Science | Smithsonianhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/science-nature/RSS feed for ScienceenFri, 30 Jan 2015 18:24:41 +0000Cosmic Jaw-Droppers Include a Twisted Galaxy and an Aurora Rocket Volleyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/best-space-pictures-cosmic-jaw-droppers-include-twisted-galaxy-and-aurora-rocket-volley-180954104/From Martian vistas to glowing red nebulae, check out our picks for the best space images of the weekFri, 30 Jan 2015 18:24:41 +0000Nope, We Have Not Detected Gravitational Waves (Yet)http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/nope-we-have-not-detected-gravitational-waves-yet-180954101/Leaked news from teams studying the early universe says the signal hailed as our first peek at space-time ripples really is just dustFri, 30 Jan 2015 16:16:31 +0000Climate Change Is Altering the Global Heat Enginehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/climate-change-altering-global-heat-engine-180954079/Thermodynamics help explain why storms will become fewer in number but stronger in intensity as the planet warmsThu, 29 Jan 2015 19:00:00 +0000The Secret to a Long Life: Be Cooperative and Live Underground http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/secret-long-life-be-cooperative-and-live-underground-180954051/Naked mole rats enjoy exceptionally long, healthy lives, and there's more than good genes at workWed, 28 Jan 2015 00:01:00 +0000The World Hit "Peak Chicken" in 2006http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/world-hit-peak-chicken-2006-180954037/The popular poultry is just one of many key food resources that hit peak production between 5 and 30 years agoTue, 27 Jan 2015 15:06:50 +0000Do You Want To Build a Snowman? Physics Can Helphttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/do-you-want-build-snowman-physics-180954024/Here’s what you need to know about the science of constructing your very own OlafTue, 27 Jan 2015 14:00:00 +0000A Universal Flu Vaccine May Be On the Horizonhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/measles-vaccine-universal-flu-influenza-cdc-disease-outbreak-180954020/Choosing the viral targets for the seasonal flu vaccine is a gamble. Sometimes, like this year, the flu winsMon, 26 Jan 2015 16:25:32 +0000These Celestial Highlights Include Flowing Auroras and a Cracked Comethttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/these-celestial-highlights-include-flowing-auroras-and-cracked-comet-180954005/Catch up on the week's best space images, from a cyclone's glowing eye to a surreal Martian vistaFri, 23 Jan 2015 16:52:06 +0000Borneo's Mammals Face a Deadly Mix of Logging and Climate Changehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/borneos-mammals-face-deadly-mix-logging-and-climate-change-180953998/But adding small amounts of land to already protected areas could help save the island's biodiversity Thu, 22 Jan 2015 17:01:40 +0000An Iceberg Flipped Over, and Its Underside Is Breathtakinghttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/photographer-captures-stunning-underside-flipped-iceberg-180953951/On vacation in Antarctica, filmmaker and photographer Alex Cornell captured an unusual sightThu, 22 Jan 2015 15:20:22 +0000The Wrists of Birds Reveal Evolution Undoing Itselfhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/wrists-birds-reveal-evolution-undoing-itself-180953964/Contrary to earlier claims, a new study shows that evolution may be reversibleWed, 21 Jan 2015 19:00:00 +0000The International Space Station Will Soon Be Able to Measure Forest Density Using Lasershttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/international-space-station-will-soon-be-able-measure-forest-density-using-lasers-180953970/Strengthening the planet’s forests is one critical way to combat climate changeWed, 21 Jan 2015 19:00:00 +0000Can the Siberian Tiger Make a Comeback?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-siberian-tiger-make-comeback-180953973/In Russia’s Far East, an orphaned female tiger is the test case in an experimental effort to save one of the most endangered animals on earthWed, 21 Jan 2015 19:00:00 +0000America Has a Tiger Problem And No One’s Sure How to Solve Ithttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/america-has-tiger-problem-and-no-ones-sure-how-solve-it-180953974/No one even knows how many of the big cats are in the United StatesWed, 21 Jan 2015 19:00:00 +0000Vinegar-Like Acid Rain May Have Fallen During Earth’s Worst Extinctionhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/vinegar-acid-rain-may-have-fallen-during-earths-worst-extinction-180953972/Vanilla-flavored rocks hint at a planet scoured by intense acid rain during the Great Dying 252 million years agoWed, 21 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000Ancient Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Lasthttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ancient-scrolls-blackened-vesuvius-are-readable-last-herculaneum-papyri-180953950/X-ray scans can just tease out letters on the warped documents from a library at HerculaneumTue, 20 Jan 2015 16:00:00 +0000Best Space Photos of the Week: From Solar Flares to Saturn's Moonshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/best-space-photos-week-solar-flares-saturns-moons-titan-mars-earth-virgin-180953917/A spitting sun, a well-loved lake and a happy accident on Mars star in this week's best space imagesFri, 16 Jan 2015 14:38:59 +0000Social Media Is Not Making You a Ball of Stress http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/social-media-not-making-you-ball-stress-180953900/But perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook and Twitter can cause stress to spread when bad things happen to friends and familyThu, 15 Jan 2015 15:00:00 +0000Lust for Gold Is Consuming Precious South American Forests http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/lust-gold-consuming-precious-south-american-forests-180953893/Satellite images show that while the scale of deforestation is small, it is bleeding into protected areasWed, 14 Jan 2015 17:27:25 +0000Poison Hath Been This Italian Mummy's Untimely Endhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/poison-hath-been-italian-mummys-untimely-end-digitalis-foxglove-180953822/A lethal helping of foxglove seems to have triggered the downfall of a warlord of VeronaWed, 14 Jan 2015 17:00:00 +0000Surreal Photos Reveal the Otherworldly Insides of Gemstoneshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/gems-minerals-inclusions-inside-photography-art-science-180953662/If you thought gems were beautiful to the naked eye, take a look at them under a microscopeTue, 13 Jan 2015 15:35:02 +0000Top Space Pictures of the Week, From a Hubble Icon to Hungry Black Holeshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/top-space-pictures-week-hubble-icon-hungry-black-holes-180953854/Ghostly pillars, a dark nebula and a galaxy herd starred in some of the best image-driven stories released at a recent astronomy meetingFri, 09 Jan 2015 15:33:32 +0000Could GM Mosquitoes Pave the Way for a Tropical Virus to Spread?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/could-gm-mosquitoes-pave-way-chikungunya-virus-panama-180953847/Modified insects designed to stop dengue fever could make it easier for another disease-carrying species to take rootThu, 08 Jan 2015 22:33:46 +0000I Was Among the Lucky Few to Walk in Spacehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/i-was-among-lucky-few-walk-space-180953827/On July 31, 1971, Al Worden performed the first deep-space extra-vehicular activity. "No one in all of history" saw what he saw that dayThu, 08 Jan 2015 20:35:57 +0000A New Antibiotic Found in Dirt Can Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteriahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-antibiotic-dirt-soil-can-kill-drug-resistant-bacteria-180953828/Tests in mice show that the new drug works against numerous nasty diseases and should stay viable for decadesWed, 07 Jan 2015 18:00:00 +0000To Meet Global Warming Targets, Leave Fuels In the Groundhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-global-warming-targets-leave-fuels-ground-180953829/Hefty percentages of fossil fuels need to remain untapped to curtail the rising global temperature Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:00:00 +0000Incredible: A Caracal Slaps Down a Bird in Flighthttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/science/incredible-a-caracal-slaps-down-a-bird-in-f/The caracal is a fierce and agile predator. And the way it pursues airborne prey is astoundingWed, 07 Jan 2015 17:15:11 +0000New Super-Earths Double the Number of Life-Friendly Worldshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-super-earths-discovered-oceans-life-exoplanets-180953805/Three studies looking at small, rocky planets are helping astronomers figure out how common worlds like ours are in the galaxyTue, 06 Jan 2015 18:15:00 +0000New Deep-Sea Snails Are Nature’s Own Punk Rockers http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-deep-sea-snails-are-natures-own-punk-rockers-180953814/The spikes on one hardcore species inspired scientists to name it after Joe Strummer of the Clash, who was also an ardent environmentalistTue, 06 Jan 2015 15:07:46 +0000Threat of Being Eaten Doesn’t Deter Dumpling Squid From Sex http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/threat-being-eaten-doesnt-deter-dumpling-squid-sex-180953780/The adorable cephalopods seem to rate mating higher on their list of priorities than survival Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000The Physics of Champagne Bubbles Could Help Power the Futurehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-years-physics-champagne-bubbles-could-help-power-future-180953778/Studying the principles that govern bubble formation in sparkling wine could improve power plant boilersWed, 31 Dec 2014 18:49:22 +0000Many Households Buy More Food in January Than During the Holidayshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-years-resolution-many-households-buy-more-food-january-during-holidays-180953779/New Year's resolutions to eat better lead many people to buy health food in addition to a continued junk food glutWed, 31 Dec 2014 17:21:54 +0000How to See This Green Comet With the Naked Eyehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-see-green-comet-lovejoy-q2-new-years-naked-eye-180953771/The "New Year's Comet" is taking astronomers by storm with an unexpected showing, and it should only get brighter through early JanuaryTue, 30 Dec 2014 20:59:18 +0000Our Answers to the Most Burning Questions of 2014 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/our-answers-to-the-most-burning-questions-of-2014-180953752/Here are the ten most popular installments of "Ask Smithsonian" this yearTue, 30 Dec 2014 16:44:51 +0000The Fastest Punch in the Worldhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/science/the-fastest-punch-in-the-world/Mantis Shrimp have a knockout punch, delivering a killer blow as fast as a 22-caliber bulletTue, 30 Dec 2014 15:57:24 +0000Ten Cool Science Stories You May Have Missed in 2014http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-cool-science-stories-you-may-have-missed-2014-180953747/ICYMI, there's a newfound coral reef in Iraq, the smallest force has been detected and more in this year's surprising scienceMon, 29 Dec 2014 16:52:48 +0000Our Top Stories of 2014http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/our-top-stories-2014-180953698/From weird red waterfalls to the pleasures of small-town America, these were the most read articles on Smithsonian.com this year Fri, 26 Dec 2014 17:00:00 +0000Puberty Is Beginning Earlier in Girls, So What Can Parents Do?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/puberty-beginning-earlier-girls-so-what-can-parents-do-180953738/The authors of a new book about the earlier onset of female puberty explain the evidence and offer adviceFri, 26 Dec 2014 14:00:00 +0000Switching to Farming Made Human Joint Bones Lighterhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/switching-farming-made-human-joint-bones-lighter-180953711/A more fragile skeleton evolved about 12,000 years ago, probably driven by a shift from hunting to agricultureMon, 22 Dec 2014 22:55:53 +0000Using Zinc to Detect Breast Cancer Earlyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/using-zinc-to-detect-breast-cancer-early-180953700/Researchers at Oxford have taken the first step towards finding a new biomarker for breast cancerMon, 22 Dec 2014 18:40:32 +0000Corals Show How Pacific Trade Winds Guide Global Temperatureshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/corals-show-how-pacific-trade-winds-guide-global-temperatures-180953703/The world has been in a global warming hiatus, but that will change when the winds once again weakenMon, 22 Dec 2014 18:24:03 +0000Top Three Results From a 115-Year-Old Citizen Science Projecthttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/top-three-results-learned-115-years-citizen-science-audubon-christmas-bird-count-180953677/The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is touted as the world's longest running citizen science project—so what has it taught us?Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:11:31 +0000How to Give the Best Gifts, According to Sciencehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-give-best-gifts-according-science-180953686/Researchers are unwrapping the science behind gift giving, from the value of simplicity to the quality of the bow on topFri, 19 Dec 2014 17:00:57 +0000Meet William Harvey, a Misunderstood Genius in Human Anatomyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-william-harvey-misunderstood-genius-human-anatomy-180953682/A new video from the World Science Festival tells the story of this medical pioneerFri, 19 Dec 2014 15:58:32 +0000Ancient Roman Water Networks Made the Empire Vulnerablehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-roman-water-networks-made-empire-vulnerable-180953679/A model of ancient water movement shows how trade practices might affect today's urban centers as the climate changesFri, 19 Dec 2014 14:00:00 +0000Europe Is a Great Place to Be a Large Meat-Eater http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/europe-great-place-be-large-meat-eater-180953664/In a rare success story for wildlife, bears, lynx, wolverine and wolves are increasing in numbers across the continent Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000The Colorado River Delta Turned Green After a Historic Water Pulsehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/colorado-river-delta-turned-green-after-historic-water-pulse-180953670/The experimental flow briefly restored the ancient waterway and may have created new habitat for birdsThu, 18 Dec 2014 14:53:52 +0000Evotourism: Great Places to Celebrate Evolution Around the Globehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/evotourism-180953631/From lemurs to Neanderthals, here's our latest guide so you can travel the globe to enjoy what Darwin famously called "endless forms most beautiful"Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:26:13 +0000Why String Theory Still Offers Hope We Can Unify Physicshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953637/Evidence that the universe is made of strings has been elusive for 30 years, but the theory's mathematical insights continue to have an alluring pullWed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000How Australia Put Evolution on Darwin’s Mindhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/australia-put-evolution-darwins-mind-180953651/The famous naturalist’s revolutionary theory first took shape not in the Galápagos but in the primeval Blue MountainsWed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000Want to Excite Your Inner Dinosaur Fan? Pack Your Bags for Albertahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/want-excite-inner-dinosaur-fan-pack-bags-for-alberta-180953654/Canada’s badlands are the place to see fantastic dinosaur fossils (and kitsch)—and eye-opening new evidence about the eve of their fallWed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000What Does “Happy New Year” Even Really Mean?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-does-happy-new-year-even-really-mean-180953633/Physicists engage in a strange debate about whether time really passesWed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000Why the Leatherback Turtle Has a Skylight in its Headhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-leatherback-turtle-skylight-head-180953635/How do animals with poor vision see in dark locales?Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000NASA Can See Your Holiday Lights From Spacehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/nasa-can-see-your-holiday-lights-space-180953648/Scientists can use holiday lights during Christmas and Rammadan as a proxy for overall energy use in urban areasWed, 17 Dec 2014 15:42:15 +0000The Top 12 Ocean Stories That Made Waves in 2014 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/top-ocean-stories-made-waves-2014-180953643/The seas served up some compelling headlines this year, from celebrity fashion to solving the mystery of the melting starfishWed, 17 Dec 2014 14:00:00 +0000Some of the Most Beautiful Things in Nature Come in the Tiniest of Packageshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/some-of-the-most-beautiful-things-in-nature-come-in-the-tiniest-of-packages-180953632/The winners of the 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition capture a rat brain, the mouthparts of a vampire moth and other small wondersTue, 16 Dec 2014 20:12:27 +0000What We Can Learn by Digging Up the Secrets of Earth's Deep Carbonhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-we-can-learn-digging-secrets-earths-deep-carbon-180953614/Diamond computers and subsurface life are just some of the topics being investigated by scientists in the Deep Carbon Observatory networkTue, 16 Dec 2014 15:09:04 +0000Ancient Earth Warmed Dramatically After a One-Two Carbon Punchhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-earth-warmed-dramatically-after-one-two-carbon-punch-180953610/A period of intense warming 55 million years ago is an even better case study for modern climate change than previously suspectedMon, 15 Dec 2014 16:00:00 +0000The Dangers of Winter Darkness: Weak Bones, Depression and Heart Troublehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dangers-winter-darkness-weak-bones-depression-and-heart-trouble-180953611/Long periods without sunshine can play a role in a surprising variety of physical and mental disordersMon, 15 Dec 2014 15:18:59 +0000A Sea of Fog Completely Filled the Grand Canyonhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/sea-fog-completely-filled-grand-canyon-180953609/Known as total cloud inversion, the weather phenomenon is quite rare—and spectacularFri, 12 Dec 2014 18:08:41 +0000What’s Your Surgeon’s Jam? Probably Classical or Soft Rock http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/whats-your-surgeons-jam-probably-classical-or-soft-rock-180953597/British doctors make the case for playing music during an operationThu, 11 Dec 2014 23:30:00 +0000Bees and Wasps in Britain Have Been Disappearing For More Than a Centuryhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/bees-and-wasps-britain-have-been-disappearing-more-century-180953587/Changes in agricultural practices since the 19th century may be a major culprit in the pollinators’ declineThu, 11 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000Why Engineering Will Be Vital in a Changing Climatehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-engineering-will-be-vital-changing-climate-180953584/Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough offers personal insights on the realities of climate change and the best ways for society to adaptThu, 11 Dec 2014 17:00:02 +0000After 12/13/14, What Are the Next Fun Dates for Math Lovers?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/last-sequential-date-century-121314-fun-math-lovers-180953413/Sequential integers are a bit boring, anyhow. Here are some more exciting sequences to celebrate over the next 89 yearsThu, 11 Dec 2014 15:09:08 +0000The Ocean Contains Over Five Trillion Pieces of Plastic Weighing More than 250,000 Tons http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ocean-contains-over-five-trillion-pieces-plastic-weighing-more-250000-tons-180953576/These frightening figures represent the most robust estimate of marine plastic pollution calculated to date Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000The Creepy, Kitschy and Geeky Patches of US Spy Satellite Launcheshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/creepy-kitschy-and-geeky-patches-us-spy-satellites-180953562/There may be method to the madness behind the outlandish designs of the National Reconnaissance Office mission patchesTue, 09 Dec 2014 17:00:00 +0000Medical Mistletoe: Can the Holiday Plant Really Fight Cancer?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/medical-mistletoe-can-holiday-plant-really-fight-cancer-180953551/In some countries, cancer patients take mistletoe injections to ease symptoms, but the exact effects of the extracts are still up for debateMon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:00 +0000These Photos Capture a Decade of Change at Earth's Poleshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/these-photos-capture-decade-change-earths-poles-180953501/From courting penguins to moody icebergs, photojournalist Camille Seaman shares her personal journey through polar habitatsFri, 05 Dec 2014 17:58:24 +0000The Hidden Underbelly of West Antarctica Is Meltinghttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/hidden-underbelly-west-antarctica-melting-oceans-climate-180953527/Warm currents are flowing under ice shelves, causing coastal losses that may let land-based glaciers slide into the seaThu, 04 Dec 2014 19:00:00 +0000Why Does Very Hot Water Sometimes Feel Cold?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-does-very-hot-water-sometimes-feel-cold-180953532/The weird sensation known as paradoxical cold has scientists locked in a heated debateThu, 04 Dec 2014 18:05:33 +0000Zigzags on a Shell From Java Are the Oldest Human Engravingshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/oldest-engraving-shell-tools-zigzags-art-java-indonesia-humans-180953522/The early human <em>Homo erectus</em> also made the oldest known shell tools half a million years agoWed, 03 Dec 2014 19:41:37 +0000What Can the Dinosaurs' Final Years Tell Us About the Biodiversity Crisis Today? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/what-can-last-years-dinosaurs-tell-us-about-biodiversity-crisis-today-180953483/Failed ecosystems led to the demise of the dinosaurs. Today, plant and animal species are disappearing at exponential rates.Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:29:00 +0000Geckos Have a Surprisingly Strong Death Grip http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/geckos-have-surprisingly-strong-death-grip-180953516/Gecko toes remain firmly stuck in place even after the animal dies, implying that the lizards do not actively control their clinginessWed, 03 Dec 2014 00:01:00 +0000