Our genes strictly dictate our personalities, appearance and diseases. Or do they? Research has revealed that genes can turn on and off; they can be expressed for years and then silenced. Sometimes, they are never activated. And these genetic instructions—how and when DNA is read—can be determined by the experiences of one’s ancestors, even those several generations back.
Forget what you think you know about dark matter. After a 30-year search for a single, as yet unidentified, species of dark matter particle that would make up some 25% of the mass of the universe, physicists are starting to consider novel explanations.
How far would you go to improve your focus, memory, or even learning ability? Would you be willing to strap on headgear that delivers electrical shocks to targeted areas of your brain? You may soon have that option.
We look around us—constantly. But how often do we listen around us? Sound is critically important to our bodies and brains, and to the wider natural world. In the womb, we hear before we see.
From diseases and disasters to the miracles wrought by evolution, the environmental forces that shape our lives are the inspiration for countless science writers. This event featured five award-winning authors whose best-selling books explore the complicated interplay of science, ethics, history and social responsibility.
Winners of the prestigious $1 million Kavli Prizes were announced May 31, 2012 live via satellite from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.
On September 14th, 2015, a ripple in the fabric of space, created by the violent collision of two distant black holes over a billion years ago, washed across the Earth. As it did, two laser-based detectors momentarily twitched, confirming a century-old prediction by Albert Einstein and marking the opening of a new era in astronomy.
Professor Witten is a leading light of superstring theory and the only physicist to have won the vaunted Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor. Known for advancing a number of novel approaches in mathematics and physics, Witten opened up new vistas in 1995 when he unified five seemingly competing superstring theories into M-theory, which seeks to unify Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.