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GFAP staining in glial cells, neurofilament protein in axons and DNA in cell nuclei
Abstractions blog

Cell Atlases Reveal Biology’s Frontiers

New techniques expose unexpected diversity within seemingly uniform tissues.

Marjorie Rice
Abstractions blog

Marjorie Rice’s Secret Pentagons

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.

Abstractions blog

The Tricky Translation of Mathematical Ideas

Big advances in math can happen when mathematicians move ideas into areas where they seem like they shouldn’t belong.

Kuiper belt objects, planet nine
Abstractions blog

Planet Nine Is Put on Trial in Absentia

Breathless media coverage notwithstanding, the cases for and against a hypothetical Planet Nine in the outskirts of the solar system remain inconclusive.

Dwarf irregular galaxy
Abstractions blog

Researchers Check Space-Time to See if It’s Made of Quantum Bits

The newly developed theory of emergent gravity, proposed as an alternative to dark matter, struggles in one of its first trials.

Andromeda galaxy
Abstractions blog

How Superfluid Dark Matter Mimics an Old Idea About Gravity

Does the force of gravity change at large scales? Perhaps not, but a new theory of dark matter shows why that could appear to be the case.

Sylvia Earle in one-person submersible DeepWorker
Abstractions blog

Sylvia Earle Is Not Done Exploring

The legendary marine biologist discusses why she’s excited about the coming era of ocean science, the shortsightedness of maritime exploitation and diving in the Arctic in her 80s.

Paul Erdős
Abstractions blog

Cash for Math: The Erdős Prizes Live On

Paul Erdős placed small bounties on hundreds of unsolved math problems. Over the past 20 years, only a handful have been claimed.

Black hole merger
Abstractions blog

Latest Black Hole Collision Comes With a Twist

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s third detection further compounds the mystery of why black holes collide.