Nautilus

Nautilus is a different kind of science magazine. We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives. Read a new chapter in the story every Thursday.

Latest articles

The Importance of Face Masks and the Tragedy of Downplaying Them - Issue 90: Something Green

Let’s start all over again about face masks. The noise about them is a Judas Priest blare. Can we turn down the volume for a moment? OK, good, thanks. Now, let’s talk about their value. Why there is such discord about them. After all, what has the clamor wrought? Nothing good, says Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California,...

The Fungal Evangelist Who Would Save the Bees - Issue 90: Something Green

If anyone knows about going fungal, it’s Paul Stamets. I have often wondered whether he has been infected with a fungus that fills him with mycological zeal—and an irrepressible urge to persuade humans that fungi are keen to partner with us in new and peculiar ways. I went to visit him at his home on the west coast of Canada. The house is balanced on...

Junk Food Is Bad For Plants, Too - Issue 90: Something Green

Most of us are familiar with the much-maligned Western diet and its mainstay of processed food products found in the middle aisles of the grocery store. Some of us beeline for the salty chips and others for the sugar-packed cereals. But we are not the only ones eating junk food. An awful lot of crops grown in the developed world eat a botanical version...

People Are Discovering the Joy of Actually Talking on a Phone - Facts So Romantic

Researchers predicted that people would consistently underrate how much they might benefit from talking on the phone.Photograph by Stokkete / ShutterstockI’m one of the lucky ones. The onset of this pandemic has put a strain on the sanity of many people forced to isolate themselves from friends and family. If you live alone, or with roommates who you...

At the Math Olympiad, Computers Prepare to Go for the Gold - Facts So Romantic

Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog.Computer scientists are trying to build an AI system that can win a gold medal at the world’s premier math competition.Photograph by Valerie Kuypers / AFP / Getty ImagesThe 61st International Mathematical Olympiad, or IMO, began yesterday. It may go down in history for at least two reasons:...

What the Meadow Teaches Us - Issue 90: Something Green

Anyone who believes that life is a battlefield full of individual warriors should go out into the meadows on a spring night. There, you can learn that the biosphere does not spawn cutoff, clearly differentiated individuals who compete against one another—assuming you find such a meadow; that is, now that some farmers have started to sow a single, standardized...

Dawn of the Heliocene - Issue 90: Something Green

I was born on the summer solstice in an age without a name.My parents were born in a previous geological epoch. Six unknowing months before the start of the Great Depression, my father arrived. His given name was Richard, but as soon as his hair came in, he was Red. He would become a keeper of junkyards—overgrown lost worlds of relic chariots. I was...

When Plants Go to War - Issue 90: Something Green

Compared to the hectic rush of our bipedal world, a plant’s life may appear an oasis of tranquility. But look a little closer. The voracious appetites of pests put plants under constant stress: They have to fight just to stay alive. And fight they do. Far from being passive victims, plants have evolved potent defenses: chemical compounds that serve...

The Environmental Headache in Your Shampoo - Issue 90: Something Green

As little as two centuries ago, the northern edge of the island of Borneo, home to Malaysia’s Sarawak state, was covered in a verdant canopy that stretched, uninterrupted, from shore to shore. It was a forest that had persisted for more than 100 million years, sheltering a dizzying abundance of plants, animals, and fungi that were found nowhere else...

The Dark Side of Smart - Facts So Romantic

Intelligence is associated with coming up with more convincing bullshit and with being a better liar, but not associated with a better ability to recognize one’s own bias.Photograph by ArTono / ShutterstockManipulative communication surrounds us. With misinformation and disinformation about the pandemic, “cheap” and “deep” fakes of elected officials,...

Discover, share and read the best on the web

Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters! Get unfiltered news feeds or filter them to your liking.

Get Inoreader
Inoreader - Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters!