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George Cowan, Founding President of Santa Fe Institute: 1920-2012

Welcome to “The 101,” our premiere staff-written blog for breaking news and commentary on today’s most compelling research.



Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Brevibacterium linens


Little L

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Lactobacillus


Vanilla Ice

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Pseudomonas syringae


The Vibrio Family

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Vibrio


The Torpedo

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Bdellovibrio


Slick Willy

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Pseudomonas putida


Cyano de Bergerac

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Cyanobacteria


Space-Age Conan the Bacterium

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Deinococcus radiodurans


Bad-Rap Eddy

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: E. coli


Stinky Pete, the Prospector

Bacteria Working in the Shadows: Streptococcus mutans.


State of Embarrassment — Texas

How textbook changes and talk of secession affect the citizen embarrassment level in Texas.


State of Embarrassment — Tennessee

How battling Obamacare and being highlighted for corruption affect the citizen embarrassment level in Tennessee.


State of Embarrassment — Illinois

How former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and state corruption in general affect the citizen embarrassment level in Illinois.


State of Embarrassment — Virginia

How gun laws, Confederate History Month and a statue of Stalin contribute to the citizen embarrassment level in Virginia.


State of Embarrassment — New York

How rampant corruption, a governor’s affair with a prostitute and the fall of “America’s Cop” affect the citizen embarrassment level in New York.


State of Embarrassment — Arizona

How immigration laws, a state boycott and a “worst sheriff” honor affect the citizen embarrassment level in Arizona.


State of Embarrassment — California

How a budget deficit, credit crisis and the Governator affect the citizen embarrassment level in California.


Punta Cabras and a Shipwreck

An overturned fishing boat symbolizes the plight of the world’s fisheries.


The Limits of Empathy for Outsiders

Two new studies — one sociological, another using brain scans — document and help explain our lack of empathy for perceived outsiders.


The New Trans-Atlantic SWIFT Agreement

Will it give European intelligence agencies access to U.S. banking records?


Watchdog 2.0

The emergence of a video showing pedestrians mowed down in Baghdad by U.S. gunships illustrates how traditional media’s watchdog role is being usurped.


Are Parents Too Involved With Their Children?

While being involved in your children’s lives and studies is intuitively (and statistically) smart, some techniques are better than others.


Professor Predicts Baseball’s Best Teams for 2010

The Yankees look to be the dominant team in baseball for 2010, according to a New Jersey Institute of Technology mathematician (and Mets fan).


Wood and Civilization

Wood, as fuel and building material, is the unsung hero of the technological developments that brought humanity from a bone-and-stone culture to the Industrial Revolution.

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NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

The Most Popular Ways to Share Good and Bad Personal News

Researchers rank the popularity of all of the different methods we have for telling people about our lives, from Facebook to face-to-face.

Do Not Tell Your Kids That Eating Vegetables Will Make Them Stronger

Instead, hand them over in silence. Or, market them as the most delicious snack known to mankind.

The West’s Groundwater Is Being Sucked Dry

Scientists were stunned to discover just how much groundwater has been lost from beneath the Colorado River over the past 10 years.

How Wildlife Declines Are Leading to Slavery and Terrorism

As wildlife numbers dwindle, wildlife crimes are rising—and that's fueling a raft of heinous crimes committed against humans.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

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