Archivo: Quanta

Is geology predictable, or is the mineral composition of Earth due to chance events? The answers could eventually help scientists identify planets likely to harbor life.

Researchers are uncovering the hidden laws that reveal how the Internet grows, how viruses spread, and how financial bubbles burst.

In the quest for a unified, coherent description of all of nature — a “theory of everything” — physicists have unearthed the taproots linking ever more disparate phenomena.

A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.

A 115-year effort to bridge the particle and fluid descriptions of nature has led mathematicians to an unexpected answer.

Scientists hope that new genetic letters, created in the lab, will endow DNA with new powers.

The biologist Deborah Gordon has uncovered how ant colonies search efficiently without central organization, an insight that might improve computer networks.

By replacing black holes with fuzzballs — dense, star-like objects from string theory — researchers think they can avoid some knotty paradoxes at the edge of physics.

By swapping ancient genes into modern E. coli, scientists hope to tease out the rules of evolution.

A 150-year-old conundrum about how to group people has been solved, but many puzzles remain.