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Asteroid Rate Jumped in Solar System’s Past

An analysis of lunar craters has found that we’ve been living in a relatively violent period in cosmic history. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations

A science fiction novelist and an internet commenter made breakthroughs on a longstanding problem about the number of ways you can arrange a set of […]

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How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals

Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces

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 […]

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A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think

Neural networks are famously inscrutable, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.” Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many

Astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now they have the opposite problem. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex

Jellyfish didn’t need novel genes to take an evolutionary leap in complexity. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock

Dark matter may occasionally interact with minerals in the earth, leaving telltale tracks that physicists hope to decipher. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code

The same codes needed to thwart errors in quantum computers may also give the fabric of space-time its intrinsic robustness. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Ancient Turing Pattern Builds Feathers, Hair — and Now, Shark Skin

A primordial developmental toolkit shared by all vertebrates, and described by a theory of the mathematician Alan Turing, sets the growth pattern for all types […]

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Quanta’s Science and Math Crossword Puzzle

Celebrate a year’s worth of scientific and mathematical insights by solving this brain-teasing cryptic crossword from our puzzle columnist. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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The Year in Math and Computer Science

Several mathematicians under the age of 30 left their marks all over the field, and amateur problem-solvers of all ages made significant contributions to long-dormant […]

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How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts

Throughout nature, throngs of relatively simple elements can self-organize into behaviors that seem unexpectedly complex. Scientists are beginning to understand why and how these phenomena […]

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Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones. Read more… Powered […]

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The Woman Who Gets Called When a Piece of Mars Falls From the Sky

Planetary geologist Meenakshi Wadhwa uses Martian meteorites to trace the history of our solar system. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption

Digital security depends on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. A new proof shows why one method for breaking digital encryption won’t work. Read more… […]

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New Studies Rescue Gravitational-Wave Signal From the Noise

Two independent papers vanquish lingering doubts about LIGO’s historic discovery of gravitational waves. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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A ‘Self-Aware’ Fish Raises Doubts About a Cognitive Test

A report that a fish can pass the “mirror test” for self-awareness reignites debates about how to define and measure that elusive quality. Read more… […]

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What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life

Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own ‘supra-kingdom’ of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered […]

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In the Universe of Equations, Virtually All Are Prime

Equations, like numbers, cannot always be split into simpler elements. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Why Black Hole Interiors Grow Forever

The renowned physicist Leonard Susskind has identified a possible quantum origin for the ever-growing volume of black holes. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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On the Best Use of Science to Safeguard Humanity

For 50 years, the astrophysicist Martin Rees has contributed to our understanding of cosmology. Now he is speaking up about the promise and potential dangers […]

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What Defines a Stem Cell? Scientists Rethink the Answer

As it becomes clear that the body’s cells have more diverse regenerative capabilities than expected, experts have had to reconsider their approach to stem cell […]

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New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong

The Frauchiger-Renner thought experiment has shaken up the world of quantum foundations. Read more… Powered by WPeMatico

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Mathematical Simplicity May Drive Evolution’s Speed

Some researchers are using a complexity framework thought to be purely theoretical to understand evolutionary dynamics in biological and computational systems. Read more… Powered by […]

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