It weighs as much as 780 million suns and helped to cast off the cosmic Dark Ages. But now that astronomers have found the earliest known black hole, they wonder: How could this giant have grown so big, so fast?
The oldest law of genetics says that gametes combine randomly, but experiments hint that sometimes eggs select sperm actively for their genetic assets.
Bacterial biofilms and slime molds are more than crude patches of goo. Detailed time-lapse microscopy reveals how they sense and explore their surroundings, communicate with their neighbors and adaptively reshape themselves.
By reimagining the kinks and folds of origami as atoms in a lattice, researchers are uncovering strange behavior hiding in simple structures.
Scientists combined the gravitational and electromagnetic signals from the recently detected collision of two of these stars to determine, in a cleaner way than with other approaches, how fast the fabric of the universe is expanding — a much-contested number called the Hubble constant.
Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.
Mitonuclear conflict — a struggle between the genes in a cell’s nucleus and those in its mitochondria — might sometimes split species in two.
A tiny self-organized mesh full of artificial synapses recalls its experiences and can solve simple problems. Its inventors hope it points the way to devices that match the brain's energy-efficient computing prowess.
Two mathematicians have proved that two different infinities are equal in size, settling a long-standing question. Their proof rests on a surprising link between the sizes of infinities and the and the complexity of mathematical theories.
With electrical signals, cells can organize themselves into complex societies and negotiate with other colonies.
The rise of new extremist groups has served as both an impetus and test-case for Neil Johnson’s models of terrorism and insurgency.
Textbooks say that the moon was formed after a Mars-size mass smashed the young Earth. But new evidence has cast doubt on that story, leaving researchers to dream up new ways to get a giant rock into orbit.
Take chemistry, add energy, get life. The first tests of Jeremy England’s provocative origin-of-life hypothesis are in, and they appear to show how order can arise from nothing.
Mathematical insights into how RNA helps viruses pull together their protein shells could guide future studies of viral behavior and function.
Supernova hunters were able to train their telescopes on a recent eruption just hours after it exploded. What they found only adds to the growing list of questions surrounding these cosmic blasts.
The team that discovered gravitational waves put their data online. Now an independent group of researchers claims that they’ve found what might be a serious problem.
Spiders appear to offload information processing tasks to their webs, leading some to suggest that a mind can be located outside of the head.
A series of observations at the very edge of the universe has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.
Until recently, the details of how exactly heat killed overheated cells were unknown.
As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.