## How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes

A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all...

## Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility

The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint meets creation. The...

## Wormhole Experiment Called Into Question

Last fall, a team of physicists announced that they had teleported a qubit through a holographic...

## The Unpredictable Abilities Emerging From Large AI Models

Large language models like ChatGPT are now big enough that they’ve started to display startling, unpredictable...

## Shadows in the Big Bang Afterglow Reveal Invisible Cosmic Structures

Cosmologists are using secondary signatures from the cosmic microwave background to map the universe’s hidden matter....

## The Researcher Who Would Teach Machines to Be Fair

Arvind Narayanan uses quantitative methods to expose and correct the misuse of quantitative methods. The post...

## Can We Program Our Cells?

By genetically instructing cells to perform tasks that they wouldn’t in nature, synthetic biologists can learn...

## Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Meets With Resistance | Quanta Magazine

A paper in Nature reports the discovery of a superconductor that operates at room temperatures and...

## Black Holes Will Destroy All Quantum States, Researchers Argue | Quanta Magazine

New calculations suggest that the event horizons around black holes will ‘decohere’ quantum possibilities — even...

## Strange Solar Gamma Rays Discovered at Even Higher Energies

There appear to be too many gamma rays coming from the sun. New higher-energy measurements reveal...

## Physicists Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy out of Nothing

The quantum energy teleportation protocol was proposed in 2008 and largely ignored. Now two independent experiments...

## Quantum Field Theory Pries Open Mathematical Puzzle | Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians have struggled to understand the moduli space of graphs. A new paper uses tools from...

## Mathematicians Complete Quest to Build ‘Spherical Cubes’

Is it possible to fill space “cubically” with shapes that act like spheres? A proof at...

## How Our Reality May Be a Sum of All Possible Realities | Quanta Magazine

Richard Feynman’s path integral is both a powerful prediction machine and a philosophy about how the...

## A Physical Theory For When the Brain Performs Best | Quanta Magazine

The critical brain hypothesis suggests that neural networks do their best work when connections are not...

## How Quantum Physicists ‘Flipped Time’ (and How They Didn’t)

Two teams have made photons act as if time were simultaneously flowing in two directions. The...

## The Cause of Depression Is Probably Not What You Think | Quanta Magazine

Depression has often been blamed on low levels of serotonin in the brain. That answer is...

## Mathematicians Find an Infinity of Possible Black Hole Shapes | Quanta Magazine

In three-dimensional space, the surface of a black hole must be a sphere. But a new...

## Standard Model of Cosmology Survives a Telescope’s Surprising Finds

Reports that the James Webb Space Telescope killed the reigning cosmological model turn out to have...

## Mathematicians Roll Dice and Get Rock-Paper-Scissors

Mathematicians have uncovered a surprising wealth of rock-paper-scissors-like patterns in randomly chosen dice. The post Mathematicians...

## Finally, a Fast Algorithm for Shortest Paths on Negative Graphs | Quanta Magazine

Researchers can now find the shortest route through a network nearly as fast as theoretically possible,...

## Mobile Genes From the Mother Shape the Baby’s Microbiome

Tiny genetic sequences in a mother’s bacteria seem to hop into the infant's bacteria, perhaps ensuring...

## New Algorithm Closes Quantum Supremacy Window | Quanta Magazine

Random circuit sampling, a popular technique for showing the power of quantum computers, doesn’t scale up...

## The Physics Principle That Inspired Modern AI Art | Quanta Magazine

Diffusion models generate incredible images by learning to reverse the process that, among other things, causes...

## Inside Ancient Asteroids, Gamma Rays Made Building Blocks of Life | Quanta Magazine

A new radiation-based mechanism adds to the ways that amino acids could have been made in...

## Google Researcher, Long Out of Math, Cracks Devilish Problem About Sets

On nights and weekends, Justin Gilmer attacked an old question in pure math using the tools...

## The Biggest Math Breakthroughs in 2022 | Quanta Magazine

Four Fields Medals were awarded for major breakthroughs in geometry, combinatorics, statistical physics and number theory,...

## The Year in Physics

In a year filled with sweet new observations in astronomy and tantalizing breakthroughs in condensed matter...

## The Biggest Discoveries in Computer Science in 2022 | Quanta Magazine

Computer scientists this year learned how to transmit perfect secrets, why transformers seem so good at...

## Major Biology Discoveries From 2022 | Quanta Magazine

Momentum for new ideas in Alzheimer’s research joined advances in neuroscience, developmental biology and origin-of-life studies...

## ‘Fullertubes’ Join the Family of Carbon Crystals

The buckminsterfullerene revolution never came, but some researchers are eagerly exploring the properties of newfound carbon...

## She Finds Keys to Ecology in Cells That Steal From Others

The ecologist Holly Moeller studies microorganisms that expand their range by absorbing organelles and gaining new...

## ‘Nasty’ Geometry Breaks Decades-Old Tiling Conjecture | Quanta Magazine

Mathematicians predicted that if they imposed enough restrictions on how a shape might tile space, they...

## How the Brain Distinguishes Memories From Perceptions | Quanta Magazine

The neural representations of a perceived image and the memory of it are almost the same....

## She Turns Fluids Into ‘Black Holes’ and ‘Inflating Universes’ | Quanta Magazine

By using fluids to model inaccessible realms of the cosmos, Silke Weinfurtner is “looking for a...

## What Causes Alzheimer’s? Scientists Are Rethinking the Answer. | Quanta Magazine

After decades in the shadow of the reigning model for Alzheimer’s disease, alternative explanations are finally...

## Asymmetry Detected in the Distribution of Galaxies | Quanta Magazine

Two new studies suggest that certain tetrahedral arrangements of galaxies outnumber their mirror images, potentially reflecting...