Articles from 06/2009

  • Books to Read Now

    July releases on how to join the commercial space race, a brief history of futurism, the inner world of mathematicians, and more.

  • The Extinction Oscillator

    Sometimes, something kills nearly all life on the entire planet. But is there a regular cycle to this creation and destruction of Earth’s biodiversity?

  • Week in Review: June 26

    Advocates for ACES Act, Simon Singh takes on British chiropractic, and what’s ailing American universities might be America.

  • Invoking the Magic of the Mind

    Are secrets of the evolution of the mind to be found by imagining the ancestors of tool-wielding crows, or is such an approach strictly for the birds?

  • Photographer to the Stars

    Famed space photographer David Malin talks about why his new compilation, Ancient Light, is in black and white and on the role of aesthetics in astronomy.

  • Serious Fun

    Kodu doesn’t have realistic graphics, huge explosions, or even a way to win. But it just might change the way we think about the world.

  • Analysis: UK, US Climate Reports

    New reports from the US and UK back scientists that climate change is happening now and project fallout down to the regional and citywide level.

  • Critical Mass

    For particle physicists who study phase transitions, a traffic jam is simply a solid made up of idling cars.

  • How Do You Know It’s Sex?

    Sex, one of the great mysteries of evolutionary biology, becomes even more complicated when scientists study it in yeast.

  • Week in Review: June 19

    Building a power plant worthy of tomorrowland, a climate nudge disguised as a clarion call to arms, and school’s out—brains, turn off!

  • Scientific Flip-Flop

    Five experts debate the roots of GM opposition, the role of big agribusiness, and whether we’ve achieved real scientific consensus.

  • Economic Advice for the Planet

    Protecting the environment, some say, is a drag on economic growth. Kristen Sheeran directs a new network of economists who aim to prove them wrong.

  • The Desk of Oliver Sacks

    A glimpse inside the life and mind of renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, through the lens of his writing desk.

  • Immortal Information

    A new nanoscale storage device could preserve all the digital information you want, for as long as you want—and longer.

  • Bad Memories

    Eyewitness testimony is both fallible and irreplaceable. How can we know when to trust it?

  • David Malin’s Ancient Light

    "Looking at science books as a child, all the galaxies and star forming regions were in black and white. It's a kind of journey back."

  • Week in Review: June 12

    Gordon Brown reshuffles science, Europe and the pursuit of guilt-free energy, reviving the chestnut to fight climate change, creating clonal crops, and letting the sun shine on government.

  • Wooing Europe’s New Parliament

    However little voters or the new MEPs care or know about science, the European Parliament controls billions in funding. The challenge for science is how to engage them.

  • Malaria: Five New Weapons

    Profiles of the most promising and innovative approaches to fighting malaria, from a living drug pump to strategic computer models.

  • A Not-So-Silent Spring

    The evidence is growing of long-term health problems related to spraying DDT in homes in the developing world.

  • Did Cooking Make Us Human?

    A new book argues that cooked food is the key to our evolution. Did it also enable pair bonding and the concept of ownership?

  • In Seeds We Trust

    Because science won’t save us if biodiversity fails, a global effort is underway to collect and cache the genetic resources contained in seeds.

  • [Slideshow] In Seeds We Trust

    The Svalbard Seed Vault, encased in a mountain on a remote archipelago in far northern Norway, is the last-ditch source of the world’s seeds.

  • What the Cow Genome Tells Us

    The recent sequencing of the bovine genome will dramatically transform more than just the cattle industry.

  • Art Exhibit Links Darwin to Degas

    A new exhibition reveals the extent of Darwin’s impact on 19th-century artists, from Monet to Rheinhold, and how art, in turn, shaped Darwin.

  • Week in Review: June 5

    Two steps on the road to Copenhagen, protecting older women against cervical cancer, another university comes out for open access, and the possibility of a European origin for great apes.

  • The Genomic Revolution

    The genetic code-breaking of the last 15 years has transformed biology.
    We present a timeline of the most significant genomes cracked thus far.

  • Forests for the Trees

    Five experts discuss paying countries to keep forests intact, what role carbon markets should play, and how to protect the people whose lives depend on trees.

  • A New Map for Design

    As the focus of design shifts from the production of finite goods to a practice of experimentation, ideas take precedence over products.

  • The New Interface of Governance

    If we can just tweak the way we make choices, we can make smarter ones. A look at Obama’s plans to put the science of human nature to work.

  • Books to Read Now

    June releases including the reconciliation of religion with science, Einstein's forgotten little helpers, our transforming planet, and more.


  • 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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