COVID Experts: We’re Putting Out Campfires but the Forest Fire Rages
After I got my second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a wave of euphoria infused me along with the modified messenger RNA. Many friends describe the same feeling. This is the end of the pandemic for me. Life returns to normal. But then my usual, pessimistic view of life returned along with an examination […]
How Coronavirus Mutations Arise and New Variants Emerge
This piece was produced in cooperation with the Nib. Maki Naro is an award-winning feral cartoonist and science communicator. You can reliably find him online, where he tweets from the handle @sciencecomic Diana Kwon is a freelance science journalist based in Berlin, Germany. She primarily covers the life sciences and health, and her work has appeared in Scientific American, The Scientist, Nature, Knowable […]
How to Quiet Your Mind Chatter
To break the tape loop in your head, talk to yourself as another person.
The Link Between Bioelectricity and Consciousness
“It’s really hard to define what’s special about neurons,” says Tufts molecular biologist Michael Levin. “Almost all cells do the things neurons do, just more slowly.”Illustration by jijomathaidesigners / Shutterstock Life seems to be tied to bioelectricity at every level. The late electrophysiologist and surgeon Robert Becker spent decades researching the role of the body’s […]
Comets Are More Dangerous Than We Thought
Could a comet, not an asteroid, have killed the dinosaurs?
What If You Could Describe Your Dreams While Dreaming?
The potential to hack our dreams opens a new frontier for mental research.
This Is How Your Brain Walks the Dog—a Dialogue
Habits: You two were arguing, I just kept walking. Felt like the right thing to do.Photograph by evrymmnt / Shutterstock INT. HOME OFFICE—DAY BODY, a middle-aged woman, is working at a computer, trying to finish a plan for the household budget. Habits Oh! It’s time to walk the dog. BODY stops typing. Central Executive Uh, […]
Celebrating Women Scientists
The small wonders of the natural world impressed Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya early. As a girl, growing up in Atlanta, she was encouraged by her mother to draw sketches of things she could find in her backyard—a butterfly’s wing, a peanut shell—as they appeared in her microscope. “Looking back,” she said, in a 2017 TED Talk, “I […]
Was the Golden Rule Born in the Mind of a Monkey?
As economic inequality increased in many wealthy nations in recent years, a debate has developed around the question of whether inequality is bad for national economies—and bad for their citizens. A captivating video clip of monkey behavior (see below), taken from a 2011 TED talk by primatologist Frans de Waal, has become a surprising piece of […]
The Intelligent Life of Droids
If robots can be devious, self-righteous, and expressive, why not sentient?