Articles

How does the uniform ball of cells that make up an embryo differentiate to create the dramatic patterns of a zebra or leopard? How come there are spotty animals with stripy tails, but no stripy animals with spotty tails? Lewis Dartnell solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning.
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  • I've got your number - Soon the maths-phobic will have nowhere left to hide.
In issue 29 of Plus, we heard how a simple mathematical equation became the subject of a debate in the UK parliament. Chris Budd and Chris Sangwin continue the story of the mighty quadratic equation.
It has often been observed that mathematics is astonishingly effective as a tool for understanding the universe. But, asks Phil Wilson, why should this be? Is mathematics a universal truth, and how would we tell?
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In the early days of the UK National Lottery, it was quite common to see newspaper articles that looked back on what numbers had recently been drawn, and attempted to identify certain numbers as "due" or "hot". Few such articles appear now, and John Haigh thinks that perhaps the publicity surrounding the lottery has enhanced the nation's numeracy.