Future is Here festival attendees heard from visionaries in a wide range of fields.

How to Make Science Fiction Become Fact, in Three Steps

Speakers at <em>Smithsonian</em> magazine's "Future is Here" festival said be patient, persistent, but never, ever pessimistic

Workers in Sumatra process an oil palm harvest from the plantation on the left even as the remnants of the natural peat swamp forest in the distance are burned to make way for new plantations.

The Mad Dash to Figure Out the Fate of Peatlands

As the planet’s peat swamps come under threat, the destiny of their stored carbon remains a mystery

Andy Weir

Andy Weir, Author of "The Martian," Shares Details About His Next Novel

The science fiction writer also talks about the future of space travel

The hell-ant's fearsome fangs are on full display in this 3D false-color rendering of a Haidomyrmex scimitarus queen, produced by combining several hundred two-dimensional x-ray snapshots.

These Tiny Saber-Toothed Terrors Are Among the World's Oldest Ants

Analysis of insects entombed in amber shows that the "hell ants" were among the first to diverge from the original ant-wasp ancestor

Shipworms are destructive to driftwood and sunken relics alike, chewing through any exposed planks and destroying entire wreck sites in just years. But until recently, none had been found so far north in such cold waters.

"Termites of the Sea" Found Munching Wood Near Arctic Shipwrecks

The shipworms found in Svalbard may signal an expansion due to ocean warming or be a new species

The Pearl of Dubai is half adventure park, half marine sanctuary.

Can Underwater Resorts Actually Help Coral Reef Ecosystems?

A Los Angeles company is designing artificial reefs to boost local economies and marine habitat

Trainer Liz Seely and Tucker head out to search for scat on a research boat.

Meet the Dogs Sniffing Out Whale Poop for Science

Inspired by drug-detection programs, these canines scour the sea for samples that aid in conservation research

The transporter in this artwork is called the Clarke Clipper, after the British science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote about space elevators in his novel The Fountains of Paradise.

People Are Still Trying to Build a Space Elevator

Though key players have distanced themselves from the concept, a new film examines the continuing draw behind the sci-fi staple

An Underwater Museum in Egypt Could Bring Thousands of Sunken Relics Into View

The proposed site might revive tourism in Alexandria and also further research into the ancient ruins

RoboBees Can Fly and Swim. What's Next? Laser Vision

Swarms of robotic bees, capable of seeing, may soon be able to monitor pollution and traffic, or scan the struts of bridges

Burn Calories Just By Wearing This New Sports Gear

Here's an idea: A New York University medical student is integrating resistance bands into clothing

The house of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the "Little House on the Prairie" books

The Science of "Little House on the Prairie"

A mutual passion for Laura Ingalls Wilder inspired scientists in unrelated disciplines to investigate events from the famous author's world

Peter Pidcoe (here) and Thubi Kolobe invented a Self-Initiated Prone Progressive Crawler, to help motor-challenged babies learn to inch themselves around.

This Skateboard-Like Device Helps At-Risk Infants Learn to Crawl

An innovative physical therapy device boosts babies’ movement efforts and helps their brains make critical connections

How Is Brain Surgery Like Flying? Put On a Headset to Find Out

A device made for gaming helps brain surgeons plan and execute delicate surgeries with extreme precision

Beth Ripley holds a 3D printed heart in her hands at the National Maker Faire last weekend in Washington, D.C.

Doctors Can Study 3D Printed Models of Your Organs Before Surgery

In a new era of personalized medicine, advanced models are better preparing surgeons for what they will encounter in the operating room

The founders of NecropSynth use SketchUp Pro to design the external shell of a 3D printed model of a rat.

How a Cheap Plastic Rat Could Change Biology Class

With a couple of 3D printers, a husband and wife team is building accurate replicas of rats that could one day eliminate the need for dissection specimens

An open source cardboard dino from KitRex stands outside the New York Hall of Science during the World Maker Faire in September 2014.

What Is a Maker Faire, Exactly?

Billed as the world’s greatest show and tell, the DIY extravaganza might just make a maker out of you

University of Vermont engineering student Joseph Maser gazes down at the prototype of the inflatable airlock for space stations and vehicles that he and three other students built.

Made by College Seniors, These Seven Products Give Us a Glimpse Into the Future

Engineering students at universities across the country took these projects from sketch to reality in one year

A man holds his mobile phone as he sits in the ruins of a house in Minamisanriku, Japan, after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Getting a Push Notification on Your Cell Phone? It Could Be Warning You About an Earthquake

Sophisticated GPS sensors in the average mobile device could be harnessed for seismic early warning systems around the world

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