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Published on 18 Oct 2008
What do Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon, the snowy tree cricket, Al Qaeda and the World Wide Web all have in common?
Not much you might think but in fact theyve all played a role in helping us make one of the biggest new discoveries in science. Each of them organise themselves in a network. Theres a mechanism by which actors, insects, terrorists and web pages link together and make connections. We used to think these links were more or less random but in the past few years scientists studying networks have discovered an astonishing thing; nature it seems has a hidden language and for the first time were able to read it.
Its a discovery that some are saying may prove to be as important as Newtons observations of gravity and Darwins theory of evolution. The new science of networks is set to change our understanding of the world.1