One of Mae Reeves' "showstopper" hats

Entrepreneur Mae Reeves' Hat Shop Was a Philadelphia Institution. You Can Visit It at the Smithsonian.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture recreated one of the first businesses in the city to be owned by a black woman

Firefighters work to stop the blaze that broke out the backlot at Universal in 2008.

Universal Music Group Claimed No Master Recording Burned in 2008 Blaze. New Report Estimates Hundreds of Thousands Did

Explosive allegations in <i>The New York Times Magazine</i> claim 500,000 one-of-a-kind master recordings were destroyed in Universal Fire

Alon Gorodetsky, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and Erica Leung, a graduate student in that department, have invented a new material that can trap or release heat as desired.

How a Squid's Color-Changing Skin Inspired a New Material That Can Trap or Release Heat

The stretchy 'thermocomfort material' has potential energy-saving applications in buildings and wearables

The Glomar Explorer, the ship that served as home base for the submarine-retrieval mission of Project Azorian. The Glomar Explorer's cover story was that it was doing deep sea mining research.

During the Cold War, the CIA Secretly Plucked a Soviet Submarine From the Ocean Floor Using a Giant Claw

The International Spy Museum details the audacious plan that involved a reclusive billionaire, a 618-foot-long ship, and a great deal of stealth

"I certainly see ourselves moving in a direction where conception through sex will come to be seen as natural, yet dangerous," says Metzl.

How To Prepare for a Future of Gene-Edited Babies—Because It's Coming

In a new book, futurist Jamie Metzl considers the ethical questions we need to ask in order to navigate the realities of human genetic engineering

Police move in behind students blocking entrance to the Santa Barbara wharf on the first anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill on January 29, 1970 in Santa Barbara, California.

How an Oil Spill Inspired the First Earth Day

Before Earth Day made a name for the environmental movement, a massive oil spill put a spotlight on the dangers of pollution

Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon and Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse in Fosse/Verdon

How Broadway Legends Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon Made Headlines Long Before ‘Fosse/Verdon’

She was a megawatt performer, one of the best Broadway dancers of the last century, but it’s his influence that is remembered today

"The Young Lincoln" James Lee Hansen

‘Hot Lincoln’ Stands in Long Line of Attractive Presidential Sculpture

Before hot Lincoln, there was ripped Washington, nude Napoleon and muscular ancient Greek sculptures

An animation of the eight color-coded bases of hachimoji DNA

Scientists Successfully Double the DNA Alphabet

"Hachimoji DNA" is structurally sound, offers new possibilities for data storage and raises questions about the molecular makeup potential alien life

Author Charles Dickens (1812-1870) pictured with his wife, Catherine Dickens (1815-1879), and two of their daughters, seated in a horsedrawn carriage, circa 1850.

Trove of Letters Reveal Charles Dickens Tried to Lock His Wife Away in an Asylum

Catherine's side of the breakup tale comes back with vengeance thanks to new analysis of 98 previously unseen missives

Computer technician Joyce Cade works on a UNIVAC computer at a United States Census Bureau installation in Maryland which was used to tabulate the results of the 1954 Census of Business.

Women's Contributions to Early Genetics Studies Were Relegated to the Footnotes

While women scientists were frequently "acknowledged programmers" in population genetics research, few of them received full authorship

Banksias, 2014

Dornith Doherty's Mesmerizing Photos Capture the Contradictions of Seed Banking

"Archiving Eden," now at the National Academy of Sciences, shows how guarding against an ecological catastrophe is both optimistic and pessimistic

A polar bear on the pack ice north of Svalbard, Norway

Climate Changes Bears Down on This Remote Russian Settlement

The surge of hungry four-legged visitors to Belushya Guba is part of a larger trend

Common fruit flies are ideal for complex genetic screens because of their short lifespan, relatively small genome and low cost.

Meet Nemuri, the Gene That Puts Flies to Sleep and Helps Them Fight Infection

A team of researchers looked at 8,015 genes and found one that made the insects super-sleepers

Gutenberg Castle in Balzers, Liechtenstein.

Twelve Anniversaries and Events Worth Traveling For in 2019

2019 will mark Singapore's bicentennial, the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death and a total solar eclipse in South America

(Mårten Teigen, Museum of Cultural History; Associated Press; Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy; CDC / James Gathany; Philippe Charlier; Brian Palmer; David Iliff via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0; Alamy; Pasini et al. / World Neurosurgery / Elsevier; Donovan Wiley; Library of Congress)

Our Top 11 Stories of 2018

From a 50-year-old political scandal to swarms of genetically engineered mosquitos, here are's most-read stories

Felicity Jones, playing future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, makes the oral argument for Moritz in a scene from On the Basis of Sex.

The True Story of the Case Ruth Bader Ginsburg Argues in ‘On the Basis of Sex’

<i>Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue</i> was the first gender-discrimination suit Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in court

The Smithsonian's popular National Museum of African and American History and Culture announced a new ticketing plan. It's free, and sometimes you won't need a ticket, but it's complicated.

Tips for Getting Tickets to NMAAHC and When They Are Not Necessary

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture announces no-ticket days and afternoons

A delta wave, typical of deep sleep, as envisioned by interdisciplinary artist Julia Buntaine Hoel.

This Sculptor Imagines Brain Waves in 3-D

Julia Buntaine Hoel depicts the electrical activity of the brain in <i>Wave(s)</i>, on display at Smithsonian's "The Long Conversation"

CRISPR-Cas9 is a gene editing tool that has allowed scientists to alter the genomes of living organisms with unprecedented accuracy and ease.

What's New, and What's Not, in the Reported Birth of the CRISPR Babies

Editing human DNA, either in embryos or in cells that are reintroduced to the body, had come a long way before Lulu and Nana were born

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