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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.

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We’re More of Ourselves When We’re in Tune with Others - Issue 104: Harmony

When musicians have chemistry, we can feel it. There’s something special among them that’s missing when they perform alone. Anyone who’s heard a Mick Jagger solo album knows that’s the case. Clearly nature wants us to jam together and take flight out of our individual selves. The reward is transcendence, our bodies tell us so. What’s the secret of that...

Reports of a Baleful Internet Are Greatly Exaggerated - Issue 104: Harmony

It’s now fashionable, when something has you mildly obsessed, to say that it is “living rent-free in your head.” Well, in my case, that something is an earworm—Bo Burnham’s catchy, creepy, poignantly acidic song “Welcome to the Internet.”I can’t be alone. The song, part of Burnham’s new hour-plus Netflix special, Inside, has been consumed on YouTube...

Plants Feel Pain and Might Even See - Issue 104: Harmony

In 2018, a German newspaper asked me if I would be interested in having a conversation with the philosopher Emanuele Coccia, who had just written a book about plants, Die Wurzeln der Welt (published in English as The Life of Plants). I was happy to say yes.The German title of Coccia’s book translates as “The Roots of the World,” and the book really...

Galileo the Science Publicist - Issue 103: Healthy Communication

There’s an old belief that truth will always overcome error. Alas, history tells us something different. Without someone to fight for it, to put error on the defensive, truth may languish. It may even be lost, at least for some time. No one understood this better than the renowned Italian scientist Galileo Galilei.It is easy to imagine the man who for...

Here’s the Right Story for Vaccine Holdouts - Issue 103: Healthy Communication

Blaise Pascal was a renowned French polymath of the 17th century, scientist, philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and later in life a theologian. Among his many contributions was an attempt to prove by logical means the existence of God, which came to be known as Pascal’s Wager. Stated simply, Pascal reasoned that not believing in God, if there was...

How to Unlearn a Disease - Issue 103: Healthy Communication

My father, a neurologist, once had a patient who was tormented, in the most visceral sense, by a poem. Philip was 12 years old and a student at a prestigious boarding school in Princeton, New Jersey. One of his assignments was to recite Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. By the day of the presentation, he had rehearsed the poem dozens of times and could recall...

How to Outwit Evolution - Issue 103: Healthy Communication

There’s a silent epidemic slowly brewing around the globe. It hasn’t claimed as many lives as COVID-19, but if it gets out of control, it will likely prove even deadlier. It’s caused not by a single virus, but by a number of different bacterial species that have been slowly evolving defenses against our once potent antibiotics. Think of it as a sea...

Talking Pop Science with Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder - Facts So Romantic

As abstract as it is, physics enriches your life.Image via Sabine Hossenfelder / YouTubeScience without the gobbledygook.” That’s the name, and promise, of Sabine Hossenfelder’s YouTube show. The German theoretical physicist, whose main gig is as a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, has attracted over 300,000 subscribers....

Humans Are One Mixed-Up Ape - Facts So Romantic

If you look at every ape protein, they have every bone we have, every muscle we have, the same type of hair, and on and on. They’re just better adapted to their tropical rainforest environment.Illustration by BRO.vector / ShutterstockRecent fossilized bone discoveries in China and Israel support the exciting possibility of new, previously unknown species...

Psychedelics Open a New Window on the Mechanisms of Perception - Issue 102: Hidden Truths

Everything became imbued with a sense of vitality and life and vividness. If I picked up a pebble from the beach, it would move. It would glisten and gleam and sparkle and be absolutely captivating,” says neuroscientist Anil Seth. “Somebody looking at me would see me staring at a stone for hours.”Or what seemed like hours to Seth. A researcher at the...

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