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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.

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astrophysics

After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?

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condensed matter physics

The Quantum Secret to Superconductivity

In a virtuoso experiment, physicists have revealed details of a “quantum critical point” that underlies high-temperature superconductivity.

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origins of life

How to Build Life in a Pre-Darwinian World

Perhaps chemistry played a more instrumental role in the origin of life than scientists thought.

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astrophysics

Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last

Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy.

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astrobiology

Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life

Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target.