Articles from 07/2009

  • Roboethics Redux

    After Fox News misrepresents a military robot’s dietary habits, the world muses over what ethical behavior means for intelligent programs and machines.

  • Who Owns Green Tech?

    Five experts discuss how intellectual property can be adapted to spread green tech, what we can learn from Pasteur, and how to inspire people to innovate.

  • Seed State of Science: Intellectual Property

    How can scientific progress occur when everyone owns a tiny piece of the pie—and charges for the privilege of studying it?

  • Supersizing Quantum Behavior

    A groundbreaking Caltech experiment may detect quantum physics where classical mechanics has ruled sovereign.

  • Reconciling an Ordinary World

    Advances in materials and techniques bring physicists a step closer to observing the oddities of quantum behavior at the real-world scale.

  • Getting Solar Off the Ground

    William Maness on why alternative energy and power grids aren’t good playmates and his plans for beaming solar power from space.

  • Pavlov’s Microorganisms

    Microorganisms can predict changes in their environments—upending age-old biological tenets and giving new insight into non-neural genius.

  • Happy Birthday, Zinjanthropus

    The Leakeys’ discovery of the “Nutcracker Man” 50 years ago electrified the scientific community and refocused thinking about the origin of humans back on Africa.

  • Full Moon, Half Measures

    As the world turned its attention to the moon, politicians tried to figure out how much it will cost to save the Earth and who is responsible for footing the bill.

  • Ants and Neurons

    Insect colonies offer insight into the mysterious conversations of neurons, illuminating how billions of individual brain cells work in concert to make a single decision.

  • Cash for Eggs

    There should be no question about researchers paying for egg donations.

  • New York’s Stem Cell Coup

    Now that new national stem cell guidelines are in place, New York’s recent policy shift could make it the stem cell capital of the country.

  • Inside the Mathematical Mind

    Mariana Cook’s stunning portraits and narration from her subjects offers a candid look at the secret lives of mathematicians.

  • Living Off the Land

    The same technology that keeps astronauts alive in outer space could foster more sustainable lifestyles right here on Earth.

  • The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be

    Today, as many nations aspire to the Moon and America struggles to return, does anyone still have “The Right Stuff?”

  • Sowing Africa’s Green Revolution

    Small-scale farmers are Africa’s greatest asset
    a fact now being recognized on a global scale as President Obama and other G8 leaders call for major new investments in African agriculture.

  • The New Ambassadors of Science

    Francis Collins and Regina Benjamin are tapped, SpaceX races NASA into orbit, a Pew Poll on the public perception of science, and Microsoft releases Feynman lectures.

  • Finding Fish

    Six experts discuss the global fisheries crisis; the economic, political, and social pressures that contributed to it; and what it will take to make fish stocks bounce back.

  • The (Real) Bat Cave

    The workspace of a renowned bat expert reveals a glimpse of an elusive species and the art of old-school diorama making.

  • The Enchanter of Objects

    David Rose on how his new company will get people to take their medicine and what Frodo Baggins’s sword can teach us about ubiquitous computing.

  • The Great Climate Change Pay-Off

    UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on wealthy nations to cough up $100 billion for climate aid. But with no firm commitments, could money be the deal breaker in Copenhagen?

  • Week in Review: July 10

    A year of magical thinking on climate change, making headway on the science of medical science policy, a new human genome, probiotics for famine victims, and China’s science budget.

  • Transitory Objects

    Architecture, conceptual art, and theoretical science blur in these stunning, "permanently unfinished" forms in Vienna.

  • Building Without Walls

    A new breed of architectural objects, inspired by theoretical science, is changing how we think about building and what counts as art.

  • The Coming Oil-Free Utopia

    In $20 a Gallon, Christopher Steiner argues that rising oil prices will not unravel society, but rather change it for the better.

  • Summit Notes: State of Innovation

    Seed and The Council on Competitiveness brought together thought leaders from science, business, academia, and design to discuss the future of innovation.

  • The Deepest Links

    Evolution is a tinkerer. When novel features evolve, old parts are co-opted for new roles.

  • Week in Review: July 3

    Climatic signals are mixed, China takes a step toward academic freedom, and the European Union continues its love-hate relationship with biotechnology.

  • The Lesser Evil: Nuclear or Coal?

    Should we depend on coal or nuclear? Five experts discuss how clean coal works, how dangerous nuclear waste really is, and whether the root of the problem is money.

  • How to Build a Better Tree of Life

    An unconventional approach to analyzing molecular sequences allows researchers to construct larger evolutionary trees.


  • 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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