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Special Report

2016 Breakthrough Prize Winners

Six $3-million prizes awarded to advances in neutrino particle physics, topology, optogenetics and more

Detecting Massive Neutrinos

A giant detector in the heart of Mount Ikenoyama in Japan has demonstrated that neutrinos metamorphose in flight, strongly suggesting that these ghostly particles have mass

March 1, 2003 — Edward Kearns, Takaaki Kajita and Yoji Totsuka

Solving the Solar Neutrino Problem

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory has solved a 30-year-old mystery by showing that neutrinos from the sun change species en route to the earth

April 1, 2003 — Arthur B. McDonald, Joshua R. Klein and David L. Wark

What We Talk about When We Talk about Holes

For Halloween, I wrote about a very scary topic: higher homotopy groups. Homotopy is an idea in topology, the field of math concerned with properties of shapes that stay the same no matter how you squish or stretch them, as long as you don’t tear them or glue things together.

December 25, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Controlling the Brain with Light

With a technique called optogenetics, researchers can probe how the nervous system works in unprecedented detail. Their findings could lead to better treatments for psychiatric problems

November 1, 2010 — Karl Deisseroth

Cholesterol Conundrum

Changing HDL and LDL levels does not always alter heart disease or stroke risk

November 1, 2011 — Francie Diep

Ancient DNA

Genetic information that had seemed lost forever turns out to linger in the remains of long-dead plants and animals. Evolutionary change can at last be observed directly

November 1, 1993 — Svante Pääbo

Alzheimer's Disease

It brings dementia and slow death to more than 100,000 Americans a year. No one knows its cause or how to stay its inexorable course. Investigators are focusing on six conceptual models of the disease

January 1, 1985 — Richard J. Wurtman

Amyloid Protein and Alzheimer's Disease

When this protein fragment accumulates excessively in the brain, Alzheimer's disease may be the result. Understanding how that fragment forms could be the key to a treatment

November 1, 1991 — Dennis J. Selkoe

Why Do Facts Fail?

Why Do Facts Fail?

Deconstructing Denial