Articles from 05/2010

  • Weapons of Fast Destruction

    A nuclear summit winds down, an ambitious defense initiative ramps up, synthetic biology enters the limelight, the BP oil spill grows, and new pathogens emerge.

  • Barefoot and Passionate

    New studies suggest that running barefoot might be better for the body than running in shoes, but will the research actually affect how runners compete and train?

  • The Meaning of Life

    Last week, biologist J. Craig Venter crossed a momentous threshold—creating a living organism with no ancestor. In 2007, Carl Zimmer gave Seed this provocative look at the difficulties inherent in defining "life."

  • Random Reality

    Author and astronomer Marcus Chown on the early history of the universe, quantum reality, and the origins of information.

  • Bottom of the Barrel

    A new book argues that marketplace innovations will make the future brighter, better, and more prosperous, but is such unbounded optimism rational?

  • Science 2.0 Pioneers

    From open-access journals to research-review blogs, networked knowledge has made science more accessible to more people around the globe than we could have imagined 20 years ago.

  • Brain Wars

    Can playing video games make you smarter? According to a recent study, the answer is no—but earlier papers arrived at the opposite conclusion. Now bloggers are joining the debate.

  • The Expanding Mind

    The technological progress that revolutionized computing, electronics, and robotics in the 20th century will transform our bodies and enhance our brains in the 21st.

  • Food Fight, Round 2

    Our rebuttal round brings clashes over food production and hunger, merits of the Green Revolution, and efficiency versus diversity in sustainable farming.

  • A Distressed Asset

    Volatility prompts rapid regulatory reform on Wall Street, while biodiversity crashes and a climate change bill flounders. What if we treated Earth like a company?

  • Food Fight, Round 1

    What does "sustainable agriculture" truly mean—and what should it look like? In round one of our debate, two experts square off on the true causes of food insecurity.

  • Why Invisible Gorillas Matter

    The cognitive psychologist Daniel Simons helped create one of the most iconic and remarkable studies of the past fifteen years. Now he’s trying something new.

  • Food Fight

    Is organic farming an elitist fetish that hampers efforts to stanch global hunger? Or is it the kind of holistic approach we’ll need to produce food on a circumscribed planet? Seed kicks off an Oxford-style debate on global food security and what we mean by "scientific farming."

  • A Spill’s Dirty Secret

    Just as with the Exxon Valdez spill of more than 20 years ago, the recovery efforts for the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico are destined for inadequacy.

  • Dynamic by Design

    Jessica Banks and Andrew Laska, the co-founders of the design firm RockPaperRobot, are using science and technology to change the meaning of “furniture.”

  • The Hidden World of Ants

    Mark Moffett travels around the world taking stunning close-up photographs that capture the fascinating lives of ants.

  • Starving in a World of Plenty

    Researchers are beginning to uncover the neurological underpinnings of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Can recent advances lead to better treatments?

  • Books to Read Now

    May releases trace the modern obsession with bottled water; revisit the birth of quantum theory; and document an elusive quest for absolute silence.


  • 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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