The Life of the Mind

Albert Einstein announced his theory of general relativity 100 years ago.

Ancient DNA Tells a New Human Story

Imagine what it must have been like to look through the first telescopes or the first microscopes, or to see the bottom of the sea as clearly as if the water were gin. This is how students of human prehistory are starting to feel, thanks to a new ability to study ancient DNA extracted from bodies and bones in archaeological sites.

Adolescents’ Drinking Takes Lasting Toll on Memory

New research indicates that even moderate drinking by adolescents on a regular basis can cause potentially lasting changes to the part of the brain that affects memory.

The Joy of Sex, Updated

When I was 10 years old, my friend Sarah and I found a newly minted copy of “The Joy of Sex” under her parents’ bed. Like many other young people at the time, we pored through the pages. We were luckier than Sarah’s parents, who like mine had grown up making do with National Geographic magazine.

Goodbye Field Hand, Hello Fruit-Picking Robot

OXNARD, Calif.—A 14-arm, automated harvester recently wheeled through rows of strawberry plants here, illustrating an emerging solution to one of the produce industry’s most pressing problems: a shortfall of farmhands.

Renaissance and Reflection

In 1947, Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings led to American art joining the international avant-garde. In India, 1947 also marked a beginning for artists of international ambitions, and it came amid transformations of Indian society that are still shaping our world.

Moore’s Law Shows Its Age

Silicon Valley pioneer Gordon Moore laid out a bold theorem 50 years ago. Engineers would cram twice as many transistors on tiny squares of silicon every year or so, producing more and more power in ever-smaller machines.

Study Sparks Debate on Accuracy of Genome Tests for Cancer Patients

A new study has triggered a dispute about the accuracy of genomic tests that are increasingly used to match cancer patients with drugs that attack their tumors.

Factory Workers Warm Up To Their Mechanical Colleagues

Workers at a Navistar truck plant in Ohio weren’t eager to make friends when a new colleague showed up on the factory floor nearly 40 years ago.

Reading From the Book of Life

Thomas De Quincey claimed that certain books existed only to teach their readers, while others changed the world by transforming and motivating them.

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