Articles from 09/2009

  • The Dead Zone Dilemma

    Is saving our atmosphere killing our seas? Biofuels may stifle global warming, but scientists warn that agricultural runoff causes new problems.

  • A Rocket for the 21st Century

    Former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz explains how his plasma rocket engine could revolutionize space travel and why we need nuclear power in space.

  • Blueprinting Biology

    Scientists develop a visual language for mapping biological systems that they hope will become “the circuit diagrams of biology.”

  • Altruism vs. Selfishness

    The idea that evolution explains selfishness well and altruism poorly is starting to stink. Can we please bury it now?

  • The One that Got Away

    A dead fish has caused a stink over false positives in fMRI studies, and while gloom and doom reign at UN climate talks, renting a movie you actually like has never been easier.

  • Survival of the Kindest

    In his new book, The Age of Empathy, Frans de Waal outlines an alternative to “Nature, red in tooth and claw.” Can a vision of a more empathic world change the way we behave toward each other?

  • Erasing Dark Energy

    Why do we need dark energy to explain the observable universe? Two mathematicians propose an alternate solution that, while beautiful, may raise even more questions than it answers.

  • Rethinking Addiction

    What makes someone an addict? The clinical definition of drug “dependence” is flexible, but may still mislabel individual choices as disorders.

  • Richard Dawkins Seeks Converts

    In his new book, Richard Dawkins sets out to convince the unconvinced that evolution is true. Will he succeed?

  • Not Just for Fence-Sitters

    Dawkins’ new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, demonstrates the power of storytelling in communicating evolution’s biological evidence.

  • Illuminating Dark Economies

    Measuring economic activity from outer space is a new frontier in the struggle to quantify humanity’s impact on the natural world.

  • Monkey See, Monkey Juice

    An elegant gene therapy trial “cures” colorblindness in monkeys and new film about Darwin attempts to drum up some controversy.

  • Lessons for Science Envoys

    Sheila Jasanoff examines President Obama’s Middle East science envoy program and offers five crucial tips on what scientists should avoid overseas.

  • A Universal Truth

    The universality of basic science may be the deepest link between the US and the Muslim world.

  • This Image Is Not Moving

    Optical illusions may seem to deceive, but they actually reveal truths about how our brains construct reality.

  • Studying the Strangest Man

    Graham Farmelo explains why Paul Dirac may be the 20th century’s most misunderstood physicist, and speculates that Dirac may have had undiagnosed autism.

  • Business as Abnormal

    The recent flirtation with geoengineering may prove a dangerous distraction from working toward a sustainable future.

  • Next Steps for Geoengineering

    Uncertain about what to make of geoengineering? A new report from the Royal Society carves away science fiction from science fact.

  • Czar Wars

    As a TV pundit takes down one of President Obama’s green “czars,” the US figures out how to pay its way back to the Moon and beyond, plus a nerd-rock band declares “Science is Real.”

  • The Evolution of Evolution

    Ben Fry has created a tool that allows you to watch the theory of evolution evolve. Here, he introduces us to his amazing exploration of scientific thought.

  • Molecular Mimicry

    New biological research has revealed mimicry at the molecular scale that could have profound implications for medicine and industry.

  • Portfolio: Flight Patterns

    Richard Barnes's photographs of birds’ flight patterns above a Rome suburb highlight the tension between the individual and the collective.

  • Loggerheads at Bloggingheads

    A falling out over creationism at a popular videoblogging site and muddled reactions to a report on geoengineering illustrate what’s at stake in the “framing wars.”

  • A Manifesto for the Planet

    Author and environmental icon Stewart Brand on four green heresies, developing-world ingenuity, and the new face of environmentalism.

  • Acupuncture: Real or Sham?

    Controls for acupuncture studies are improving. Their results are not. How are peer reviewers reacting?

  • Books to Read Now

    September releases on the history of language and writing, displaced citizens of virtual worlds, and the need for global resiliency.


  • 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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