Articles from 06/2010

  • Scientific [Mis]Communication

    In a world with nearly unlimited supplies of information, attention is a precious commodity. How can scientists and journalists captivate audiences without deceiving them?

  • Sexy Beasts

    From vibrator sales to troubles with monogamy, evidence aboundsthat Homo sapiens is an exceedingly sexual species. A new book argues that understanding how this sexuality evolved helps to explain our unique creativity inside — as well as outside — the conjugal bedroom.

  • The Once and Future Genome

    On the tenth anniversary of the sequencing of the human genome, what is that remarkable feat’s legacy, and what does it mean for the future?

  • Slow Burn

    Since 1962, a coal fire has been raging beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania, and it may continue burning for centuries. When the very ground beneath your feet catches fire, how can you extinguish the blaze?

  • Questionable Answers

    Many dramatic research results rely on the reports of survey respondents, who are prone to error, exaggeration, and misperception. Is there any place for self-reported results in science?

  • On Pleasure

    In How Pleasure Works, Paul Bloom argues that understanding why we like what we do—from food and sex to art, science, and religion—is critical to comprehending the human experience.

  • Slippery Cellularities

    Synthetic biology can mean reconstructing organisms, redesigning biology, or recreating life—and each of these uses has different implications.

  • An Embarrassment of Riches

    Kepler’s planetary gold rush, a Japanese spacecraft that rides sunlight, a virtual Cambrian explosion, and the problem of performance metrics.

  • Books to Read Now

    June releases follow a wizard-bearded scientist on his quest to end aging; mine the essence of pleasure; and explore why being wrong is central to the human experience.

  • Burning Questions

    Contrary to a handful of recent media reports, in the battle against skin cancer, sunscreen is still beneficial, and sunburns and tanning salons are the key enemies.

  • Beneath the Surface

    Powerful computer simulations may be the best method available to quantify the amount of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon—and to predict where it will go.

  • Frozen Foodies

    The South Pole may be the most desolate region on Earth. But even at the bottom of the world, people have to eat. Here’s how they do it in Antarctica.

  • A Titanic Challenge

    What might a glut of hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico—and a dearth of them on Saturn's moon, Titan—imply about humanity's long-term prospects?

  • Is Population a Problem?

    Will 9 billion people max out the Earth's natural resources? Or is overconsumption the real planetary threat? Three experts discuss the Gordian knot of wealth, fertility, and environmental impact — and why making do with less stuff matters so much.

  • Suicidal Tendencies

    High-profile suicides of public intellectuals have contributed to the stereotype of “tormented genius.” But are smarter people really more likely to take their own lives?

  • fMRI on Trial

    If neuroimaging can reliably discern truth from falsehood, should brain scans be admissible evidence in court cases?

  • Pandora’s Seed

    From obesity to chronique fatigue syndrome, jihadism to urban ennui, the costs of civilization are becoming ever more apparent. Spencer Wells explores adapting to a world where accelerating change is the new status quo.

  • Food Fight, Conclusion

    What's the surest path to sustainable food security?Highly efficient farming that draws on the arsenal of modern technology? Diversified agriculture driven by the conservation of nature and culture?In their closing statements, our debaters remain steadfast in their opposing stances.

  • Greener Pastures

    Dominant theory says that desertification is caused by overgrazing. Operation Hope, winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, has upended this idea—restoring degraded African grasslands into lush, green pasture.

  • Spineless But Deadly

    New research reveals the origins of “mystery blobs,” the feeding habits of carnivorous sponges, and the lethal lifecycle of a jelly fungus.

  • Books to Read Now

    June releases follow cave divers into the bowels of the Earth; chart the geography of hunger; and explore the science of false memories, inflated confidence, and distorted senses.


  • 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