Move over, Higgs boson: Columbia scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are searching for the key to a unified theory of everything. Two scientists think we can safeguard the world's knowledge against an apocalypse if we store it in DNA — how far-fetched is the idea? Ed Yong meets them to find out. Adam Gurri on how science is a bourgeois pastime. Are we alone? The universe seems to be bursting with planets, and this is profoundly important — but not in the way we might expect. Philosophy from the preposterous universe: Sean Carroll interviewed by Richard Marshall. A scientist goes rogue: Can social media and crowdfunding sustain independent researchers? Against the “Golden Fleece” award: Ben Florsheim on pushing back on Bill Proxmire's anti-science legacy. A high-octane debate has broken out among the world’s physicists about what would happen if you jumped into a black hole. John Wenz on 10 uses for mostly useless chemical elements: Gold, titanium, oxygen — some elements get all the glory, but even the least practical residents of the periodic table can find a purpose. Jonathan Cohn on how the sequester is stifling science. Robots can do a lot for us: They can explore space or they can cut our toenails — but do advances in robotics and artificial intelligence hold hidden threats? Nothing to see here: Craig Callender on demoting the Uncertainty Principle. Jeffrey Marlow on the 10 hottest fields of science research. Matt Simon on the most bonkers scientific theories (almost) nobody believes anymore.