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ecology

Heat-Loving Microbes, Once Dormant, Thrive Over Decades-Old Fire

April 16, 2019

In harsh ecosystems around the world, microbiologists are finding evidence that “microbial seed banks” protect biodiversity from changing conditions.

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patterns

Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization

April 4, 2019

In a world seemingly filled with chaos, physicists have discovered new forms of synchronization and are learning how to predict and control them.

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computer security

Cryptography That Is Provably Secure

April 2, 2019

Researchers have just released hacker-proof cryptographic code — programs with the same level of invincibility as a mathematical proof.

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mathematical biology

The Math That Tells Cells What They Are

March 13, 2019

During development, cells seem to decode their fate through optimal information processing, which could hint at a more general principle of life.

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machine learning

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science

March 11, 2019

The latest AI algorithms are probing the evolution of galaxies, calculating quantum wave functions, discovering new chemical compounds and more. Is there anything that scientists do that can’t be automated?

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climate science

A World Without Clouds

February 25, 2019

A state-of-the-art supercomputer simulation indicates that a feedback loop between global warming and cloud loss can push Earth’s climate past a disastrous tipping point in as little as a century.

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neuroscience

How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past

February 12, 2019

The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events.

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artificial intelligence

Foundations Built for a General Theory of Neural Networks

January 31, 2019

Neural networks can be as unpredictable as they are powerful. Now mathematicians are beginning to reveal how a neural network’s form will influence its function.

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neuroscience

The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces

January 14, 2019

Emerging evidence suggests that the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space, which hints at a more universal theory of cognition.