New Black Hole Math Closes Cosmic Blind Spot

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MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS | ALL TOPICS

 

New Black Hole Math Closes Cosmic Blind Spot

By STEVE NADIS

A mathematical shortcut for analyzing black hole collisions works even in cases where it shouldn't. As astronomers use it to search for new classes of hidden black holes, others wonder: Why?

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MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

 

DNA's Histone Spools Hint at How Complex Cells Evolved

By VIVIANE CALLIER

New work shows that histones, long treated as boring spools for DNA, sit at the center of the origin story of eukaryotes and continue to play important roles in evolution and disease.

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Related: 
Bacterial Complexity Revises
Ideas About 'Which Came First?'

by Jordana Cepelewicz (2019)

THE JOY OF X

 

Charlie Marcus Knows That Quantum Facts Aren't Complicated

Podcast hosted by STEVEN STROGATZ;
Produced by DANA BIALEK

The secret to making a qubit for future quantum computers might depend on knowing how to tie knots in unusual materials, argues the physicist Charlie Marcus.

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QUANTIZED ACADEMY

 

How Mathematicians Use Homology to Make Sense of Topology

By KELSEY HOUSTON-EDWARDS

Originally devised as a means of counting holes, homology provides a scaffolding for mathematical ideas, allowing for a new way to analyze the shapes within data.

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Related: 
Topology 101: The Hole Truth

by David Richeson

GENOMICS

 

Scientists Catch
Jumping Genes
Rewiring Genomes

By MAX KOZLOV

Transcription factors that act throughout the genome can arise from mashups of transposable elements inserted into established genes.

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Related: 
Where Do New Genes Come From?

by Viviane Callier (2020)

QUANTA SCIENCE PODCAST

 

Brain's 'Background Noise' May Hold Clues to Persistent Mysteries

Podcast produced by SUSAN VALOT; Story by ELIZABETH LANDAU

By digging out signals hidden within the brain's electrical chatter, scientists are getting new insights into sleep, aging and other phenomena.

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Around the Web

Going Under
Neurons typically fire at a cacophony of different frequencies, but when put under anesthesia, monkey neurons quiet into a more uniform hum, Max Levy reports for Wired. Routinely monitoring anesthetized patients' brains could make surgery safer and provide a wealth of neurological insights, as neuroscientist Emery Brown told Steven Strogatz on Quanta's "The Joy of x" podcast.

Breath of the Wild
The Himalayas have been rising and contracting in a cyclical pattern, reports Maya Wei-Haas for National Geographic. Understanding the mechanism behind these geologic respirations can help scientists make better earthquake predictions. Lucía Pérez-Díaz solved the 60-million-year-old mystery of India's apparent acceleration into the Eurasian continent: She showed it never happened. In an interview with Quanta last month, she explained the detective work behind her research.
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