Surprising new research about the act of remembering may help people with post-traumatic stress disorder
May 2010 | By Greg Miller
Late last year, the television show Mythbusters showed that our computer keyboards are crawling with microorganisms. Now scientists from the University of Colorado have shown that those bacteria can be used to identify a computer's user.Germophobes don't want to know this, but our bodies are covere...
March 17, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Here in the United States, we rarely have to worry that a mosquito bite will cause malaria. Like Canada, Australia, much of Europe and a few other places, we've been designated "malaria-free" by World Health Organization. Other places aren't so lucky. Nearly one million people died from the disease...
March 11, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
It's rare in science and science writing to make definitive statements, particularly about causation. We like to add what I call "wishy washy" words like "may" and "probably" and "perhaps." So when scientists or science writers make definitive statements like "vaccines don't cause autism" and "vacc...
March 04, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
A rare cache of hominid fossils from the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq offers a window on Neanderthal culture
March 2010 | By Owen Edwards
Studies of hominid fossils, like 4.4-million-year-old "Ardi," are changing ideas about human origins
March 2010 | By Ann Gibbons
John Gurche, a “paleo-artist,” has recreated strikingly realistic heads of our earliest human ancestors for a new exhibit
February 25, 2010 | By Abigail Tucker
Scientists have released their latest, most detailed map of the cosmic microwave background--that faint glow of radiation left over from the Big Bang--and Stephen Hawking's initials are still there. The S and H have been spotted in previous versions of the image, which is sometimes known as WMAP fo...
February 09, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Neuroscience has always been a scary topic for me. I studied ecology and marine science and viewed brain science as another language, another world, kind of how John Cleese "explains" it in this video. Enjoy!(Hat tip: Boing Boing)
February 04, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
My husband’s favorite story to tell about his first marathon is that a woman in stocking feet beat him.“And it was in Vermont…in October…on gravel roads,” he always adds, still amazed at the freakish phenom.That was in 2006, and now just over three years later, barefoot running, though clearly not ...
January 28, 2010 | By Megan Gambino
It's also been a good year for science stories in Smithsonian magazine, including our special issue, Exploring the Frontiers of Science. Here are nine you should read if you haven't already:Gene Therapy in a New Light: A husband-and-wife team's experimental genetic treatment for blindness is renewi...
December 30, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
After a debilitating bicycle accident kept her inactive, Mary Collins toured the country studying Americans’ sedentary lifestyle
December 29, 2009 | By Abigail Tucker
Even a bad movie can be enjoyable under the right circumstances. Sometimes, though, you wish you hadn't bothered. Here are eight clunkers from the last decade: Erin Brockovich (2000): Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for her work in this true-life story of a woman who fought against polluters in ...
December 17, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Our annual list of children's books highlights the most fascinating titles published in the past year
December 17, 2009 | By Kathleen Burke
Heart disease may appear to be a recent problem, brought on by the processed foods and sedentary lifestyles of modern living, but it's been plaguing humanity since ancient times, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.A team of scientists from the United States ...
November 18, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Artist Janice Lowry's illustrated diaries record her history—and ours
November 2009 | By Owen Edwards
Here's a shocker: Horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre don't get the chainsaw spatter right, according to the Journal of Forensic Sciences.The reason for the study is sad—a woman was reported missing in 2005, and the police found evidence that she had been killed and dismembered in her basemen...
October 31, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Around the country, people are lining up to be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus. Surprising Science has spent the last three days discussing the history and science of vaccines (see A Brief History and How Vaccines Work, Success Stories, and A History of Vaccine Backlash). Today we answer some...
October 29, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
In light of President Obama’s declaration that the outbreak of the H1N1 virus is a national emergency, Surprising Science is setting this week aside to discuss the history and science of vaccines and their importance in battling diseases, including swine flu. See Monday’s post for part 1, A Brief H...
October 28, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
In light of President Obama’s declaration of “national emergency” imposed by the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, Surprising Science is setting this week aside to discuss the history and science of vaccines and their importance in battling viruses and diseases, including swine flu. See yesterday’s post ...
October 27, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski