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neuroscience

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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geometry

Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

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

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neuroscience

The Beasts That Keep the Beat

New insights from neuroscience — aided by a small zoo’s worth of dancing animals — are revealing the biological origins of rhythm.

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number theory

Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy

A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a long-standing assumption about how they behave.