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evolution

How Neanderthal DNA Helps Humanity

May 26, 2016

Neanderthals and Denisovans may have endowed modern humans with genetic variants that helped them thrive in new environments.

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quantum physics

New Support for Alternative Quantum View

May 16, 2016

An experiment claims to have invalidated a decades-old criticism against pilot-wave theory, an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics that eliminates the most baffling features of the subatomic universe.

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neuroscience

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

May 10, 2016

A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together.

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experimental physics

Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries

May 3, 2016

The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy.

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genetics

A Secret Flexibility Found in Life’s Blueprints

April 26, 2016

A new study reveals that individual genes can create many different versions of the molecular machinery that powers the cell.

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cosmology

Physicists Hunt for the Big Bang’s Triangles

April 19, 2016

The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky.

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dark matter

Debate Intensifies Over Dark Disk Theory

April 12, 2016

In the new, free-for-all era of dark matter research, the controversial idea that dark matter is concentrated in thin disks is being rescued from scientific oblivion.

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neuroscience

Mapping the Brain to Build Better Machines

April 6, 2016

A project to decipher the brain’s learning rules could revolutionize machine learning.

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geometry

Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

March 30, 2016

The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.