Good News About COVID Immunity
In welcome news, the immune system may keep its “memory” of how to produce antibodies that can fight SARS-CoV-2 for many months, and possibly even years, Apoorva Mandavilli reports for The New York Times. Antibodies can in principle target not just the unique proteins of a virus like SARS-CoV-2 but also the sugary “fuzz” that coats it, Jordana Cepelewicz reported for Quanta in May.
Revisiting Gödel's Famous Proof
When just 25 years old, Kurt Gödel shattered the dreams of mathematicians by proving that some truths are, shockingly, unprovable. Stepan Parunashvili explains this groundbreaking proof from a programmer’s perspective in a new essay. Interested in taking a second swing at understanding Gödel’s metamathematics masterpiece? Natalie Wolchover stepped through the trippy proof for Quanta in July.
What Lies Beneath
The deep Earth is in some ways even more remote from us than far-off stars. Kate Golembiewski explains how earthquakes reveal the hidden depths of our planet for Discover Magazine. Vibrations whisper all kinds of secrets from the underworld to seismologists. Two giant underground blobs, for instance, may hold some of Earth’s oldest materials, as Joshua Sokol reported for Quanta in January.
Teaching Robots to Tune Out
One path toward smarter robots might be to program them to prioritize information quality over information quantity, much as our brains do, Karen Hao reports for MIT Technology Review. Neuroscientists measured how the brains of mice walk this information tightrope, encoding lots of details about the world but not so many as to bog down perception, Jordana Cepelewicz reported for Quanta in 2019.