First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth

Researchers plan to spray sunlight-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, an approach that could ultimately be used to quickly lower the planet’s temperature. Zhen Dai holds up a small glass tube coated with a white powder: calcium carbonate, a ubiquitous compound used in everything from paper and cement to toothpaste and cake mixes. Plop a tablet […]

Researchers discover a novel method to block immunosuppression in cancer

Belgian research groups from the UCLouvain and WELBIO, VIB and Ghent University, and the biotechnology company argenx elucidated the three-dimensional structure of an assembly of proteins operating on cells that dampen immune responses. They also discovered how an antibody can block this assembly and the immunosuppression it induces downstream. Such an antibody could serve to […]

UBC breakthrough opens door to $100 ultrasound machine

Engineers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new ultrasound transducer, or probe, that could dramatically lower the cost of ultrasound scanners to as little as $100. Their patent-pending innovation—no bigger than a Band-Aid—is portable, wearable and can be powered by a smartphone. Conventional ultrasound scanners use piezoelectric crystals to create images of […]

Physics Needs Philosophy. Philosophy Needs Physics

Contrary to claims about the irrelevance of philosophy for science, I argue that philosophy has had, and still has, far more influence on physics than is commonly assumed. I maintain that the current anti-philosophical ideology has had damaging effects on the fertility of science. I also suggest that recent important empirical results, such as the […]

The best representations of mathematics may not exist yet

Humility. It’s all I can feel after watching 3Blue1Brown’s latest maths video, in which Grant Sanderson and his team provide the most novel of approaches to solving 2D equations, using colour. It is the second time 3Blue1Brown has blown my mind to pieces in just a few weeks, following their earlier video that solved the […]

Lost in Math: Beauty != truth

In Lost in Math, Hossenfelder delves briefly into the history of particle physics in order to explain the success of the Standard Model of particles and forces. She touches on why we’ve not had any unexplainable data from experimental particle physics for the last 50 years. She then takes us on a tour of the […]

Redesigning the Scientific Paper

The scientific paper—the actual form of it—was one of the enabling inventions of modernity. Before it was developed in the 1600s, results were communicated privately in letters, ephemerally in lectures, or all at once in books. There was no public forum for incremental advances. By making room for reports of single experiments or minor technical […]