Articles by Emily Toomey

In the heart of a new dark matter detector, LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), a 5-foot-tall detector filled with 10 tons of liquid xenon, will search for hypothetical dark matter particles to produce flashes of light as they traverse the detector.

New Generation of Dark Matter Experiments Gear Up to Search for Elusive Particle

Deep underground, in abandoned gold and nickel mines, vats of liquid xenon and silicon germanium crystals will be tuned to detect invisible matter

Brain donation is of critical importance for scientists' understanding of brain disorders.

Inside a Brain Bank, Where Humans' Most Precious Organ Is Dissected and Studied

Unlike organ transplants, brains are used primarily to support research of some of the most widespread and debilitating diseases in the world

Deciduous leaves change color as pigments degrade and synthesize before falling off their trees.

Watch Leaves Change Color in a Matter of Seconds

A new time-lapse video of over 6,000 leaf photos reveals the biology behind fall foliage

Actress Pauline Cushman (1833-1893) was a Union spy and became a major celebrity.

Women Who Shaped History

The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy

Pauline Cushman, now featured in a Smithsonian photography exhibition, unexpectedly found herself spying for the Union after accepting a dare

The rotation and convection of molten iron at the center of the planet creates a dynamo effect, generating Earth's magnetic field.

Earth's Magnetic Field Could Take Longer to Flip Than Previously Thought

New research suggests a polarity reversal of the planet takes about 22,000 years, significantly longer than former estimates

Mosquitos and their related diseases played a role in many historical events.

How Mosquitoes Helped Shape the Course of Human History

Historian and author Timothy Winegard discusses the way mosquitoes have played a major role in battles, genetics and the gin and tonic

Csilla Ari D’Agostino sits in front of the Aquarius habitat and uses a waterproof iPad for cognitive tests as part of her research on NEEMO 23.

Future of Space Exploration

NASA Scientists and Astronauts Practice for Space Missions on the Seafloor

A female-led crew trained for nine days in an undersea laboratory in the Atlantic to get a sense of what it's like to live and work in microgravity

In 2010, Cabico founded "Capturing Fire," a three-day international poetry festival for queer-identifying writers with the goal of encouraging more discussions and awareness about the queer experience.

Why Spoken Word Artist Regie Cabico Calls Himself an 'Accidental Poet'

The renowned slam poetry artist is performing at Smithsonian’s Asian American Literature Festival in August and is featured in the latest Sidedoor podcast

An artist's visualization of the star S0-2 as it passes by the supermassive black hole at the galactic center. As the star gets closer to the supermassive black hole, it experiences a gravitational redshift that is predicted by Einstein's general relativity. By observing this redshift, we can test Einstein's
theory of gravity.

Future of Space Exploration

A Star Orbiting in the Extreme Gravity of a Black Hole Validates General Relativity

The star S0-2 gets so close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy that it can be used to test our fundamental understanding of gravity

The 2010 census showed that Scituate had the highest number of people claiming Irish ancestry than any other town in America, almost 50 percent of its roughly 18,000 residents, earning it the nickname the “Irish Riviera.”

The Most Irish Town in America Was Built on Seaweed

After discovering 'Irish moss' in coastal waters, Irish immigrants launched a booming mossing industry in Scituate, Massachusetts

Step aside, Mufasa. In the real world, females run the pride.

Science in the Movies

Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original 'The Lion King'

Since the animated movie came out 25 years ago, zoologists have expanded our understanding of these fierce carnivores

Although the saying, "it's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk," has been a common expression for over a century, it likely has never actually been hot enough to cook an egg on pavement.

Attempting to Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Has Been a Summer Pastime for Over 100 Years

The Fourth of July is also National Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk Day, and no amount of scientific logic can crack this tradition

The little shrimp turn green to blend in with the seaweed meadows they call home.

Newborn Shrimp Often Undergo Sex Reversal, but Ocean Acidification Could Disturb That Natural Process

Chemicals in microalgae are crucial for these bright green shrimp's sexual development, but ocean acidification could change that

An artist's interpretation of what life could have been like if ancient humans and ancient ostriches crossed paths.

Fossil of Ancient Bird Three Times Bigger Than an Ostrich Found in Europe

The fossil is about 1.8 million years old, meaning the bird may have arrived on the continent around the same time as <i>Homo erectus</i>

No horns here!

Cell Phones Are Probably Not Making Us Grow Horns

Scientists and doctors cast doubts on study claiming that prolonged cell phone use is creating bone protrusions on young people’s heads

The robot is a bit slow moving at about 1.5 body lengths per minute. But the new design shows promise for future hybrid systems.

Engineers Built a Robotic Lionfish With an Energetic Bloodstream

The robo-fish pumps energy-packed liquid through vein-like tubes to move its fins and swim for hours

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