Emotion’s Alchemy

Feature / by Genevieve Wanucha / March 30, 2010

New insights into the science of emotion unravel the seeming neurological magic that turns emotions into social expressions.

Now In Ideas

  • Five Centuries of Influenza

    Historical records show that flu pandemics have been occurring for at least 500 years. Researchers are now studying these historical pandemics to help prevent future disease.

  • The Revenge of Comic Sans

    New research suggests that less-legible, less-elegant fonts might actually promote better recall of information. Dave Munger examines the evidence.

  • The Power of the People

    Dave Munger test-drives two newly unveiled tools for understanding vast sets of cultural and scientific data.

  • Toxic House Cats?

    Up to half of all humans are infected by a cat-borne parasite that can cause stillbirth, brain damage, and a host of other subtle neurological effects. Is vaccination the solution?

  • The Improvisational Brain

    Watching a musician in the throes of an improvisational solo can be like witnessing an act of divine intervention. But embedded memories and conspiring brain regions, scientists now believe, are the true source of ad-hoc creativity.

  • Death for “Arsenic-Based Life”?

    A hotly anticipated announcement last week from NASA that scientists had discovered an exotic form of life ended up revealing more about science journalism than astrobiology.

  • The Human Animal

    The special bond that often forms between people and both domesticated and wild animals may be, paradoxically, part of what makes us human.

  • All-Natural, All-Toxic

    Scientists are beginning to understand the surprising evolutionary mechanisms that allow poisonous creatures to evolve and flourish.

  • The Second-Place Sex

    Why chess may be an ideal laboratory for investigating gender gaps in science and beyond.

  • Redefining “Mental Illness”

    As consensus emerges on the physical basis of mental illness, the mental-health community is fracturing over what, exactly, constitutes “mental illness” in the first place.


Full Steam Ahead on CS-STEM

By imagining, drawing, and building original videogames, Globaloria students have been boldly demonstrating how art and design and creative cognition can re-ignite STEM learning.


The Art of Science Learning

It's no secret: American children are behind in math and science, and falling faster by the year. For a group of innovative thinkers gathering in Washington DC, restoring "STEM" in America must go beyond multiplication drills, beyond the latest in computer apps. It's time to re-imagine science learning altogether, they say: it's time for wood and clay, watercolor and chalk.


Buddhism and the Brain

Many of Buddhism’s core tenets significantly overlap with findings from modern neurology and neuroscience. So how did Buddhism come close to getting the brain right?

Research Blogging

Wild Animal Sex

New research in birds, reptiles, and insects is redefining “normal” sexual behavior, revealing that gender-bending, promiscuous, and dangerous sex isn’t limited to humans.

Now on feelingsandflowers.com

  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


Witness the science. Stunning photographic portfolios from the pages of Seed magazine.

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