Technology

Algoa Bay, South Africa, is home to nearly half of the world’s remaining African penguins, whose numbers have fallen as much as 98 percent since 1900.

These Artificial Nests Are Helping African Penguins Beat the Heat

Ceramic nests deployed on penguin colonies in South Africa could shield the endangered seabirds from rising temperatures

The top ten toys rated by Purdue University engineers help children build spatial reasoning, problem solving, coding and design thinking skills, among others.

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2022

Children can build strategy, critical thinking and resilience during expert-approved play

With one vast root system, Pando weighs more than 6,600 tons and contains approximately 47,000 genetically identical stems (or branches).

The World's Largest Tree Is Ready for Its Close-Up

Friends of Pando, a nonprofit, is in the process of creating the largest image ever recorded of this single aspen clone in Utah

Shark skin is made of tiny, stiff segments of overlapping, textured dentin and enamel. Shark skin’s distinctive texture gives sharks greater efficiency moving through the water.

Shark Skin-Inspired Materials Have a Long Way to Go Before They Work Like the Real Thing

The predator's distinctive texture is the envy of engineers trying to maximize hydrodynamics

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Can This New A.I. Tool Help Detect Blood Poisoning?

The algorithm scans electronic records and may reduce sepsis deaths, but widespread adoption could be a challenge

The Maka Niu, a low-cost, customizable deep-sea observing tool is currently undergoing testing around the world, including at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts.

This Low-Cost Device Could Make the Deep Sea Accessible to Everyone

The inexpensive Maka Niu collects video and data at depths more than five times greater than trained scuba divers can go

A bus being treated with ultraviolet light in Shanghai, China. Although types of UV light are already in use to decontaminate vehicles and indoor spaces, the wavelengths used are dangerous to people. Researchers hope that wavelengths of far-UVC light can be used harmlessly when people are present.

Covid-19

Could UV Light Reduce the Spread of Covid-19 in Indoor Spaces?

Some wavelengths of light in a range called far-UVC kill microbes in experiments and appear to be harmless to people

The Quadcopter Mines Detector uses a metal detector to find land mines as it flies above them.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

Seventeen-year-old Igor Klymenko worked on his invention while sheltering in a basement from Russian attacks

Market research firm Fact.MR estimated that global nonalcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion in 2021 and will double in the next decade.

The Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine

Drinking habits are changing, and vintners are exceeding tasters' expectations with new options stripped of their alcohol

The da Vinci surgical robot, shown here on a US Navy hospital ship, is one of the most widely used devices to assist doctors in laparoscopic surgery. The procedure — in which tools are inserted through tiny holes in the abdomen instead of cutting a long incision — allows patients to recover more quickly.

The Past, Present and Future of Robotic Surgery

After decades of merely assisting doctors, are sophisticated machines ready to take charge?

Spectators watch from Canaveral National Seashore as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites launches.

How Is Starlink Changing Connectivity?

Elon Musk's venture has provided internet access for forces in the Ukraine and Hoh students in Washington, and the organization has a lot more planned

Manual breast pump with black bulb, dating to sometime between 1920 and 1959

The Sucky History of the Breast Pump

Efficient, double electric pumps are only 30 years young, but contraptions for expressing breast milk have been around for millennia

Migrating waterbirds over South Dakota’s Huron Wetland Management District on North America’s Central Flyway.

Scientists Are Using These High-Tech Tools to Study Bird Migration

Tracking the journeys of different species is key to protecting them from habitat loss and other threats

An illustration of a suited astronaut looking out of a Moon lander hatch across the lunar surface.

The Revolution in Moon Exploration

The Revolution in Moon Exploration

In a series of in-depth features, Smithsonian magazine reports on humanity’s renewed push to understand the moon.

In the Mediterranean Sea, ship strikes are the leading cause of death for sperm whales.

A New Detection System Could Save Sperm Whales From Ship Strikes

Scientists have developed a computational technique that can track whales in real time—and potentially prevent collisions

Robert Sansone with his novel synchronous reluctance motor.

This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry

Robert Sansone's research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets

ElSa is a prototype of a machine-learning-driven software that analyzes movement patterns in videos of humans and elephants.

Good News

This Teenager Invented a Low-Cost Tool to Spot Elephant Poachers in Real Time

Seventeen-year-old Anika Puri created a machine-learning-driven model that analyzes the movement patterns of humans and elephants

An alkaline hydrolysis machine at White Rose Aqua Cremation in Escondido, California

Could Water Cremation Become the New American Way of Death?

A sustainable option for what to do with our remains is trickling into popular consciousness

Sea turtles, such as olive ridleys and loggerheads, spend most of their time just below the ocean’s surface—the perfect place to collect data for tropical cyclone forecasting.

Tagged Turtles Are Helping Scientists Predict Cyclones

In the southeast Indian Ocean, turtle-borne sensors are filling in the gaps researchers need to forecast storms

The James Webb Space Telescope's first Deep Field image

NASA Releases First Breathtaking Images Taken by James Webb Space Telescope

The five pictures from the most powerful space observatory ever launched offer a deep look back in time and the promise of stellar things to come

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