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Stories by Quanta Magazine

New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

For centuries mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering

March 15, 2017 — Kevin Hartnett and Quanta Magazine

The Mathematics of Cake Cutting

Computer scientists have come up with an algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people

October 13, 2016 — Erica Klarreich and Quanta Magazine
Inspired by Genius: How a Mathematician Found His Way

Inspired by Genius: How a Mathematician Found His Way

The mathematician Ken Ono believes that the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan—mathematical savant and two-time college dropout—holds valuable lessons for how we find and reward hidden genius

June 4, 2016 — John Pavlus and Quanta Magazine

The Woman Who Stared at Wasps

The biologist Joan Strassmann discusses the evolution of cooperation, how amoebas can teach us about competition, and why the definition of “organism” needs an overhaul

December 1, 2015 — Veronique Greenwood and Quanta Magazine

Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life

A newly discovered class of microbe could help to resolve one of the biggest and most controversial mysteries in evolution—how simple microbes transformed into the complex cells that produced animals, plants and fungi

November 30, 2015 — Emily Singer and Quanta Magazine

Networks Untangle Malaria's Deadly Shuffle

The world’s most dangerous malaria parasite shuffles its genes in a clever attempt to avoid the immune system. A new approach has begun to reveal how the process works

October 27, 2015 — Veronique Greenwood and Quanta Magazine

How Mutant Viral Swarms Spread Disease

Viruses exist as “mutant clouds” of closely related individuals, an insight that is helping researchers predict where disease is likely to spread

September 14, 2015 — Carrie Arnold and Quanta Magazine