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QUANTUM BLACK BOX  The D-Wave Two quantum computer, seen here, solves problems with over 500 superconducting circuits called qubits chilled to 0.02 degrees Celsius above absolute zero.

A quantum effect may help photosynthetic algae called cryptophytes harvest light more efficiently. A genetic mutation can turn off the effect, giving scientists an opportunity to determine how important quantum phenomena are for creatures' lives.

ON THE ROAD  Google gave everyone a look at a prototype of its first planned self-driving car in May.    

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