The week Nobel Prizes are announced is always a busy one for the science editors at The Conversation. First we polish off our crystal ball ahead of time to try to predict winners so we can start laying groundwork on how to cover them. This attempt is rarely successful. We also publish Nobel-related pieces in advance that don’t depend on who wins – like this one about how laureates tend to be interdisciplinary in their approaches and this one about why they’re even called laureates.

The calls from Sweden are placed in what’s still the middle of the night for some of our editors – and our potential authors – so we rely on our colleagues at The Conversation U.K. and their time zone advantage to publish the first articles that break the news about who won and for what.

Then we look for unique angles for more in-depth stories that jump off from the winning research. This year we brought you articles about ancient DNA stretches in your own genes and what an ethical path ahead looks like for paleogenomics. In the physics category, we filled you in on the basics of “spooky action at a distance” and some technologies that already rely on quantum entanglement. And a chemist explained how his lab uses the Nobel-winning technique in living cells.

We hope our efforts help you understand these Nobel achievements in new ways. We’ll see you next year to do it all again… after a rest.

Also today:

Maggie Villiger

Senior Science + Technology Editor

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our Homo sapiens ancestors shared the landscape with multiple other hominins. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Our Homo sapiens ancestors shared the world with Neanderthals, Denisovans and other types of humans whose DNA lives on in our genes

Joshua Akey, Princeton University

Ancient DNA helps reveal the tangled branches of the human family tree. Not only did our ancestors live alongside other human species, they mated with them, too.

Politics + Society

Ethics + Religion



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