newly-measured rate of a key nuclear fusion process from the Big Bang matches the picture of the universe 380,000 years later.

Black and white historical photo of eight men in front of a building, including Henri Cartan, André Weil and Szolem Mandelbrojt.
Abstractions blog

Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki

November 9, 2020

For almost a century, the anonymous members of Nicolas Bourbaki have written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought.

Spheres of three different sizes.
Abstractions blog

Debate Erupts Over How ‘Forbidden’ Black Holes Grow

November 3, 2020

Once missing in action, middleweight black holes have finally been detected. Now researchers are trying to figure out how they grow from small ones.

Fluorescent cross-section of a mouse’s brain.
Abstractions blog

Brain Cell DNA Refolds Itself to Aid Memory Recall

November 2, 2020

Researchers see structural changes in genetic material that allow memories to strengthen when remembered.

A visualization of the tower formed by the 3-adic numbers
Abstractions blog

An Infinite Universe of Number Systems

October 19, 2020

The p-adics form an infinite collection of number systems based on prime numbers. They’re at the heart of modern number theory.