Articles by Maddie Burakoff

Subtle changes in genetics can have major effects on how leaves grow into a wide variety of shapes.

Deciphering the Weird, Wonderful Genetic Diversity of Leaf Shapes

Researchers craft a new model for plant development after studying the genetics of carnivorous plants’ cup-shaped traps

The slogan on this button from the 1960s is attributed to astronomer-turned-activist Frank Kameny. After being barred from federal employment because of his sexuality, Kameny organized gay rights groups and protests starting years before the Stonewall riots galvanized the movement more broadly.

LGBTQ+ Pride

A Look at the Struggles and Celebrations of LGBTQ Americans

Artifacts from the National Museum of American History highlight the broader story of gay history and activism

David Copperfield at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

David Copperfield Welcomes New Citizens With a Magic Show and a History Lesson

The master illusionist reunited the Star-Spangled Banner with its missing star in honor of a Flag Day ceremony at the American History Museum

Artists Hank Willis Thomas, Jim Ricks and Ryan Alexiev pose in front of The Truth Booth at a stop in Ireland.

A Globe-Trotting, Truth-Seeking Art Project Looks for Answers in D.C.

The Hirshhorn Museum hosts the ‘Truth Booth,’ a pop-up confessional where participants record honest reflections

The Chilean crocus, "Tecophilaea cyanocrocus," was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 2001. It's been considered "critically endangered" under ICUN guidelines ever since.

Plant Species Have Been Disappearing 500 Times Faster Than Normal, Thanks to Humans

Researchers call the results "frightening" because it's likely "gross underestimate” and the problem is probably much worse

Ali Stroker at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards

Ali Stroker Makes History, and More From the Tony Awards

The actress becomes the first wheelchair user ever to take home the coveted prize at the 73rd annual award show

When you're sad, it makes your dog sad.

Keep Calm and Don’t Stress Out the Dog

When humans feel anxious, their dogs do too, according to new study

The spiral pattern of an Aloe polyphylla plant at the University of California Botanical Garden.

Decoding the Mathematical Secrets of Plants’ Stunning Leaf Patterns

A Japanese shrub’s unique foliage arrangement leads botanists to rethink plant growth models

The meat-eating predator Ceratosaurus tried to take down Stegosaurus, but the plant-eater got away and gained the upper hand.

Beyond Dinosaurs: The Secrets of Earth's Past

Meet the Dinos of ‘Deep Time’

Of the 700 specimens that roam the Smithsonian’s new Hall of Fossils, these six standout dinosaurs make a big impression

Central Park as seen in 1990, a year after the attack that put the "Central Park Five" in the headlines

How Central Park’s Complex History Played Into the Case Against the 'Central Park Five'

The furor that erupted throughout New York City cannot be disentangled from the long history of the urban oasis

Planktonic foraminifera assemblage from Caribbean sediments that provide an accurate picture of the species community before human influence. Each shell is less than one millimeter in size.

Plankton Haven’t Been the Same Since the Industrial Revolution

Changes in plankton populations over the past centuries correlate with rising sea temperatures

The Smithsonian has completed its multi-year conservation project of the Neil Armstrong spacesuit, digitizing the historic Apollo artifact so that soon authentically realized duplicates can be downloaded for study and appreciation.

Apollo at 50: We Choose to Go to the Moon

In Celebration of 50 Years Since the Moon Landing, Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit Set to Return to Public View

Duplicates of the 3D scanned historic Apollo artifact will also tour Major League ballparks this summer

Bedbugs, which were previously thought to be about 50 million years old, could be much older, new genetic and fossil evidence suggests.

Bedbugs Scurried the Earth Alongside the Dinosaurs 100 Million Years Ago

Researchers calculate that the pests evolved long before bats, which were thought to be their first hosts

Crocker's Car heads to Promontory Summit in 1869. The car shuttled railroad president Leland Stanford from Sacramento to officially complete the transcontinental railroad, and probably also carried the iconic Golden Spike to the ceremony.

The Last Remaining Rail Car That ‘Witnessed’ the Transcontinental Railroad’s Momentous Day

‘Crocker’s Car’ brought the tycoon Leland Stanford to connect the East Coast to the West in 1869

A starfish floating on the coral reef, Dominican Republic.

One Million Species at Risk of Extinction, Threatening Human Communities Around the World, U.N. Report Warns

A global assessment compiled by hundreds of scientists found that humans are inflicting staggering damage on the world’s biodiversity

Pioneers' Flatboat, originally published in black and white in The Century Magazine (volume 92, May to October, 1916).

Recounting the Untold History of the Early Midwestern Pioneers

In his new book, historian David McCullough reveals how the New England settlers made their mark on the U.S.

Floral displays on show at Keukenhof Gardens

Rivers of Flowers Burst Into Bloom in Holland

Keukenhof Garden displays millions of brightly colored spring bulbs

Nostalgia in a can

You Can Buy a Tin of Air to Commemorate the End of the Heisei Era

The nostalgic keepsake goes up for sale in advance of Emperor Akihito's abdication

Using a brain implant with a series of electrodes, scientists can read neurological signals and translate the brain activity into spoken language.

Brain Implant Device Allows People With Speech Impairments to Communicate With Their Minds

A new brain-computer interface translates neurological signals into complete sentences

Julie Packard (detail) by Hope Gangloff

Women Who Shaped History

Fishes Were Julie Packard’s Wishes for Her New Smithsonian Portrait

National Portrait Gallery unveils a painting honoring the renowned ocean conservationist and director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium