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number theory

Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics

An eminent mathematician reveals that his advances in the study of millennia-old mathematical questions owe to concepts derived from physics.


How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Kidneys sniff out signals from gut bacteria for cues to lower blood pressure after meals. Our understanding of how the symbiotic microbes affect health is becoming much more molecular.


Choosy Eggs May Pick Sperm for Their Genes, Defying Mendel’s Law

The oldest law of genetics says that gametes combine randomly, but experiments hint that sometimes eggs select sperm actively for their genetic assets.


A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer

Elephants did not evolve to become huge animals until after they turned a bit of genetic junk into a unique defense against inevitable tumors.


Best-Ever Algorithm Found for Huge Streams of Data

To efficiently analyze a firehose of data, scientists first have to break big numbers into bits.

theoretical physics

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.

Wired to Learn: The Next AI

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea is helping to explain the puzzling success of today’s artificial-intelligence algorithms — and might also explain how human brains learn.

Wired to Learn: The Next AI

Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious

Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.


Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution

Hybrids, once treated as biological misfits, play a vital role in the evolution of many animal species. Now conservationists are trying to reconcile that truth with policies.