1. Math

    Born half a century ago, chaos theory languished for years

  2. Space

    Belief in multiverse requires exceptional vision

    If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. That’s an old philosophy, one that many scientists swallowed whole. But as Ziva David of NCIS would say, it’s total salami. After all, you can’t see bacteria and viruses, but they can still kill you. Yet some scientists still invoke that philosophy to deny the scientific status […]

  3. Space

    Long the stuff of fantasy, wormholes may be coming soon to a telescope near you

    For decades now, black holes have been the rock stars of popular astrophysics, both fact and fiction. Physicists rely on them to explain all sorts of mysterious astrophenomena, and black holes have been essential plot devices in various films, from Star Trek (2009) to Galaxy Quest (1999) to (obviously) The Black Hole (1979). But black […]

  4. Math

    Systems biology tunes in to cancer networks

    If cable TV systems had a channel called The Cancer Network, doctors would be wise to tune in. But there’s no such channel. So for now, they’ll just have to read articles in scientific journals that publish papers on the science of networks. Scientists in the new field of systems biology have made a lot […]

  5. Health & Medicine

    Even if science can’t make life longer, perhaps a pill can make a long life better

    To live long and prosper (physically, not financially), you’d probably rather take a pill than starve yourself. So far, though, most of the evidence says very-low-calorie diets are the best strategy for living a longer life. At least if you’re a worm or a fly. It hasn’t been established that less food means a longer […]

  6. Life

    Microbes at home in your gut may also be influencing your brain

    When your gut grumbles or growls, it’s speaking to your brain. And it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Evolution favors guts that can tell a brain what they want. So it’s not surprising that the brain and the gut should have a reliable communications connection. But suppose the gut’s messaging system was hacked by […]

  7. Humans

    Greed may breed financial fitness, but evolution allows unselfishness to survive

    If greed is good, as Gordon Gekko proclaimed in the 1987 movie Wall Street, then economics ought to be a superlative science. After all, at the core of economic theory sits a greedy idealization of human nature known as Homo economicus. It’s a fictitious species that represents the individual economic agent, motivated by selfishness. H. […]

  8. Humans

    Reports of junk DNA’s ‘demise’ were based on junky logic and dubious definitions

    Science is an oddly successful enterprise. On the whole, it provides an impressive guide to reality. From antibiotics and atomic bombs to laser beams and X-rays, science enables humans to forge powerful tools from nature’s secrets. Yet many aspects of science are deeply flawed, from the politicization of research funding to widespread misuse of math […]

  9. Math

    Explanations for time’s arrow keep marching on

  10. Math

    Real-life Maxwell’s demon adds fuel to debate about status of the second law

    Fight Club had its First Rule (don’t talk about Fight Club). The Transporter enforces Rule Number 1 (never change the deal). And NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs observes Rule 1 (never mix the suspects together in the same room). Physics has the second law of thermodynamics. It’s weird when you think about it. Movies […]

  11. Math

    Poll of quantum physicists shows agreement, disagreement and something in between

  12. Math

    Rules for computing classical probabilities might depend on quantum randomness