Rethinking insurance for floods, wildfires and other catastrophes

The industry is in crisis just when disaster coverage is most needed

Emily Underwood • knowable
Sept. 21, 2022 ~16 min

The evolution of whales from land to sea

The genomes of cetaceans help tell the story of mammals who returned to the life aquatic

Amber Dance • knowable
Sept. 16, 2022 ~14 min

Handing the surgeon’s scalpel to a robot

After decades of merely assisting doctors, are sophisticated machines ready to take charge?

James Gaines • knowable
Sept. 13, 2022 ~11 min

There are more active volcanoes than you think

OPINION: Volcanologists warn that magma-filled vents evolve over time, leading to an underestimation of the number that might erupt — especially those capable of the biggest explosions

Luca Caricchi • knowable
Sept. 9, 2022 ~8 min

She saw the obesity epidemic coming. Then an unexpected finding mired her in controversy.

Katherine Flegal was a scientist who found herself crunching numbers for the government, until one day her analyses set off a firestorm. What does she make of her decades as a woman in public health research?

Alice Callahan • knowable
Sept. 8, 2022 ~20 min

The science of a wandering mind

More than just a distraction, mind-wandering (and its cousin, daydreaming) may help us prepare for the future

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
Sept. 1, 2022 ~14 min

The US abortion decision is already having global impacts

OPINION: The reversal of Roe v. Wade is a tragedy not just for the United States, but for women everywhere

TK Sundari Ravindran • knowable
Aug. 31, 2022 ~7 min

How a giant eagle came to dominate ancient New Zealand

Before the formidable bird went extinct, scientists say, it likely hunted the islands’ flightless moa. Now evidence suggests the eagle was part of a wave of feathered invaders, and its story holds lessons for today and the future.

Boyce Upholt • knowable
Aug. 30, 2022 ~13 min

A treasure hunt for microbes in Chile’s Atacama desert

The famously dry region has long been dismissed as a mostly lifeless wasteland, good for little more than mining of minerals and precious metals. To these researchers, however, it’s a microbial gold mine worthy of protection.

Lindzi Wessel • knowable
Aug. 26, 2022 ~24 min

Making computer chips act more like brain cells

Flexible organic circuits that mimic biological neurons could increase processing speed and might someday hook right into your head

Kurt Kleiner • knowable
Aug. 25, 2022 ~7 min