Tuesday April 25th 2017

‘Features’ Archives

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]

Edging into the spotlight

Edging into the spotlight

“He had been trying to get his colleague Charles Kane to listen to him, but Kane wasn’t having any of it.” This article about lattices from Physics World covers some arcane ground but was fun to work on.    Image: CC James Mallos via flickr [Read More]

Science behind the scenes

Science behind the scenes

  Jerry Zucker! Natalie Portman! Arthur C. Clarke! My article about the Science & Entertainment Exchange is now up at PNAS. [Read More]

Freeing the dinos within

Freeing the dinos within

Paleontologists have long faced a daunting obstacle to their research: Fossils are usually embedded in rock. To manually wrench the fossils out, scientists use an array of tools, from needles to dentist’s drills to dissolving acids, often with destructive results. Swedish [Read More]

Supersized Viruses

Supersized Viruses

On February 22, festival-goers at Melbourne’s dusk-to-dawn White Night celebration lined up in droves outside the State Library of Victoria for an intimate evening with herpes. And they got it, in a big way: Bobbling around on the 40-meter-diameter central dome on the [Read More]

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Latest Topics

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

In his 1944 book What is Life?, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger argued that organisms stay alive precisely by [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 [Read More]

The Internet of Things wants to link all facets of our world

The Internet of Things wants to link all facets of our world

A 94Fifty looks like an ordinary basketball. You can inflate, dribble, pass, shoot, swoosh and slam-dunk it. But [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 [Read More]

The return of supersolids!

The return of supersolids!

We learn it from a young age: solids hold their shapes; liquids flow. Physical states of matter are mutually exclusive. [Read More]

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