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Physics

Visions of Future Physics

Nima Arkani-Hamed is championing a campaign to build the world’s largest particle collider, even as he pursues a new vision of the laws of nature.

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Biology

How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time

Cellular clocks are almost everywhere. Clues to how they work are coming from the places they’re not.

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Quantized Columns

Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity

Einstein refused to believe in the inherent unpredictability of the world. Is the subatomic world insane, or just subtle?

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Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

A recent cryptographic breakthrough has proven difficult to put into practice. But new advances show how near-perfect computer security might be surprisingly close at hand.

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profile

A Life in Games

The mathematician John Horton Conway’s myriad accomplishments — including the Game of Life, sprouts and the surreal numbers — are the product of a mind at play.

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Biology

How Mutant Viral Swarms Spread Disease

A new understanding of viral swarms is helping researchers predict how viruses will evolve and where disease is likely to spread.

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Biology

A Surprise Source of Life’s Code

Emerging data suggests the seemingly impossible — that mysterious new genes arise from “junk” DNA.

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geophysics

How Life and Luck Changed Earth’s Minerals

Did the minerals on our planet arise in a predictable fashion, or did they result from chance events? The answers could eventually help scientists identify planets likely to harbor life.

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Biology

At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.