Articles from 11/2009

  • Taming Carbon’s Wild Side

    Highly reactive molecules known as carbenes have gone from unstable intermediates with nanosecond lifetimes to powerful tools in synthetic chemistry.

  • Portfolio: Library of Lungs

    Using electron microcopy to find the evolutionary history of so-called "book lungs" in scorpions took Carsten Kamenz across an alien landscape of miniature caverns, canyons, and beaches.

  • Benign by Design

    With toxic compounds turning up in animals, food, and people all over the world, scientists are calling for green chemistry: a sustainable ethos of product design.

  • Rethinking Light and Sound

    The director of the Census of Marine Life on broadening the scope of global change to include illumination and noise.

  • Hair Raiser

    Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Pinker duel over balancing scientific rigor with relatable narrative, while the future of personal genomics goes under the microscope.

  • Our Adapting Future

    Current developments in autonomous, biological, and evolutionary robotics will have a profound impact on the future of interactive and dynamic architectural space.

  • Industrial-Strength Bias

    The pharmaceutical industry spends millions of dollars developing drugs and millions more swaying the opinions of physicians and the public. Can this imperfect system be reformed?

  • Let There Be Light

    Astronomers will soon find scores of Earth-sized exoplanets, but imaging them may be decades away. That is, unless NASA decides to build a starshade.

  • Perfect Strangers

    The eerie emotional response brought on by near-duplicates of our selves raises interesting questions about perception and expectations.

  • Into the Uncanny Valley

    New findings shed light on a century’s worth of bizarre explanations for the eerie feeling we get around lifelike robots.

  • Signs from Above

    The release of an apocalyptic movie prompts NASA to debunk planetary rumors, fowl play shuts down the LHC, and the Catholic Church discusses alien life.

  • Fire, Water, Acid, and Stone

    In Bernhard Edmaier’s photographs, rivers of lava and scarred volcanic plains share the stage with more obscure tectonic markers: eerily hued lakes and pools of bubbling mud.

  • Probing into Depression

    Deep brain stimulation, already established as a treatment for stubborn Parkinson’s disease, may also be useful as a therapy for drug-resistant clinical depression.

  • Bioplastics Man

    Biochemist Oliver Peoples explains how his polymer-producing microbes could transform the plastics industry and why both oceans and landfills will benefit.

  • Mars: A Teeming Past?

    Questions of extraterrestrial life rest on theories of Martian history.

  • What Life Leaves Behind

    The search for life beyond our pale blue dot is fraught with dashed hopes. Will the chemical and mineral fingerprints of Earthly organisms apply on other worlds?

  • Sad Sacks

    As a UK adviser is fired over politically unpalatable advice and an English teacher is suspended over an article about animal sexuality, the fate of facts is on the line.

  • A Miniature Miscellany

    In their newest collaboration, Felice Frankel and George Whitesides explore the nanoscale world, from molecules to quantum dots.

  • Sweet Obesity

    As obesity rates soar, Americans are consuming more low-calorie artificial sweeteners. But do artificial sweeteners actually help people lose weight?

  • A Man on the Edge

    A new biography explores Jacques Cousteau’s strange and colorful life but struggles to uncover why he has been so quickly forgotten.

  • Books to Read Now

    November releases feature the mysteries of Grigori Perelman, the evolutionary origins of reading, and strategies for containing strains of flu.


  • 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.

Sites by Seed Media Group: Seed Media Group | ScienceBlogs | Research Blogging | SEEDMAGAZINE.COM