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Insights50 articles archived since 1845

Fred Kavli: He'll Pay for That

The modern world exists because of science, so Kavli hopes his funding of astrophysics, brain research and nanoscience will pave the way to the future

July 1, 2005 — Sally Lehrman

Do White Blood Cells Make Cancer Deadly?

The ability to spread underlies the killing power of cancer. The process occurs, John Pawelek thinks, when tumor cells fuse with white blood cells—an idea that, if right, could yield new therapies

January 1, 2009 — Charles Q. Choi

Using Math to Explain How Life on Earth Began

How did self-replicating molecules come to dominate the early Earth? Using the mathematics of evolutionary dynamics, Martin A. Nowak can explain the change from no life to life

October 1, 2008 — Heather Wax

Dark Forces at Work

Ten years ago two teams discovered that the universe will expand forever at an ever faster rate, thanks to an unseen energy. The leader of one of the groups, Saul Perlmutter, expects that new observations will soon illuminate the universe's dark side

May 1, 2008 — David Appell

Not Tonight, Dear, I Have to Reboot

Is love and marriage with robots an institute you can disparage? Computing pioneer David Levy doesn't think so - he expects people to wed droids by midcentury. Is that a good thing?

March 1, 2008 — Charles Q. Choi

Bigfoot Anatomy

Sasquatch is just a legend, right? According to the evidence, maybe not, argues Jeffrey Meldrum--a position he holds despite ostracism from his fellow anthropologists and university colleagues

November 19, 2007 — Marguerite Holloway

What Visions in the Dark of Light

Lene Vestergaard Hau made headlines by slowing light to below highway speed. Now the ringmaster of light can stop it, extinguish it and revive it—and thereby give quantum information a new look

September 1, 2007 — Marguerite Holloway

A Little Privacy, Please

Computer scientist Latanya Sweeney helps to save confidentiality with "anonymizing" programs, "deidentifiers" and other clever algorithms. Whether they are enough, however, is another question

July 1, 2007 — Chip Walter

Graft and Host, Together Forever

Thomas E. Starzl pioneered organ transplantation with antirejection drugs--an approach he hopes to end through a phenomenon called microchimerism

February 1, 2007 — Marguerite Holloway

The Geometer of Particle Physics

Alain Connes's noncommutative geometry offers an alternative to string theory. In fact, being directly testable, it may be better than string theory

July 24, 2006 — Alexander Hellemans

Dangling a Carrot for Vaccines

Drug companies do not see much of a market in treating diseases of developing nations. Michael Kremer hopes to change that--with a plan that taps the profit motive

July 1, 2006 — JR Minkel
The Implicit Prejudice

The Implicit Prejudice

Mahzarin Banaji can show how we connect "good" and "bad" with biased attitudes we hold, even if we say we don't. Especially when we say we don't

May 22, 2006 — Sally Lehrman

Android Science

Hiroshi Ishiguro makes perhaps the most humanlike robots around--not particularly to serve as societal helpers but to tell us something about ourselves

May 1, 2006 — Tim Hornyak

The Prostitutes' Union

Among the poor and most vulnerable, Smarajit Jana has found a way to slash the incidence of HIV--by organizing sex workers as any other labor collective

April 1, 2006 — Madhusree Mukerjee

Experiments at Work

What's the best way to boost sales or handle competing resellers? By lab-testing business ideas, Kay-Yut Chen gets rid of some of the guesswork

March 1, 2006 — Marina Krakovsky

Teach the Science

Wherever evolution education is under attack by creationist thinking, Eugenie Scott will be there to defend science--with rationality and resolve

February 1, 2006 — Steve Mirsky

Easing Jitters when Buildings Rumble

After natural disasters, an anxious public wants to see that someone understands the catastrophe. For California quakes, seismologist Lucy Jones does the job

December 26, 2005 — David Appell

Special Edition: Mysteries of the Mind