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Lab Confidential

You’re a first-generation graduate student—how do you succeed?

By Luendreo Barboza

My mother was born to a poor, illiterate but hard-working family in […]

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The sincerest form of flattery

Fossils Beneath Our Feet

By Ashley Bales

We pull out of camp at dawn. A quiet group, all the […]

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Latest Book Reviews

A Last Meander

Rhea Datta savors a collection of essays by Oliver Sacks, as he pays final homage to his scientific touchstones

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Into The Coding Room

Francisca Gil admires a clear-eyed view of coders—and the world they have wrought

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Hey, Good Looking!

Does beauty have biological meaning? Neuroscientist Alessio Travaglia considers Darwin’s forgotten theory

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On Our Best Behavior? Not!

Oliver Vikbladh delights in this history from the bad boy of econ... and how it's affecting everything from decision making to neuroscience

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On the Good Ship Enlightenment

Sophia Domokos finds much to praise in Steven Pinker's paean to progress, but also some leaks in the vessel

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Tentacles of a Death Foretold

Are jellyfish the ocean’s 'canaries in a coal mine?’ Emily North sees concerning parallels

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What Makes Humans So Special?

Marcela Coronado dissects Robert Boyd’s argument that culture makes our species unique

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Life, Death, and the Human Brain

A pioneering neuroscientist is redefining the edge of human consciousness, but Julia Derk argues that this knowledge has come at a price

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Waterfalls of Spacetime

When time is space and space is time: Enrico Fonda takes a mind-bending journey through the physics of black holes.

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Where is artificial intelligence taking us?

Dervla Kelly peeks into the strange new world of brain uploading and robot mosquitos in Max Tegmark's latest book.

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This Scientific Life

Illustration by Angelika Manhart

Our contributors hail from all over the sciences — and all over the world. We’ll share what brought us to science, why we stay, and what makes us (occasionally) want to run away. There will be eureka moments, scientific screw-ups, advice to youngsters, peers, and elders, as well as whimsical stories about space exploration, fruit fly cognition, and how a neuron can live its best life.