Close
Topics
Collections

The Mind

Why speech is a human innovation

Many animals have the equipment for spoken language, but only people have all the right neural connections

Unraveling breast cancer risk

Only about 10 percent of people with breast cancer have links to known gene variants, but another 20 percent have significant family history. Scientists are delving deeper into the genome to find what remains unexplained.

The inheritance enigma

Retirement is a time for spending, not saving. And yet many people hold on to their wealth. Understanding why, and where that money ends up, is of increasing importance as the US population ages. 

The power of brands, conscious and unconscious

Economists explore the complex forces that shape what ends up in your shopping cart and how that might change in the online marketplace 

Genetics extends the long arm of the law

In an evolving branch of forensic science, genealogists help solve crimes, sometimes identifying suspects with the DNA of distant relatives they’ve never met. As cold cases yield, concerns about privacy issues persist.

Why forgetting may make your mind more efficient

Evidence builds for ways that the brain actively erases memories

In praise of parasites

They worm into snails and infect the brains of fish. They’ve also found their way into Kevin Lafferty’s heart. He sees them as beautiful examples of sophisticated evolution, and as keys to ecosystem balance.

Sounding out the brain

Ultrasound isn’t just for images. Sonogenetics and other promising technologies let researchers use focused sound waves to control genes and entire cells deep in the tissues of living animals, without surgery.

Reaching out to touch virtual reality

New technologies mean we won’t just see and hear digital information. We’ll also feel it.

At San Diego’s Frozen Zoo, a chance for animal immortality

The cryobank is a rich source of genetic knowledge of hundreds of creatures. It may one day be used to bring endangered species back from the brink and deepen the gene pool of wild populations.

Fighting crime with statistics

Taking advantage of “natural experiments,” researchers analyze data to look at what works

How a second language can boost the brain

Being bilingual benefits children as they learn to speak — and adults as they age

She sees dead bodies

An environmental historian looks at how Americans treat corpses and what it means

Unbound and out: Boosted by black holes, stars speed off, leaving clues behind

Space oddities may help reveal dark matter and other secrets in the Milky Way. Astronomer Warren Brown explains.

Nudging grows up (and now has a government job)

Ten years after an influential book proposed ways to work with — not against — the irrationalities of human decision-making, practitioners have refined and broadened this gentle tool of persuasion

Bad bosses: Dealing with abusive supervisors

From the boardroom to the basketball court, some managers rely on berating and bullying employees. Researchers have learned one thing: It doesn’t work.

Lost world: An ancient ninth planet that went missing

Clues hidden in today’s orbits hint at the violent origins of the solar system — and a rogue giant kicked out long ago.

Finding the fat: The US Farm Bill and health

America has grown obese on processed, sugary and deceptively cheap foods. Some blame policies enshrined in an unwieldy, bloated beast of legislation.