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New model shows how voting behavior can drive political parties apart

If voters gravitate toward the center of the political spectrum, why are the parties drifting farther apart? A new model reveals a mechanism for increased polarization in U.S. politics, guided by the idea of "satisficing"-- that people will settle...
10-Aug-2020 4:10 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Leaving money on the table to stay in the game: New paper squares economic choice with evolutionary survival

Unlike businesses or governments, organisms can't go into evolutionary debt -- there is no borrowing one's way back from extinction. This can lead to seemingly irrational economic choices that suddenly make sense when viewed as a multiplicative,...
27-Jul-2020 12:30 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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More ecosystem engineers create stability, preventing extinctions

Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments. How this affects their ecological network is the subject of new research, which finds that increasing the number of "ecosystem engineers" stabilizes the...
2-Jul-2020 1:30 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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New model predicts the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic

This week in the journal Frontiers, researchers describe a single function that accurately describes all existing available data on active COVID-19 cases and deaths—and predicts forthcoming peaks.
29-May-2020 12:05 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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COVID-19 U.S. Employment Shocks Likely Larger Than Great Depression

The U.S. is likely to see a near-term 24% drop in employment, 17% percent drop in wages, and 22% drop in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis according to a new study. These impacts will be very unevenly distributed, with the bottom...
20-Apr-2020 12:35 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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What is an individual? Information Theory may provide the answer

Despite the near-universal assumption of individuality in biology, there is little agreement about what individuals are and few rigorous quantitative methods for their identification. A new approach may solve the problem by defining individuals in...
15-Apr-2020 5:30 PM EDT Add to Favorites

If cancer were easy, every cell would do it

A new paper puts an evolutionary twist on a classic question. Instead of asking why we get cancer, researchers at Osnabrück University and the Santa Fe Institute use signaling theory to explore how our bodies have evolved to keep us from getting...
3-Feb-2020 12:55 PM EST Add to Favorites

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‘Like a video game with health points,’ energy budgets explain evolutionary body size

Budgeting resources isn’t just a problem for humans preparing a holiday dinner, or squirrels storing up nuts for the winter. A new model of how animals budget their energy sheds light on how they live and explains why they tend to evolve toward...
18-Dec-2019 12:55 PM EST Add to Favorites


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The Santa Fe Institute is a transdisciplinary research community that expands the boundaries of scientific understanding. Its aim is to discover, comprehend, and communicate the common fundamental principles in complex physical, computational, biological, and social systems that underlie many of the most profound problems facing science and society today.

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