The quantum robin flits to a bare branch, restless. Twin sparks in his eyes whisper go south with every beat of his thimble heart.

Researchers have made crucial steps towards discovering how birds navigate. A newly discovered protein called Cry4 may help them to “see” Earth’s magnetic fields, a sense called magnetoreception. Inspired by this discovery that birds use quantum coherence of a protein in their eyes to sense magnetic fields, Hal Y. Zhang crafts a fantastical journey into quantum space. 

//Hal Y. Zhang migrates 50 kilometers a day in search of work, food, and sleep.//


When her allergies flare, she blames words stuffed in her genome by her too-trendy parents: social media links and the full text of Hamlet.

Synthetic biologists at Harvard University have successfully encoded movies into e. coli DNA using the microbial immune system CRISPR–Cas. While the system itself is limited to one frame per cell, the potential of this discovery to create live recordings from brain cells lends itself to sci-fi worthy of a Black Mirror episode. Hal Y. Zhang takes this discovery and renders it through the lens of a world obsessed with IVF and adapting our children. What will happen when parents can edit DNA? // Alex Massey

//Hal Y. Zhang thinks DNA tattoos will be the next big thing.//