Articles by Katherine J. Wu

The Ghent Altarpiece's Adoration of the Lamb panel

Cool Finds

New Research on the Ghent Altarpiece Validates Restorers' Rendering of the Mystic Lamb's Alarmingly Humanoid Face

The animal's soul-penetrating gaze was painted over by a second set of artists in 1550 and spent the next five centuries under wraps

Our Stories students gather at Maunakea with kūpuna Calvin Hoe (center).

In Hawai'i, Young Storytellers Document the Lives of Their Elders

Through a Smithsonian program, students filmed a climactic moment in the protests over the building of a controversial observatory

A scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Covid-19

Why Immunity to the Novel Coronavirus Is So Complicated

Some immune responses may be enough to make a person impervious to reinfection, but scientists don't yet know how the human body reacts to this new virus

Could 2020 be America's Year of the Bidet?

Covid-19

The Bottom Line About Bidets

Amid toilet paper shortages, many Americans are making the switch—but does all the fuss about bidets really hold water?

Sampling wastewater could give scientists a new way to track the spread of the new coronavirus.

Covid-19

How Wastewater Could Help Track the Spread of the New Coronavirus

The virus that causes COVID-19 is unlikely to remain active in sewage, but its genetic material can still help researchers identify at-risk communities

A bottlenose dolphin swims with her biological daughter and her adopted melon-headed whale calf.

Eight Things We’ve Learned About Moms Since the Last Mother's Day

From pregnancy to birth and beyond, mothers, both animal and human, show off some amazing skills

Will your pet be the star of the show?

Covid-19

Quarantine Cat Film Fest Will Raise Funds for Independent Theaters Closed by COVID-19

The quarantined felines of the world are coming for your screens

Researchers examine a seven-and-a-half-ton limestone sarcophagus in a mummification workshop that dates back to ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Funeral Home Reveals Embalmers Had a Knack for Business

Funeral parlors' enterprising staff offered burial packages to suit every social strata and budget

The presumed site of Wallace's House, where William Wallace once reportedly hunkered down to plot with his men

Cool Finds

Aerial Surveys Reveal Possible Fort of Scottish Patriot William Wallace

The freedom fighter may have once used the structure to conspire against English forces

Nearly all of this northern curly tail’s digestion was halted by an impassable fecal mass.

Super-Constipated Florida Lizard Breaks Records With Gargantuan Poop

An unfortunate diet of pizza grease and sand clogged her innards, amassing a giant and unpassable lump of feces in her gut

Enroll in Hogwarts classes, find out which house you belong in, and listen to the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Education During Coronavirus

Hear Daniel Radcliffe Read the First Chapter of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'

The actor is one of 17 celebrities slated to participate in newly announced read-alongs of the series' first book

A Labrador retriever, but you probably knew that already, given that this pooch is America's most popular breed

Labrador Tops Most Popular Dog Breed List for 29th Year in a Row

The rankings stay much the same from year to year, but in 2019, Pembroke Welsh corgis broke the top ten for the first time

A meteorite found in the Sahara Desert, valued at more than $2.5 million.

Christie's Auction House Offers 29-Pound Hunk of Moon for $2.5 Million

The rock crash-landed in the Sahara Desert after a presumed collision chipped it off the lunar surface

Naked mole-rats pile on top of each other in large groups to sleep inside their nest. This behavior may help keep carbon dioxide levels high, lowering the animals' risk of seizure.

Naked Mole-Rats Bathe Their Bodies in Carbon Dioxide to Prevent Seizures

Expelled by animals as a waste product, the gas appears to play a crucial role in keeping these bizarre, burrowing rodents safe

Hoa Hakananai’a, a Rapa Nui sculpture from Easter Island

Education During Coronavirus

You Can Now Download 1.9 Million Free Images From the British Museum

The London institution's online offerings include 280,000 newly added Creative Commons images

The Stenton House, circa 1865 to 1914

Philadelphia Will Memorialize Dinah, an Enslaved Woman Who Saved the City's Historic Stenton House in 1777

Currently in the works, the new monument will honor her contributions and legacy with a contemplative space

A virtual tour isn't the same as an in-person experience, but it can still afford some great views.

Nostalgic for the North? Take a Virtual Dogsled Ride in Fairbanks, Alaska

Armchair travelers can also enjoy 360-degree views of the city's famed Northern Lights

An artist's reconstruction of Spinosaurus, showing a paddle-like tail that would have helped it swim.

Groundbreaking Fossil Suggests Spinosaurus Is First Known Swimming Dinosaur

Its paddle-like tail, unearthed in Morocco, suggests the Cretaceous carnivore ventured into the water to hunt

The first page of The Corner of Heart-to-Hearts, a zine by Chad Shomura and Yumi Sakugawa

Education During Coronavirus

New Virtual Exhibition Showcases the Healing Power of Art

“Care Package” showcases Asian American and Pacific Islander artists, writers and scholars as sources of solace during the Covid-19 pandemic

Left: A hero shrew. Right: A hero shrew’s spine.

Hero Shrews’ Extreme, Superstrong Backbones Are the Stuff of Legends

Rumored to withstand the weight of a full grown man, their spines have now been studied in unprecedented detail

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