Saturday November 18th 2017

‘Recent Work’ Archives

A Desire to Help

A Desire to Help

Children can be many things. Joyful, energetic and exasperating. Curious, playful and sad. For P.J. Lukac, who is finishing his pediatrics residency at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, children are also a source of inspiration and hope. “They’re a joy to work [Read More]

Looking for the roots of risk

Looking for the roots of risk

  On a bright day in the first week of August, Julianna Deardorff escorted five Chilean scientists from Berkeley to The Farm, an agricultural center and farm in Salinas, California, about 100 miles south of the Bay Area. The Farm has been in the same family for four [Read More]

Retractions: Righting the wrongs of science

Retractions: Righting the wrongs of science

  If the results from an experiment look too good to be true, look again.   Those are wise words to remember. Consider, for example, a recent case of what looked like a breakthrough in treating the deadly virus HIV. The findings turned out to be bogus. All it took [Read More]

Perovskite’s solar promise

Perovskite’s solar promise

In the last few years, the sun-to-power efficiency of perovskites has surged at an unprecedented rate. This material is easier to use than conventional silicon, and if scientists can figure out the right way to keep it stable, it could be the future of solar power. I wrote [Read More]

Where will lighting strike?

Where will lighting strike?

  Michael McQuilken will never forget the day lightning struck his younger brother.   On August 20, 1975, he and Sean hiked to the top of Moro Rock together with their sister Mary and her friend Margie. This granite dome resides in California’s Sequoia National [Read More]

How we got to Ceres

How we got to Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft recently reached the orbit of Ceres, a dwarf planet and the largest object in the asteroid belt. Read more about the journey here. [Read More]

Archimedes in the Fence

Archimedes in the Fence

According to ancient historians, Archimedes spent the last moments of his life drawing figures in the dirt, so deeply entranced with the pleasures of geometry that he failed to notice the bloody pillage of Syracuse right outside his door. Aloofness, it’s tempting to [Read More]

Mathematics in Metal

Mathematics in Metal

      A mathematical surface known as the Klein bottle is like a mischievous, mathematical cousin of the Moebius Strip, where the inside and the outside are the same side. Among topologists, the Klein bottle is well known as an example of a closed, [Read More]

Paging Dr. Data

Paging Dr. Data

For doctors who treat trauma patients, prediction is key: Will a patient die in the next 30 minutes? Why or why not? What about the next six hours? And after that? What’s the best treatment? How might the patient respond to that treatment in the best- and worst-case [Read More]

Numbers and verse

Numbers and verse

  The universe is a grand book, Galileo noted in 1623, written in the language of mathematics. Those poor souls who don’t understand that language, he cautioned, wander about in a “dark labyrinth.”   I wrote a short piece about math in poetry [Read More]

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Latest Topics

Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

Robert Kremens fights fire with fire. No, really – that’s his job. Kremens sets fires in a host of locations across [Read More]

Vaccines: Looking Within for Cancer Treament

Vaccines: Looking Within for Cancer Treament

It’s been 10 years since Tom Liebert received an experimental cancer vaccine to treat his multiple myeloma, and he [Read More]

The quantum world is mind-bogglingly weird

The quantum world is mind-bogglingly weird

If you’re interested in the smallest things known to scientists, there’s something you should know. They are [Read More]

Think Like a Hacker

Think Like a Hacker

One winter morning in 2015, as he left for work from his home in Silver Spring, Md., Jonathan Margulies pushed the [Read More]

Creating sculpture with math

Creating sculpture with math

When he was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, teachers and parents told Helaman Ferguson he would have to choose [Read More]

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