7 ways to fix this pandemic — and stop the next one

OPINION: Experts predict another nearly 180,000 deaths by February. It doesn’t have to be that way, writes health security expert Eric Toner.

Eric Toner • knowable
Oct. 29, 2020 ~7 min

coronavirus society health-disease reset opinion

Solo stars among the genes

From maggots’ movements to voles’ roles, sometimes single genes can have outsize effects on behavior

Emily Underwood • knowable
Oct. 22, 2020 ~14 min


The ungentle joy of spider sex

Some spiders pair puny males with gigantic females, making mating both tricky and dangerous. Why and how such mismatches evolved remains curiously enigmatic.

Emily Underwood • knowable
Oct. 22, 2020 ~16 min

entomology living-world

Fact or fantasy? Tales from the linguistic fringe

Paranormal claims and other pseudoscience often bedevil the study of language

Charles Q. Choi • knowable
Oct. 21, 2020 ~17 min

society qa

Wanted: Online gamers to help build a more stable Covid-19 vaccine

People beat artificial intelligence hands-down at puzzling out new ways to fold molecules for a potential SARS-Cov-2 immunization. Thousands more players are needed.

Rhiju Das • knowable
Oct. 20, 2020 ~8 min

health-disease reset

What legacy lies ahead for Black Lives Matter?

Historically, the road to reform has often begun with protesters taking to the streets. A sociologist and a political scientist take stock of whether today’s activism will lead to actual change.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
Oct. 16, 2020 ~17 min

society qa

Seeking surprises in comets and asteroids

Exploring small bodies in the solar system provides clues to origins

Adam Mann • knowable
Oct. 16, 2020 ~18 min

space-astronomy physical-world

AI’s next big leap

The unlikely marriage of two major artificial intelligence approaches has given rise to a new hybrid called neurosymbolic AI. It’s taking baby steps toward reasoning like humans and might one day take the wheel in self-driving cars.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
Oct. 14, 2020 ~22 min


The blueprint for life, neatly folded

Bit by bit, biologists are deciphering the complex 3-D — and 4-D — architecture of the genome and learning how all the squeezed-together stuff of DNA keeps itself in order. What they find could lead to medical advances.

John Wenz • knowable
Oct. 12, 2020 ~18 min


The danger lurking in an African lake

Kivu is no ordinary lake, with dense depths packed with methane and carbon dioxide gas. Its features hold aquatic puzzles, explosive hazards and the capacity to provide valuable energy.

John Wenz • knowable
Oct. 7, 2020 ~11 min

story-behind-a-picture physical-world

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