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planetary science

A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine

May 15, 2018

Astronomers argue that there’s an undiscovered giant planet far beyond the orbit of Neptune. A newly discovered rocky body has added evidence to the circumstantial case for it.

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ecology

A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate

May 7, 2018

New modeling studies suggest that birds migrate to strike a favorable balance between their input and output of energy.

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chaos theory

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos

April 18, 2018

In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems.

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graph theory

Decades-Old Graph Problem Yields to Amateur Mathematician

April 17, 2018

By making the first progress on the “chromatic number of the plane” problem in over 60 years, an anti-aging pundit has achieved mathematical immortality.

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developmental biology

Brainless Embryos Suggest Bioelectricity Guides Growth

March 13, 2018

Researchers are building a case that long before the nervous system works, the brain sends crucial bioelectric signals to guide the growth of embryonic tissues.

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mathematical physics

To Test Einstein’s Equations, Poke a Black Hole

March 8, 2018

Two teams of researchers have made significant progress toward proving the black hole stability conjecture, a critical mathematical test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

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evolution

Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals

March 7, 2018

An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion.

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quantum gravity

Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity

March 6, 2018

A recently proposed experiment would confirm that gravity is a quantum force.

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mathematical biology

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

March 1, 2018

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.