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A NASA Valkyrie robot picks up an item with its hand. Northeastern University

Making robots that can work with their hands

For robots to be most useful when working alongside humans, we'll have to figure out how to make robots that can literally lend us a hand when our own two are not enough.
Saturn and its rings backlit by the sun, which is blocked by the planet in this view. Encircling the planet and inner rings is the much more extended E-ring. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Water, weather, new worlds: Cassini mission revealed Saturn’s secrets

With the probe now on its 'Grand Finale,' a Cassini team member describes the amazing discoveries it made about the ringed planet and its many moons.
Rhetoric can teach scientists how to effectively communicate what’s going on in the lab to the rest of us. Joshua Mayer

Defending science: How the art of rhetoric can help

If you've only ever paired the idea of 'rhetoric' with 'empty,' think again. Rhetoricians of science have concrete techniques to share with researchers to help them communicate their scientific work.
Next best thing to a hidey-hole box? Maggie Villiger

Why can’t cats resist thinking inside the box?

Twitter recently blew up with posts wondering about the feline fascination with taped squares on the ground. An animal behavior expert explains it's not magic that draws Fluffy to the #CatSquare.
Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second. Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T rcsb.org

Enzymes versus nerve agents: Designing antidotes for chemical weapons

Scientists invented chemical weapons; some are now working to destroy them. New biomolecular design techniques let researchers design proteins that can destroy nerve agents in bodies.
A noninvasive brain-computer interface based on EEG recordings from the scalp. Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), Photo by Mark Stone

Melding mind and machine: How close are we?

Brain-computer interfacing is a hot topic in the tech world, with Elon Musk's announcement of his new Neuralink startup. Here, researchers separate what's science from what's currently still fiction.
Mathematical visualization techniques led the author to create this virtual scene, showing shapes from the realm of mathematics bursting into the physical world. Frank Farris

With new technology, mathematicians turn numbers into art

It's a golden age for visualization in mathematics. How tools like 3-D printing, animation and even knitting machines are reimagining the way mathematicians study and share their work.