Imagine if your best knowledge of human anatomy came from viewing the body through binoculars from a mile away. You might make out the shape of a hand, but knuckles and fingernails would elude you. Experiments could tell you there’s a pumping heart inside, but to see that heart with any clarity you would have to fix it in formaldehyde or liquid nitrogen, blast it with electrons and add dyes to...
Here’s the rule: To assure cards get sufficiently mixed up, shuffle a deck about seven times. Mathematician, magician and card shark Persi Diaconis of Stanford University, along with David Bayer of Columbia University, created shock waves in Las Vegas when he figured that out back in 1992. Most dealers had been shuffling much less.
But now Diaconis and his colleagues are...
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Imagine a future in which a single drop of water holds a veritable army of living robots; in which people download software updates not for their computers, but for their bacteria; and in which specially programmed cells course through a person's arteries, monitoring blood sugar concentrations and keeping an eye out for cholesterol buildups.