Articles by Mohi Kumar

Pi Day pies.

Indiana Almost Made Pi Equal to 3.2, and Other Pi Day Facts

As you celebrate the mathematical holiday, here's a history of notable moments in the irrational number's past

Skulls of the genus Homo, including two from Homo erectus on the right

New Research

Ability to Adapt Gave Early Humans the Edge Over Other Hominins

Features thought to be characteristic of early <em>Homo</em> lineages actually evolved before <em>Homo</em> arose. Rather, our flexible nature defines us

Diver Susan Bird works at the bottom of Hoyo Negro, a large dome-shaped underwater cave on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. She carefully brushes the human skull found at the site while her team members take detailed photographs.

New Research

DNA From 12,000-Year-Old Skeleton Helps Answer the Question: Who Were the First Americans?

In 2007, cave divers discovered remains that form the oldest, most complete and genetically intact human skeleton in the New World

Think Big

Watch the Universe Evolve Over 13 Billion Years

A new computer simulation, called Illustris, can take you on an epic journey through space and time

About the only use modern humans have for their urine is in health screenings. But preindustrial workers built entire industries based on the scientific properties of pee.

From Gunpowder to Teeth Whitener: The Science Behind Historic Uses of Urine

Preindustrial workers built huge industries based on the liquid's cleaning power and corrosiveness--and the staler the pee, the better

The Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula has seen vast reaches of ice crumble into the ocean. New research suggests that this and other dramatic episodes of ice shelf collapse might be caused by the ocean below eating away at the ice above.

Antarctica’s Ice Shelves Dissolve Thanks to Warm Water Below

The ocean bathing the underside of massive sheets of floating ice is slowly melting ice shelves, making them vulnerable to collapse

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Once in a Blue Moon and Other Idioms That Don’t Make Scientific Sense

From "where there's smoke, there's fire" to "hard as nails," several sayings just don't pass scientific scrutiny

The invasive Spanish slug, one of the worst alien pests in Europe, is naturally repelled by ecosystems if soils house a healthy population of earthworms, new research suggests.

Earthworms in Your Garden May Help Prevent Invasive Slugs from Devouring Plants

In the lab, the presence of earthworms can reduce the number of leaves damaged by slugs by 60 percent, a new study finds

Who’s in the suit? Increasingly, it’s our digital selves.

How to Travel to Outer Space Without Spending Millions of Dollars

Who's in the space suit? Increasingly, it is our digital selves

The gooey confections can be used to measure the speed of light and demonstrate relationships between the volume of a gas and its pressure and temperature.

Marshmallows: The Perfect Media for Demonstrating Principles of Physics

The gooey confections turn out to be a must-have for at-home science experiments

Landslides can be both sudden and devastating to people living in the shadows of mountains. This one, which slid in 2006 in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte, killed more than 1000 people.

Landslide “Quakes” Give Clues to the Location and Size of Debris Flows

Scientists can now quickly assess characteristics of a landslide soon after slopes fail, based on its seismic signature

Artist’s rendition of a ethane lake on Titan.

Haiku Highlight the Existential Mysteries of Planetary Science

Conference-goers put into verse the ethane lakes on a Saturn moon, the orbital paths of Martian moons and a megachondrule's mistaken identity

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That Time Indiana Almost Made Pi Equal to 3.2 And Other True Stories About Pi

As you celebrate today's holiday, here's a history of notable moments in the irrational number's past

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When, Where and How to Watch the Comet PanSTARRS This Month

Look for the comet just after twilight in the Northern Hemisphere's western sky, with the best viewing chances to come early next week

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Small Satellites—Some the Size of Postage Stamps—Are Transforming How Scientists Conduct Space-based Research

A new fleet of nanosatellites is zooming through space

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Will the Next Lake-Effect Snowstorm be Severe? Ask Mountains Far Far Away

Scientists use computer simulations to test how geographic features help create intense snowstorms that blanket cities near lake shores with snow

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Trash Threatens Fragile Antarctic Environment

Decaying field huts, open pits of trash and oil-slicked beaches mar King George Island, a logistical hub for Antarctic research

Galaxy M106′s spiral arms.

New Photos Show Stars on the Brink of Death and the Precipice of Life

Haunting images of spiral galaxy M106 and the stellar nursery of the Orion nebula capture the life cycle of stars

Super-Earth exoplanets may actually be severely uninhabitable, new research suggests.

“Earth-Like” Exoplanets May Actually Be Mini-Neptunes

Many newly discovered exoplanets may not be able to shed their dense hydrogen atmospheres, making them unsuitable for life

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Watch Jupiter “Kiss” the Moon Tonight

Tonight, night sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere can see Jupiter pass less than a finger's width away from the waxing Moon

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