Quantum quirk yields giant magnetic effect, where none should exist

In a twist befitting the strange nature of quantum mechanics, physicists have discovered the Hall effect — a characteristic change in the way electricity is conducted in the presence of a magnetic field — in a nonmagnetic quantum material to which no magnetic field was applied. The discovery by researchers from Rice University, Austria’s Vienna…

Holy moly, this new Venus photo is just ridiculous

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is studying the Sun in ways that were never possible before.  The probe’s; mission has been ongoing for over two and a half years, and while the Sun is its primary target of study, it comes close enough to planets like Venus to capture some amazing images.  A new photo captured…

The Joy of Condensed Matter

Everyone seems to be talking about the problems with physics: Peter Woit’s book Not Even Wrong, Lee Smolin’s The Trouble With Physics, and Sabine Hossenfelder’s Lost in Math leap to mind, and they have started a wider conversation. But is all of physics really in trouble, or just some of it? If you actually read…

Literature Should Be Taught Like Science

In the past quarter century, enrollment in college English departments has sunk like the Pequod in Moby Dick. Meanwhile enrollment in science programs has skyrocketed. It’s understandable. Elon Musk, not Herman Melville, is the role model of the digital economy. But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Angus Fletcher, 44, an English professor…

If Aliens Exist, Here’s How We’ll Find Them

Suppose aliens existed, and imagine that some of them had been watching our planet for its entire four and a half billion years. What would they have seen? Over most of that vast timespan, Earth’s appearance altered slowly and gradually. Continents drifted; ice cover waxed and waned; successive species emerged, evolved, with many of them…

This is where NASA wants to send its new rover

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance landed in the Jezero crater last week after a months-long journey to the Red Planet. The rover has a long life ahead of it on Mars, and NASA scientists want to make sure they look in the most promising places for signs of past life on the planet. An ancient river…

Biological activity-based modeling identifies antiviral leads against SARS-CoV-2

AbstractComputational approaches for drug discovery, such as quantitative structure–activity relationship, rely on structural similarities of small molecules to infer biological activity but are often limited to identifying new drug candidates in the chemical spaces close to known ligands. Here we report a biological activity-based modeling (BABM) approach, in which compound activity profiles established across multiple…

The missing sex

For most of its history, biomedical research and clinical testing has neglected over half of the world’s population. Finally, researchers and funders are starting to recognize the importance of sex differences. Hot on the trail of a molecule that reversed the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice, Stephen Ferguson discovered something that shocked him. The…