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Gigantic and extinct, Steller’s sea cows would have played an important role in shaping their environment.

How Steller's Sea Cows Impacted the Environment They Left Behind

A new paper explores the ways these extinct megaherbivores would have reshaped kelp forests across the North Pacific

An artist's concept of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER.

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'

The device will hunt for resources, including water, vital to future space exploration

Stretching 4,800 square feet in size, the piece coincides with the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child initiative and is also part of World Space Week.

A Monumental Portrait of NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson Crops Up in Atlanta

The earthwork is the latest in land artist Stan Herd's impressive, decades-spanning portfolio

A gharial has the same skull shape as some extinct crocodiles. This skull shape has likely evolved three different times during the history of crocodiles.

Modern Crocodiles Are Evolving at a Rapid Rate

Despite their reputation as "living fossils," crocodiles have changed dramatically in the last two million years

The embryo of a small-spotted catshark, safe inside its egg case, is being raised at the aquarium Oceanogràfic València by Associació Lamna, a nonprofit that promotes shark conservation and research. At this stage, the young shark's gills are still external and it is growing from the sustenance provided in the yolk, visible at the bottom of the egg case.

Biologists Rescue Unborn Baby Sharks at Fish Markets

Scientists are collecting egg cases from recently caught pregnant sharks, raising the babies and releasing them into the wild

Plastic debris covers much of the sand on Henderson Island.

Plastics Make Beaches Hotter During the Day and Colder at Night

A study of remote islands shows that debris alters sand temperatures

Three giant rocks—Tokia, Rebua, and Kamatoa—sit in the ocean south of Makin Island in the Republic of Kiribati.

How Indigenous Stories Helped Scientists Understand the Origin of Three Huge Boulders

Legends spurred researchers to form a theory about Makin Island's distinctively out-of-place rocks

An X-ray fluorescence scanner analyzes correspondence of Marie Antoinette and Fersen at France’s National Archives.

X-Ray Technology Reveals Marie Antoinette's Censored Secret Correspondence

A combination of the chemical analysis and advanced data processing used could reveal many more lost writings or drawings

Godfrey Hounsfield stands beside the EMI-Scanner in 1972.

Fifty Years Ago, the First CT Scan Let Doctors See Inside a Living Skull

The invention came from an eccentric British engineer who worked at a company now better known for selling Beatles albums

Denver Bronco player David Bruton grabs his head on the field after a reported concussion. Many patients with such head injuries suffer symptoms months after their diagnosis, even though their brains look healthy on CT scans.

This Molecule Could Be the Key to Understanding Why Concussions Have Such Long-Term Effects

Neuroscientists identified the molecule that persists in the brain—and showed how to disarm it in mice

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Ode to an Orca

A photographer takes the plunge into forbidding waters off Norway for an extraordinary encounter with orcas

With headlines like "This James Bond Catches Birds Instead Of Villains," newspapers nationwide had a field day when ornithologist James Bond found a rare curlew in 1965—a species considered extinct for more than a decade.

Who Was the Real James Bond?

Author Ian Fleming named his 007 after an influential ornithologist

The National Weather Service Began as a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

Killer whales are among the oceans’ top predators. But in Iceland, pilot whales have them running scared.

Why Do Pilot Whales Chase Killer Whales Near Iceland?

Scientists are working to understand the strange inter-cetacean conflict

A researcher holds a banded vampire bat.

Vampire Bats Call Out to Friends to Share Blood Meals

After they prep bite sites to lap the blood out of live cows, females invite their roostmates to join them

Moai statues at the Rano Raraku site on Easter Island

Genetic Study Maps When and How Polynesians Settled the Pacific Islands

Mysterious stone figures on far-flung islands may have been erected by descendants of seafaring explorers from the same archipelago

Ultrasound of a 4-month-old fetus

A Brief History of the Sonogram

In the mid-1950s, a Scottish obstetrician became the first to apply ultrasound technology to a pregnant human abdomen

Aaron Bolds, a former college basketball player, graduated from medical school in 2018. He’s now a doctor at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, specializing in rehabilitation medicine.

To Boost Black Men in Medicine, Advocates Turn to Sports

High-performing athletes possess many of the skills and attributes that physicians need, supporters of the strategy say

Courtney Gallaher’s Women in Science students at Northern Illinois University created quilt blocks representing astrophysicist Margaret J. Geller, biologist Rachel Carson, and mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Inside the Growing Movement to Share Science Through Quilting

The classic medium allows researchers, students and artists to tell stories about science, technology, engineering and math

A diver swims over a bleached section of the Great Barrier Reef near Heron Island.

The Planet Has Lost Half of Its Coral Reefs Since 1950

A new study finds dramatic declines in coral reef cover, biodiversity and fish abundance

Photo of the day

A farmer is going home after laying out red chilies on plastic sheets under the bright sunlight during the harvesting season. Ton's of chilies are laid out to dry, creating a patchwork effect on open fields of Bangladesh. Sailor of Red Chili Sea