35 articles
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    Science Should Be Totally Beautiful

    Felice Frankel lives between the lines. Along with being a part-time science photographer, she’s a researcher at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “As a photographer,” Frankel says, “I look for edges.” Her previous career, as a photographer of architecture, taught her how to capture the most striking […]

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    Is Multilingual Rap Eroding Canada’s French Language?

    Recently a Quebec arts foundation required the Francophone rap group Dead Obies to give back an $18,000 grant they’d been awarded to record their newest album. The problem? A word count determined that the group had stirred too much English into their distinctive multilingual lyrics, falling short of the rule that 70 percent of the […]

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    Should We All Be Helping Trees Relocate?

    Torrey pines seem like they could use some human help. According to the U.S. Forest Service, they are the rarest pine species in North America, with fewer than 10,000 trees growing in the wild. They’re split between Santa Rosa Island, off California’s southern coast, and a small state forest perched on the coastal bluffs just […]

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    Why Is Hawaii Evolving So Many Species of This Wingless Beetle?

    Two Mecyclothorax beetles abandon their relatives on the forest floor to climb up a tree. They settle into a moss home, eat, mate, and die. A couple hundred years or so pass until one of the original beetles’ offspring walks back down. But all the close relatives it once had there are already gone. There’s […]

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    What It’s Like to Be a Female Gravity Wave Hunter

    Chiara Mingarelli can count herself as a successful scientist. She is a Marie Curie Fellow at Caltech, and a former visiting scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her area of research, hunting for gravitational waves using distant stars, is at one of the forefronts of cosmology. Her scientific work has been cited in nearly 1,000 […]

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    Epilepsy Patients Are Helping Us Read Minds

    Irvin Yalom, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, dreamt about peering into minds. “A series of distorting prisms block the knowing of the other,” he wrote in Love’s Executioner: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy, in 2012. “Perhaps in some millennium, such union will come to pass—the ultimate antidote for isolation, the ultimate scourge […]