Chasing the genes behind pain

New treatments for chronic pain face a long road despite promising developments. Research in people with rare diseases is pointing the way to genes that influence how we experience pain — and might lead to new medications.

Stephani Sutherland • knowable
April 15, 2020 ~12 min

The complexities of a universal basic income

It’s a hot topic under political debate: providing cash grants as a social safety net. Small programs hint at how it might work — or not — on a national scale.

Ramin Skibba • knowable
April 3, 2020 ~15 min

What makes food ‘local’?

More people are choosing what to eat based on where it was grown, made or created. An anthropologist looks at the myriad ways we link food to place — and whether it really could make a difference.

Stephanie Parker • knowable
Feb. 26, 2020 ~12 min

Why real-life places still matter in the age of texting and Twitter

Interactions in physical spaces, whether around the watercooler or at the neighborhood bar, are crucial to forming social ties

Greg Miller • knowable
Feb. 19, 2020 ~13 min

Out of the mouth of babes

Learning a language is child’s play, but linguists are still trying to understand how children do it so easily

Jonathan Wosen • knowable
Feb. 13, 2020 ~11 min

Robots designed to self-construct

Robot researcher Mark Yim offers a look inside the promising field of modular reconfigurable robotics — bots that can shift form to tackle an array of tasks

John Wenz • knowable
Feb. 5, 2020 ~12 min

Robots designed to self-construct

Robot researcher Mark Yim offers a look inside the promising field of modular reconfigurable robotics — bots that can shift form to tackle an array of tasks

John Wenz • knowable
Feb. 5, 2020 ~12 min

Treating the growing trauma of family separation

War, disasters, trafficking and immigration are tearing millions of children from their parents all around the world. A psychologist explores how to help them recover.

Katherine Ellison • knowable
Jan. 23, 2020 ~17 min

Why green energy finally makes economic sense

Solar and wind generators have suddenly become just as cheap as other ways to produce electric power

Bob Holmes • knowable
Jan. 14, 2020 ~11 min

The human hand in fish evolution

Fishery practices that go for the big ones may be counterproductive when mostly the small survive

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
Dec. 9, 2019 ~12 min

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