Wednesday November 22nd 2017

‘Features’ Archives

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 button on his remote to close his garage door. Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing. The motor was shot. He ended up replacing it with a “smart” [Read More]

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

Resurrecting the Riverkeepers

Under cover of darkness, thieves dove into the inky waters of Tennessee’s river sanctuaries and scooped up endangered washboard mussels by the thousands. The thick shells of these animals—some as big as Frisbees— were destined to be cut into cubes, polished round, [Read More]

Predicting the whirlwind

Predicting the whirlwind

  In more than 20 years as a meteorologist, Joshua Wurman had seen – and chased – more than 150 tornadoes. But the one that hit his pickup truck caught him by surprise. On a warm spring evening in 2012, Wurman was driving down a two-lane highway in the small plains [Read More]

Solving a math problem to create art

Solving a math problem to create art

Optimization is the mathematical quest for the best way to do something, from finding the shortest distance between two places to figuring out the best way to pack a suitcase. It often involves calculating the highest or lowest value of something. The applications are [Read More]

When your stuff spies on you

When your stuff spies on you

In October 2016, hackers hit a company called Dyn. Hackers are people who write computer programs that can break into other computer programs. And here, their target was an important one. Dyn makes sure the right website pops up when you type in a web address. After the [Read More]

Every breath we take

Every breath we take

Back in Christmas 2013, the CineStar cinema in Mainz, Germany, became an impromptu, oversized laboratory. Over the course of 108 screenings of 16 films, it hosted an unprecedented experiment on about 9500 moviegoers. Not that most of them noticed, or even knew they were [Read More]

Let the structural symphony begin

Let the structural symphony begin

Like other structural biologists, Eva Nogales works in extraordinary times. The University of California, Berkeley, faculty member now has the tools to tackle important questions about cells’ molecular machinery that would have been impossible to answer just a few [Read More]

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

They are vast towers rising out of the jungles of the Amazon basin. Tepuis, rocky tabletop mountains isolated by hundreds of metres of steep cliffs, form a unique habitat on their tops and inside their maze of caves. Untouched for millions of years, they host a secret world [Read More]

You Swine!

You Swine!

RODNEY WOODSON never set out to be a pig trapper. He joined the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency because he was passionate about conserving water birds. But that was before the hogs rocked up, with their high libidos and low cunning. Across the world, and especially in [Read More]

Of Waves and Wallpaper

Of Waves and Wallpaper

To most people, wallpaper is little more than a decorative background on a flat surface: Pleasing designs, pasted in vertical strips from wall to wall. But in the minds of mathematicians, the repetition of figures—coupled with the idea of covering 2D space—suggests a [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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