Articles from 05/2009

  • Faith and the Scientific Image

    A new book on the history of scientific imagery explores the promises and pitfalls of the easily-manipulated medium.

  • Week in Review: May 29

    Stem cell guidelines from on high, geoengineering on the cheap, how genetic engineering could have created a new model organism, and the evolution of big brains.

  • Battling Dengue in Argentina

    A writer reports from the dengue epidemic in Argentina, where locals are asking hard questions of government and exploring a wide-reaching approach to prevention.

  • Recasting PCAST

    With the historically debatable efficacy of science councils, will the White House’s new science-advisory super-team prove relevant?

  • Planet Hunting, Down to Earth

    The emerging technology of laser frequency combs may usher in a new golden era of ground-based astronomy.

  • Al Gore’s New Marching Orders

    The Climate Project began as a public education campaign. A foot soldier reports back from a recent summit, where Gore's environmental activists were issued a new directive.

  • Week in Review: May 22

    Using bioengineered viruses to fight HIV, find a fossil—have a cow, Jon Huntsman on the slow boat to China, and Hubble and the space shuttle enter their dying days.

  • Is There a Better Word for Doom?

    Six experts discuss the merits of framing climate change, the language that troubles them, and the inherent bias of any chosen word.

  • Don’t Mess With Textbooks

    Science education faced setbacks at the Texas Board of Education hearings in March. An inside look at the politicians, teachers, and textbook publishers who are fighting back.

  • [Slideshow] The Long Shot

    On a lonely mountaintop in Chile, scientists are searching for Earth-like planets in Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to our Sun.

  • The Long Shot

    Two rival scientific teams are locked in a high-stakes race to discover other Earth-like worlds—and forever change our own.

  • Light Mind Control

    Light-sensitive proteins from algae illuminate the brain, providing a more sophisticated view of neural circuitry.

  • Love’s Labors and Costs

    "Spent" looks at why, when scientific research shows that more stuff doesn’t lead to more happiness, humans are driven to endlessly acquire.

  • Week in Review: May 15

    Gene patents are challenged, Austria pulls out of CERN, the carbon tax stays alive in British Columbia, and scientists discover new importance of larvae to ant colonies.

  • The Truth About Water Wars

    Seven experts debate the past and present existence of water wars, consider the difficulty of owning a fluid resource, and examine the hot spots for future conflict.

  • (F)Innovation in Helsinki

    The new Aalto University in Helsinki merges business, technology, and design.

  • Why We’re Not Obsolete

    As scientific data accumulates, volume can overwhelm understanding. A new Cornell computer program is using the technological advances that created this data-understanding problem to help solve it.

  • Week in Review: May 8

    Animal research reconsidered in Europe, the death of a glacier, some leaders decide to save green instead of going green, and new evidence for hobbits as bona fide species rather than a genetic mistake.

  • What Seashells Tell

    The growth and pigment of a seashell is controlled by a network of nerve cells. Modeling this process is giving us insight into neural networks and even human memory.

  • An Icon of Sustainability

    Since opening last September in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences has fast become an icon of architecture for the eco era.

  • The Dymaxion Tomorrow

    A city-wide vehicle sharing program, a latrine block that treats sewage on-site, and bicycles that double as ambulances take top honors in the Buckminster Fuller Design Challenge.

  • Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

    Seed celebrates the questions C.P. Snow raised 50 years ago by asking: Where are we now?

  • Creation on Command

    From Jackson Pollock to John Coltrane — how creativity springs from a choreographed set of mental events.

  • To Be a Baby

    Alison Gopnik describes new experiments in developmental psychology that show everything we think we know about babies is wrong.

  • Week in Review: May 1

    Swine flu looms large, a study finds prayer has no effect on medical treatment, Obama speaks at the National Academy of Sciences, neuroscientists plan to beef up Wikipedia, and a Republican senator switches to the Democratic Party.

  • The Tricorder Arrives

    Cell phones will soon be able to sense our environment and its pollutants. This new power may change the way we move through the world, but can it motivate us to change it?

  • Swine Flu Kills, Sometimes

    For swine flu, history and recent advances in evolutionary biology provide only a partial blueprint. Ultimately, any recourse must rely on incomplete data and imperfect knowledge.


  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


Witness the science. Stunning photographic portfolios from the pages of Seed magazine.

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