Quanta Writers and Editors Discuss Big Ideas in Science and Math

On November 16, 2018, more than 200 readers joined writers and editors from Quanta Magazine for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental […]

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Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink

Quasars powered by supermassive black holes have been unexpectedly vanishing. Scientists have started to figure out why. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Should Evolution Treat Our Microbes as Part of Us?

How does evolution select the fittest “individuals” when they are ecosystems made up of hosts and their microbiomes? Biologist debate the need to revise theories. […]

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Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals

Experiments suggest that exotic superconducting materials share a “strange metal” state characterized by a quantum speed limit that somehow acts as a fundamental organizing principle. […]

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Amateur Mathematician Finds Smallest Universal Cover

Through exacting geometric calculations, Philip Gibbs has found the smallest known cover for any possible shape. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity

In the latest campaign to reconcile Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics, many physicists are studying how a higher dimensional space that includes gravity […]

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An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of […]

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Stem Cells Remember Tissues’ Past Injuries

Stem cells seem to retain memories of old injuries to improve future healing. When that system goes wrong, chronic inflammation can result. Read more… Powered […]

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Solution: ‘How Equality and Inequality Shape Birds and Bees’

Puzzle solvers explored how evolution may have used negative and positive control mechanisms to shape the conflicting parental functions of reproduction and child rearing. Read […]

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Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is

For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations rather than adaptive ones at the level of DNA. Real genomic data challenges […]

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New Proof Shows Infinite Curves Come in Two Types

Alexander Smith’s work on the Goldfeld conjecture reveals fundamental characteristics of elliptic curves. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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In the Nucleus, Genes’ Activity Might Depend on Their Location

Using a new CRISPR-based technique, researchers are examining how the position of DNA within the nucleus affects gene expression and cell function. Read more… Powered […]

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Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances […]

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Ewine van Dishoeck, the Netherlander Who Traced Water’s Origin

The astrochemist and winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has wondered about the cosmic origin of water while enjoying Noordwijk beach near her […]

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Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough

A new statistical model appears to undermine long-held assumptions in number theory. How much should it be trusted when all that really matters is proof? […]

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Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at […]

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Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots

As chemists tie the most complicated molecular knot yet, biophysicists create a “periodic table” that describes what kinds of knots are possible. Read more… Powered […]

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The (Imaginary) Numbers at the Edge of Reality

Odd enough to potentially model the strangeness of the physical world, complex numbers with “imaginary” components are rooted in the familiar. Read more… Powered by […]

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Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

Mario Jurić is leading the push to get astronomy ready for the torrents of data that are about to flow. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist

In a major mathematical achievement, a small team of researchers has proven Zimmer’s conjecture. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems

The idea that the universe splits into multiple realities with every measurement has become an increasingly popular proposed solution to the mysteries of quantum mechanics. […]

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How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees

Two dynamic, seemingly opposing forces likely played an important role in the evolution of reproduction and child rearing in social animals like bees and humans. […]

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‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster

A newly discovered mechanism may enable viruses to shuttle genes between bacteria 1,000 times as often as was thought — making them a major force […]

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In the Ticking of the Embryonic Clock, She Finds Answers

Renee Reijo Pera has spent decades uncovering how the timing of embryonic development contributes to health and disease. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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