• Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time

      Researchers have demonstrated that an amoeba—a single-celled organism consisting mostly of gelatinous protoplasm—has unique computing abilities that may one day offer a competitive alternative to the methods used by conventional computers.

    • The tools humanity will need for living in the year 1 trillion

      Since the 1990s, astrophysicists have known that for the past few billion years, the Universe has been experiencing an accelerated rate of expansion. This gave rise to the theory that the Universe is permeated by a mysterious invisible energy known as "dark energy", which acts against gravity and is pushing the cosmos apart. In time, this energy will become the dominant force in the Universe, causing all stars and galaxies to spread beyond the cosmic horizon.

    • Advertisement
    • Unzipping Zipf's Law: Solution to a century-old linguistic problem

      Did you know that in every language, the most frequent word occurs twice as often as the second most frequent word? This phenomenon called 'Zipf's law' is more than one century old, but until now, scientists have not been able to elucidate it exactly. Sander Lestrade, a linguist at Radboud University in The Netherlands, proposes a new solution to this notorious problem in PLOS ONE.

    • Iceland drills 4.7 km down into volcano to tap clean energy

      It's named after a Nordic god and drills deep into the heart of a volcano: "Thor" is a rig that symbolises Iceland's leading-edge efforts to produce powerful clean energy.