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Structure takes wing

Symmetry, on first glance a mere detail of arrangement, has unexpected powers, aesthetic, practical—even moral. We find it in physics, families, and the brain. As shorthand, it heightens our powers of observation, helping us recognize faces and calculate particle interactions. As organizing principle, it steers genes and galaxies. Scientists, long ago convinced that it is mixed into the truth of things, flock to it.

  • Want to Get Out Alive? Follow the Ants: Ants show that emergency exits can work better when they’re obstructed, by Conor Myhrvold
  • What Do Animals See in a Mirror? A controversial test for self-awareness is dividing the animal kingdom, by Chelsea Wald
  • Half Male, Half Female, Total Animal: Mixed-sex animals teach us about our own multifarious nature, by Ferris Jabr
  • This issue also includes contributions from: Patchen Barss, Dalton Conley, John Grant, Peter Gruss, David Kaiser, Erica Klarreich, Gregory Laughlin, David Levine, João Mageijo, Corey S. Powell, and Bonnie Tsui.
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DI013
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