After decades in the shadow of the reigning model for Alzheimer’s disease, alternative explanations are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Depression has often been blamed on low levels of serotonin in the brain. That answer is insufficient, but alternatives are coming into view and changing our understanding of the disease.
Making sure our machines understand the intent behind our instructions is an important problem that requires understanding intelligence itself.
Diffusion models generate incredible images by learning to reverse the process that, among other things, causes ink to spread through water.
Queen ants live far longer than genetically identical workers. Researchers are learning what their longevity secrets could mean for aging in other species.
Crows recently demonstrated an understanding of the concept of zero. It’s only the latest evidence of animals’ talents for numerical abstraction — which may still differ from our own grasp of numbers.
Animals sculpt the optical properties of their tissues at the nanoscale to give themselves “structural colors.” New work is piecing together how they do it.
While watching a fearful memory take shape in the brain of a living fish, neuroscientists see an unexpected level of rewiring occur in the synaptic connections.
«Neuroscientists generally agree that the brain forms memories by modifying its synapses — the tiny junctures where neurons meet. But most believe that it mainly does so by tweaking the strength of the connections, or how strongly one neuron stimulates the next, Fraser said.»
Self-supervised learning allows a neural network to figure out for itself what matters. The process might be what makes our own brains so successful.
The problem of common-sense reasoning has plagued the field of artificial intelligence for over 50 years. Now a new approach, borrowing from two disparate lines of thinking, has made important…
By ignoring their goals, evolutionary algorithms have solved longstanding challenges in artificial intelligence.
Computer scientists this year learned how to transmit perfect secrets, why transformers seem so good at everything, and how to improve on decades-old algorithms (with a little help from AI).
For pioneering computer scientist Donald Knuth, good coding is synonymous with beautiful expression.
Cryptographers want to know which of five possible worlds we inhabit, which will reveal whether truly secure cryptography is even possible.
The existence of secure cryptography depends on one of the oldest questions in computational complexity.
Mathematicians try to figure out when problems can be solved using current knowledge — and when they have to chart a new path instead.
«“I think one of the reasons we were stonewalled was not because we didn’t have the right techniques, but because the problem wasn’t put in the right conceptual framework,” McMullen said. “The changed question suggested the changed techniques.”»
Leslie Lamport revolutionized how computers talk to each other. Now he’s working on how engineers talk to their machines.
The key to understanding the origin and fate of the universe may be a more complete understanding of the vacuum.
Three computer scientists have solved the NLTS conjecture, proving that systems of entangled particles can remain difficult to analyze even away from extremes.
Lattice cryptography promises to protect secrets from the attacks of far-future quantum computers.
Two teams have shown how quantum approaches can solve problems faster than classical computers, bringing physics and computer science closer together.
The past and the future are tightly linked in conventional quantum mechanics. Perhaps too tightly. A tweak to the theory could let quantum possibilities increase as space expands.
The unprecedented experiment explores the possibility that space-time somehow emerges from quantum information, even as the work’s interpretation remains disputed.
Physicists are building neural networks out of vibrations, voltages and lasers, arguing that the future of computing lies in exploiting the universe’s complex physical behaviors.
Supermassive black holes have come to the fore as engines of galactic evolution, but new observations of the Milky Way and its central hole don’t yet hang together.
Einstein’s description of curved space-time doesn’t easily mesh with a universe made up of quantum wavefunctions. Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll discusses the quest for quantum gravity with host Steven Strogatz.
Neuroscientists uncovered an energy-saving mode in vision-system neurons that works at the cost of being able to see fine-grained details.
Of all the endless questions children and mathematicians have asked about infinity, one of the most fascinating has to do with its size.
Explore our surprisingly simple, absurdly ambitious and necessarily incomplete guide to the boundless mathematical universe.
Four puzzle solutions reveal different ways to divine someone’s hidden number with impossibly little information.
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