Cells Form Into ‘Xenobots’ on Their Own

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DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGYALL TOPICS

 

Cells Form Into 'Xenobots' on Their Own

By PHILIP BALL

Embryonic cells can self-assemble into new living forms that don't resemble the bodies they usually generate, challenging old ideas of what defines an organism.

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PRIME NUMBERS

 

Mathematicians Find a New Class of Digitally Delicate Primes

By STEVE NADIS

Despite finding no specific examples, researchers have proved the existence of a pervasive kind of prime number so delicate that changing any of its infinite digits renders it composite.

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Related: 
Mathematicians Open a New Front
on an Ancient Number Problem

by Steve Nadis (2020)

ASTROPHYSICS

 

Long-Missing Midsize Black Hole Flashes Into View

By JONATHAN O'CALLAGHAN

In a paper published this week, scientists presented a new candidate for a medium-size black hole. The discovery could help solve the mysteries of supermassive black hole growth and dark matter.

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Related: 
A New Kind of Space Explosion
Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole

by Jonathan O'Callaghan

Q&A

 

A Computer Scientist Who Tackles Inequality Through Algorithms

By RACHEL CROWELL

Rediet Abebe uses the tools of theoretical computer science to understand pressing social problems — and try to fix them.

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Watch the video

QUANTA SCIENCE PODCAST

 

A Newfound Source of Cellular Order in the Chemistry of Life

Podcast produced by SUSAN VALOT; Story by VIVIANE CALLIER

Inside cells, droplets of biomolecules called condensates merge, divide and dissolve. 

Listen to the podcast

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THE JOY OF X

 

Federico Ardila on Math, Music and the Space of Possibilities

Hosted by STEVEN STROGATZ;
Podcast produced by DANA BIALEK;


The mathematician Federico Ardila takes a creative approach to the search for useful answers hiding among inconceivably huge numbers of possible ones.

Listen to the podcast

Read the transcript

Around the Web

Just Forget It
We may curse our forgetfulness, but the process is intimately entwined with our ability to maintain healthy memories, writes neuroscientist Lisa Genova in a new book, reviewed by David Kortava in The New Yorker. The brain appears almost "designed to forget information" on a cellular level. Dalmeet Singh Chawla described how the neuroscience of deleting memories balances the processes that create them for Quanta in 2018. 

Antimatter Needs to Chill
Researchers at CERN have developed new laser cooling systems that will let them scrutinize the behavior of antimatter in new ways and search for elusive differences from normal matter, Adam Rogers reports for WIRED. Another recent experiment hints that nature may discriminate between neutrinos and antineutrinos, which could start to explain why matter came to rule the visible universe, Natalie Wolchover reported for Quanta last year.
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