Smart News Science | Smithsonianhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/smartnews-science/RSS feed for Smart News ScienceenWed, 16 Jan 2019 22:00:22 +0000The Bahamas’ Conchs Have Undergone ‘Serial Depletion’https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bahamas-conchs-have-undergone-serial-depletion-180971287/But it's not too late to save themWed, 16 Jan 2019 22:00:22 +0000A Year Later, Match.com Profile Pays Off for World's Loneliest Froghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/one-year-later-matchcom-profile-pays-worlds-loneliest-frog-180971281/The 2018 Valentine's Day stunt raised funds for an expedition that located five new Sehuencas water frogs, including a mate for lonesome Romeo Wed, 16 Jan 2019 21:04:51 +0000Scientists Use AI to Decode the Ultrasonic Language of Rodentshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-use-ai-to-decode-ultrasonic-rodent-language-180971286/The DeepSqueak software translates the high-pitched communication into sonograms, which can be analyzed to determine what mice and rats are sayingWed, 16 Jan 2019 20:08:19 +0000Antarctica’s Ice Loss Has Reached 250 Billion Tons Per Yearhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/antarcticas-ice-loss-has-reached-250-billion-tons-year-180971280/The continent's annual ice loss has sextupled since 1979, jumping from 40 billion tons to 250 billion tons in 2017Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:15:20 +0000‘Bouncing’ Baby Orca Spotted Among Endangered Populationhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bouncing-new-calf-spotted-among-endangered-orca-population-180971268/Researchers hope the new baby will reverse an unfortunate trend that has seen no southern resident orca calves survive over the past three yearsTue, 15 Jan 2019 20:45:00 +0000Why the Nation of Georgia Wants to Make Wine on Marshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-nation-georgia-wants-make-wine-mars-180971267/Researchers there are looking for grape varieties that can grow in Martian soil and survive high radiation and carbon monoxideTue, 15 Jan 2019 20:20:27 +0000DNA Pioneer James Watson Loses Honorary Titles Over Racist Commentshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-pioneer-james-watson-loses-honorary-titles-over-racist-comments-180971266/The renowned scientist has a long history of controversial commentary on not only race, but issues spanning gender, religion and sexualityTue, 15 Jan 2019 18:21:36 +0000College Basketball Player Lends a Limb to Armless Roman Statuehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/college-basketball-player-lends-arm-limbless-roman-statue-180971247/The 6-foot-9 forward for North Carolina State University posed for a 3-D reconstruction of the sculpture’s missing armMon, 14 Jan 2019 19:30:36 +0000Scientists Predict Sun Will One Day Turn Into Giant Crystal Ballhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/someday-our-dying-sun-will-turn-massive-cosmic-crystal-180971255/New observations of white dwarfs confirm theory that the star remnants transition into solid structures as they coolMon, 14 Jan 2019 17:56:18 +0000Pack of Wild Dogs in Texas Carry DNA of Nearly Extinct Red Wolf https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wild-canines-carry-dna-red-wolf-long-believed-extinct-180971252/ Red wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980, but a new study suggests the species’ DNA lives on in a pack of Texan caninesMon, 14 Jan 2019 16:37:35 +0000When Choosing a Mate, These Female Birds Prefer Brains Over Beauty or Brawn https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/female-budgies-choosing-mates-prioritize-smarts-over-beauty-brawn-180971242/After observing initially scorned male budgies performing complex cognitive tasks, females shifted mating preferencesFri, 11 Jan 2019 21:17:30 +0000The Government Shutdown Is Affecting FDA Food Inspections—but Don’t Panichttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/government-shutdown-affecting-fda-food-inspections-dont-panic-180971248/FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency will resume scheduling inspections of ‘high risk’ foods next weekFri, 11 Jan 2019 21:09:41 +0000Oysters Open and Close Their Shells as the Moon Wanes and Waxeshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/oysters-sync-lunar-cycle-180971230/A new study suggests the mollusks may widen and narrow their shells depending on movement of plankton, which shifts with the lunar cycle Thu, 10 Jan 2019 22:08:35 +0000This App Tracks Breathing to Identify Opioid Overdoses Before They Turn Deadlyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/app-tracks-breathing-identify-opioid-overdoses-they-turn-deadly-180971229/Second Chance transforms smartphones into sonar systems, tracking users’ breathing and sending for help if a potential overdose is detectedThu, 10 Jan 2019 18:39:32 +0000Planet Hunter TESS Is Already Spotting Hundreds of Crazy New Worldshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/planet-hunter-tess-already-spotting-crazy-new-worlds-180971202/The first data from the space telescope's mission tallies more than 200 potential planets, including some just 50 light-years awayWed, 09 Jan 2019 22:25:33 +0000An Iguana Species Last Documented by Charles Darwin Has Been Reintroduced to a Galápagos Islandhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/iguana-last-documented-charles-darwin-has-been-reintroduced-galapagos-island-180971209/The Galápagos land iguana on Santiago Island was decimated by invasive animals like cats, dogs and pigsWed, 09 Jan 2019 21:46:28 +0000What Llama-Poop-Eating Mites Tell Us About the Rise and Fall of the Inca Empirehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-llama-poop-eating-mites-tell-us-about-rise-and-fall-inca-empire-180971206/Lake-dwelling mite populations boomed at the height of the Andean civilization but dropped following the arrival of Spanish conquistadorsWed, 09 Jan 2019 20:35:33 +0000Why Scientists Want to Engineer Spicy Tomatoeshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-scientists-want-engineer-spicy-tomatoes-180971201/With genetic tinkering, the fruits may offer an easy source of capsaicin, the beneficial compound that gives peppers their heatWed, 09 Jan 2019 17:57:37 +0000Dragonflies Embark on an Epic, Multi-Generational Migration Each Yearhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dragonfly-undertakes-epic-multi-generational-migration-each-year-180971190/Monarch butterflies aren't the only migratory marathoners in North AmericaWed, 09 Jan 2019 16:32:06 +0000Scientists Identify Gene Pattern That Makes Some Animals Monogamoushttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/patterns-genetic-activity-may-play-role-animal-monogamy-180971192/A new study has found that 24 genes show similar activity in the brain tissue of five species that stick with one mate at a timeTue, 08 Jan 2019 20:13:25 +0000A Lot of American Adults Have Food Allergies—and a Lot Mistakenly Think They Dohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/lot-american-adults-have-food-allergiesand-lot-mistakenly-think-they-do-180971182/A new study found that 19 percent of adults believe they had a food allergy, but only 10 percent have symptoms consistent with the condition Tue, 08 Jan 2019 18:42:00 +0000Did Charles Darwin Have Lyme Disease?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/did-charles-darwin-have-lyme-disease-180971189/New study attributes British naturalist's persistent poor health to tick-borne diseaseTue, 08 Jan 2019 18:37:35 +0000Loss-of-Confidence Project Aims to Foster Culture of Self-Correction in the Scientific Recordhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-acadamics-can-self-correct-their-own-research-180971184/Psychologists can submit a statement on how they lost confidence in one of their own findings to help end the stigma around admitting errorsTue, 08 Jan 2019 11:00:00 +0000Best Photos From China's Far Side Moon Landinghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/china-lands-first-probe-far-side-moon-180971172/The Chang'e-4 probe and its rover, Yutu-2, are the first spacecraft to land on the little-explored lunar regionMon, 07 Jan 2019 22:46:26 +0000Threatened Bluefin Tuna Sells for Record $3 Million in New Year's Salehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/threatened-bluefin-tuna-sells-record-3-million-new-years-sale-180971181/The 612-pound fish will go to a sushi restaurant, but without intervention the prized species will not be on the plate for much longerMon, 07 Jan 2019 19:46:33 +0000New AI Camera Helps Conservationists Spot Elephant Poachers https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-ai-camera-helps-conservationists-spot-elephant-poachers-180971180/TrailGuard AI uses machine learning to sort through images in real-time and identify relevant threatsMon, 07 Jan 2019 17:32:22 +0000Some Hummingbirds Evolved Bills That Make Them Better at Fighting—but Worse at Feedinghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/some-hummingbirds-have-evolved-bills-make-them-better-fightingand-worse-feeding-180971173/A new study adds complexity to the notion that hummingbirds are ‘all about drinking efficiently from flowers,’ as one researcher puts itFri, 04 Jan 2019 21:54:48 +0000World’s Tiniest Tic-Tac-Toe Game Is Made of DNA Tileshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mini-tic-tac-toe-game-made-dna-tiles-180971170/Brought to you by the creators of the mini 'Mona Lisa', the game offers a dynamic, rather than static, way to manipulate microscopic structuresFri, 04 Jan 2019 18:04:58 +0000Archaeologists Identify Oldest Known Human Burial in Lower Central Americahttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/archaeologists-identify-oldest-known-human-burial-lower-central-america-180971166/The unusually muscular young woman was buried in what is now Nicaragua nearly 6,000 years agoFri, 04 Jan 2019 17:39:17 +0000New York City Has Banned Plastic Foam Containershttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-york-city-has-banned-plastic-foam-containers-180971169/Single-use foam products 'cannot be recycled in a manner that is economically feasible, environmentally effective, and safe for employees,' the city saidThu, 03 Jan 2019 21:34:19 +0000He Was on Duty When the Ship Sank. Two Decades Later, the ROV Pilot Aids in Its Explorationhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/shipwrecked-vessel-has-become-hotbed-undersea-life-180971162/You can now explore a 3-D model of the wreck of the <i>American Heritage</i>Thu, 03 Jan 2019 18:07:23 +0000Could These Fossils Push Back the History of Flowers?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/fossil-pushes-history-flowers-180971090/A study analyzing 200 tiny flowers from 174 million years ago suggests angiosperms were around during the Jurassic, but paleobotanists are skepticalWed, 02 Jan 2019 19:51:26 +0000See Ten Lusty Cane Toads Latch Onto a Powerless Pythonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/see-10-lusty-cane-toads-latch-powerless-python-180971151/The toads, which are invasive in Australia, have been known to try and mate with everything from human hands to rotting mangoesWed, 02 Jan 2019 18:16:05 +0000Remembering Nancy Grace Roman, Trailblazing Astronomer Known as ‘Mother of the Hubble’https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/remembering-nancy-grace-roman-trailblazing-astronomer-known-mother-hubble-180971147/She worked on and advocated for the space telescope, which changed our view of the universe Wed, 02 Jan 2019 17:47:56 +0000Swamp Cancer Kills Seven of Chincoteague’s Beloved Wild Ponieshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/swamp-cancer-kills-seven-chincoteagues-beloved-wild-ponies-180971148/The deadly infection leaves itchy lesions clustered across victims' bodiesWed, 02 Jan 2019 16:49:26 +0000Submersible Is First to Reach Bottom of Atlantic Oceanhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/private-submarine-first-reach-bottom-atlantic-ocean-180971144/U.S. equity-firm founder piloted the craft to the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench, in a bid to reach the deepest spot in each of the world's oceansWed, 02 Jan 2019 16:30:41 +0000Why We Want to Squeeze Cute, Little Thingshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-we-want-squeeze-cute-little-things-180971143/The response is called ‘cute aggression,’ and a new study suggests it tempers an overwhelming response in the brainMon, 31 Dec 2018 19:44:02 +0000First Right Whale Calf in Two Years Spotted Off Florida Coasthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-right-whale-calf-two-years-spotted-florida-coast-180971142/A mother and calf were recently sighted along with several possibly pregnant endangered North Atlantic right whalesMon, 31 Dec 2018 18:57:27 +0000Scientists Cracked Themselves Up With a Study That Found Parachutes Are No More Effective Than Empty Backpackshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-cracked-themselves-study-found-parachutes-are-no-more-effective-empty-backpacks-180971119/Always read the fine printMon, 31 Dec 2018 18:42:39 +0000These New Beetle Species Are Named After the ‘Game of Thrones’ Dragonshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-new-beetle-species-are-named-after-game-thrones-180971141/Daenerys Targaryen's dragons—Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion—provided the inspiration for these three beetles' new namesMon, 31 Dec 2018 17:48:18 +0000One of the World’s Rarest Birds Has Been Reintroduced to the Wild in Madagascarhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/one-worlds-rarest-birds-has-been-reintroduced-wild-madagascar-180971138/The 21 Madagascar pochards seem to be faring well in their new homeMon, 31 Dec 2018 16:41:23 +0000Laser Scan Reveals Fate of Nazi U-Boat Sunk Near Outer Banks Coasthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/laser-scan-reveals-fate-wwii-u-boat-sunk-near-outer-banks-coast-180971132/The July 15, 1942, sinking of submarine U-576 resulted in the deaths of all 45 men onboardMon, 31 Dec 2018 16:18:22 +0000Ring in the New Year With Dazzling Total Lunar Eclipse of a Supermoonhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ring-new-year-dazzling-supermoon-180971137/The celestial show will be visible on the East Coast around 12:12 a.m. on January 21, 2019Fri, 28 Dec 2018 22:07:27 +0000Images Show Landslide Likely Caused Indonesian Tsunamihttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/images-show-landslide-likely-caused-indonesian-tsunami-180971136/Radar images appear to show the southwestern flank of the Anak Krakaktau volcano sheared off into the seaFri, 28 Dec 2018 20:51:28 +0000Electric Arc Caused New York Skyline to Glow Bluehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/blue-glow-lights-new-york-skyline-180971135/No, it wasn’t an alien invasion Fri, 28 Dec 2018 17:58:11 +0000A German Grocery Chain Is Selling First-Of-Its-Kind "No-Kill" Eggshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-no-kill-eggs-are-now-available-berlin-supermarkets-180971117/Every year, billions of male chicks are euthanized by the egg and poultry industry, but new tech could end the chick cullingThu, 27 Dec 2018 11:00:00 +0000Japan to Launch Commercial Whaling Operations This Summerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/japan-will-launch-commercial-whaling-operations-summer-180971115/The country has announced that it is leaving the International Whaling CommissionWed, 26 Dec 2018 21:05:15 +0000Nearly One-Third of Americans Sleep Fewer Than Six Hours Per Nighthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/almost-one-third-americans-sleep-fewer-six-hours-night-180971116/The survey reflects a worrying trend of national sleep deprivation, specifically among African-American and Hispanic respondentsWed, 26 Dec 2018 19:46:45 +0000This Bronze Age Regicide May Be World’s Oldest-Known Political Murderhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bronze-age-regicide-may-be-worlds-oldest-known-political-murder-180971107/The prince of Helmsdorf’s skeleton revealed three brutal injuries, including one that suggests he knew his killer and attempted to fend off the attackWed, 26 Dec 2018 17:44:56 +0000Tourists Are Getting Too Close to Volcanoeshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/tourists-are-getting-too-close-and-personal-volcanoes-180971102/Visitors to Iceland's volcanoes are ignoring the rules, many to get the perfect selfieFri, 21 Dec 2018 19:17:29 +0000What Is a Shark Tooth Doing in the Neck of a Flying Pterosaur?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-shark-tooth-doing-neck-flying-pterosaur-180971104/A new study suggests that the winged reptile fell prey to a hungry predator lurking in the waterFri, 21 Dec 2018 17:58:59 +0000A New Snake Species Was Found in Another Snake’s Stomachhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-snake-species-was-found-another-snakes-stomach-180971100/The so-called “mysterious dinner snake” represents not only a new species, but an entirely new genusFri, 21 Dec 2018 17:28:52 +0000DNA Can Help Repatriate the Remains of Aboriginal Australianshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-can-help-repatriate-stolen-remains-aboriginal-australians-180971089/A new study was able to match genetic material of ancient remains to the DNA of living Aboriginal communities Fri, 21 Dec 2018 14:52:52 +0000Cardinals in Different Regions Could Actually Be Distinct Species, Their Songs Suggesthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/cardinals-different-regions-could-be-distinct-species-180971084/Populations of the ubiquitous red bird have different calls and genetics in the American southwestThu, 20 Dec 2018 16:12:18 +0000After a Murderous Rise to the Top, a Naked Mole-Rat Queen Reigns Supremehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/national-zoos-naked-mole-rat-colony-finally-crowns-its-queen-180971083/Mole-rat monarch asserted dominance by giving birth to three pups on Monday morning—all hail her majestyThu, 20 Dec 2018 15:21:51 +0000Cliquey Adriatic Dolphins May Have Strategies for Avoiding Each Otherhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/cliquey-adriatic-dolphins-may-have-strategies-avoiding-each-other-180971076/You can’t swim with usWed, 19 Dec 2018 18:59:55 +0000Past Global Flood Shows Antarctica's Ice Is More Fragile Than We Thoughthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/past-global-flood-shows-antarticas-ice-more-fragile-than-we-thought-180971075/Data indicates the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed after a small rise in temperature, meaning sea level could rise faster than predictedWed, 19 Dec 2018 18:54:54 +0000Man Convicted of Poaching Ordered to Watch ‘Bambi’ Monthly While in Jailhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/man-convicted-poaching-ordered-watch-bambi-monthly-while-jail-180971069/David Berry Jr. of Missouri was implicated in a multi-year hunting operation that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of deerWed, 19 Dec 2018 15:26:26 +0000A Dracula Ant's Snapping Jaw Is the Fastest Known Appendage in the Animal Kingdomhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dracula-ants-snapping-jaws-are-fastest-known-appendage-any-animal-180971061/A new study found that the ant can snap its mandibles at a speed of up to 200 miles per hour—5,000 times faster than the blink of an eyeTue, 18 Dec 2018 19:11:37 +0000Meet Farout, the Solar System's Most Distant Minor Planethttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/meet-farout-solar-systems-most-distant-minor-planet-180971060/Observations suggest the object is 300 miles in diameter, pinkish-red and 3.5 times as far away from the sun as PlutoTue, 18 Dec 2018 18:49:14 +0000Trove of Well-Preserved Dinosaur Footprints Unearthed Along Sussex Coasthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/trove-well-preserved-dinosaur-footprints-unearthed-along-sussex-coast-180971059/Researchers discovered more than 85 fossilized footprints left by at least seven prehistoric speciesTue, 18 Dec 2018 15:48:50 +0000Fentanyl Has Outpaced Heroin as Drug Implicated Most Often in Fatal Overdoseshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/fentanyl-has-outpaced-heroin-drug-implicated-most-often-fatal-overdoses-180971050/ In 2016, more than two-thirds of fentanyl-related deaths involved at least one other drugMon, 17 Dec 2018 18:38:18 +0000Shrinking of Utah National Monument May Threaten Bee Biodiversityhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/shrinking-utah-national-monument-may-threaten-bees-180971052/The Grand Staircase-Escalante is home to 660 bee species, 84 of which will live outside of protected land under changesMon, 17 Dec 2018 18:36:32 +0000Biologists Describe Legendary, Two-Foot-Long Salamander for the First Timehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/two-foot-long-salamander-species-has-been-hiding-florida-180971051/The reticulated siren was known locally as a 'leopard eel' until two researchers tracked it down and revealed its true identityMon, 17 Dec 2018 17:58:52 +0000Neanderthal Genes Influence Contemporary Humans’ Skull Shape, Brain Sizehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/neanderthal-genes-influence-contemporary-humans-skull-shape-brain-size-180971043/Individuals carrying these ancient ancestors' DNA are more likely to have slightly elongated, rather than rounded, brainsFri, 14 Dec 2018 22:11:11 +0000Solar Probe Sends Back First Image and Data From the Sunhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/solar-probe-sends-back-first-image-and-data-sun-180971042/The Parker Solar Probe survived its first swoop around our star and will get even closer on its next two dozen tripsFri, 14 Dec 2018 21:54:34 +0000Rethinking the Corny History of Maizehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rethinking-corny-history-maize-180971038/A new genetic study traces the movement of one of the world's most vital crops from Mexico to South AmericaFri, 14 Dec 2018 19:39:02 +0000Washington Governor Proposes Dramatic Plan to Save Dying Orca Populationhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/washington-governor-proposes-dramatic-plan-save-dying-orca-population-180971045/The plan will require $1.1 billion and involve a number of controversial measuresFri, 14 Dec 2018 19:15:17 +0000Adelie Penguins Poop So Much, Their Feces Can Be Seen From Spacehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-watching-poo-space-revealing-history-antarcticas-penguins-180971031/Satellite images of the Adelie penguin's pink guano shows how their colony size and diet have changed over the last 4 decadesThu, 13 Dec 2018 20:44:49 +0000Cats Have Actually Grown Larger Over Time—Unlike Most Domesticated Specieshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/unlike-most-domesticated-species-cats-have-actually-grown-larger-over-time-180971029/Between the Viking Age and modern times, felines increased in size by 16 percentThu, 13 Dec 2018 19:04:38 +0000Chicken Bones May Be the Legacy of Our Timehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/chicken-bones-may-be-legacy-our-time-180971027/A new study argues that the sheer abundance of chicken consumption, coupled with the strange skeletons of modern chickens, will leave a unique fingerprint Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:42:52 +0000Arctic Ice Is Retreating and Reindeer Are Going With Ithttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/reindeer-populations-have-plummeted-among-other-problems-arctic-180971023/Herds in Canada, the U.S. and Russia have dropped by over half in 20 years—and some may not recoverWed, 12 Dec 2018 22:23:21 +0000Straight From a Greenland Fjord, London Installation Sends Dire Message on Climate Changehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/artist-installs-30-greenlandic-icebergs-london-send-dire-message-climate-change-180971024/Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Ice Watch’ aims to bring viewers into direct confrontation with the devastation wrought by global warmingWed, 12 Dec 2018 20:20:07 +0000Volcanic Lightning Could Help Geologists Monitor Eruptionshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/volcanic-lightning-could-help-geologists-monitor-eruptions-180971021/New study suggests spikes in lightning activity mark key changes during early stages of eruptionsWed, 12 Dec 2018 18:18:48 +0000A City Frog's Love Song Attracts More Mates Than Countryside Croakshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/City-Frogs-Sweet-Serenades-Attract-More-Mates-180970993/Fewer predators and heightened competition for mates allowed urban tungara frogs to add more notes and frills to their calls, with big results Read more: hTue, 11 Dec 2018 21:37:29 +0000How Did the ‘Great Dying’ Kill 96 Percent of Earth’s Ocean-Dwelling Creatures?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-did-great-dying-kill-96-percent-earths-ocean-dwelling-creatures-180970992/Researchers say the prehistoric mass extinction event could mirror contemporary—and future—devastation sparked by global warmingTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:54:18 +0000This New Technique Could Revolutionize the Future of Art Reproductionhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-technique-could-revolutionize-future-art-reproduction-180970988/RePaint renders reproductions in color four times closer to the original than the next-best toolTue, 11 Dec 2018 17:48:04 +0000Researchers Create First-Ever Honey Bee Vaccinehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-create-first-honey-bee-vaccine-180970985/The compound protects against the American foulbrood disease, but the same technique could lead to protection against other major pathogensMon, 10 Dec 2018 21:41:50 +0000Parrot Genes Reveal Why the Birds Are So Clever, Long-Livedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/parrot-genes-reveal-why-birds-are-so-clever-long-lived-180970983/Researchers say the avian creatures are as genetically distant from other birds as humans are from other primatesMon, 10 Dec 2018 19:50:22 +0000How to Spot This Year’s Spectacular Geminids Meteor Showerhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-spot-years-spectacular-geminids-meteor-shower-180970984/A beautiful celestial display is due to take place starting on the night of December 13Mon, 10 Dec 2018 18:03:39 +0000New Butterfly Species Named After 17th-Century Female Naturalist https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-butterfly-species-named-after-17th-century-female-naturalist-180970979/Maria Sibylla Merian documented the lifecycles of moths and butterflies with unprecedented accuracyFri, 07 Dec 2018 20:48:38 +0000Fruit Flies First Began Feeding on Our Fresh Produce About 10,000 Years Agohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/fruit-flies-first-invaded-our-kitchens-about-10000-years-ago-180970974/It turns out the insects love marula fruit found in south-central Africa, which attracted them to human cavesFri, 07 Dec 2018 19:42:08 +0000Researchers Say They’ve Created Universal Cancer Test That Detects Mutating Cells in Just 10 Minuteshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-say-theyve-created-universal-cancer-test-detects-mutating-cells-just-10-minutes-180970975/The tool, which is still in early stages of development, can’t identify the specific type of cancer present or gauge the severity of the diseaseFri, 07 Dec 2018 17:50:42 +0000Satellite Data Detects Hundreds of New Sources of Ammonia Pollutionhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/satellite-data-detects-hundreds-new-sources-ammonia-pollution-180970967/Detailed data shows livestock operations and fertilizers plants are major sources of the pollutant Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:29:10 +0000This 68-Year-Old Bird Has Laid Yet Another Egghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/worlds-oldest-known-bird-lays-eggagain-180970966/Wisdom the Laysan albatross is believed to be around 68 years old, and she has raised as many as 35 chicksThu, 06 Dec 2018 21:44:54 +0000Woman With Womb Transplanted From Deceased Donor Successfully Gives Birthhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/woman-womb-transplanted-deceased-donor-successfully-gives-birth-180970964/Recipient was born without a womb, but thanks to uterine transplant, she was able to deliver a healthy baby girl in December 2017Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:28:16 +0000Newly Discovered Cave Could Be Among Canada's Largesthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/newly-discovered-cave-could-be-canadas-largest-180970961/The "Sarlacc Pit," as its been informally dubbed, was discovered last spring during a caribou survey in British Columbia's Wells Gray Provincial Park Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:07:22 +0000Excessive Vitamin D in Pet Food May Be Making Dogs Sickhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/excessive-vitamin-d-pet-food-may-be-making-dogs-sick-180970963/A number of brands, including Nutrisca and Natural Life, have issued recalls of certain productsWed, 05 Dec 2018 20:25:45 +0000Crab Fishermen Sue Energy Companies Over Climate Changehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/crab-fishermen-sue-energy-companies-over-climate-change-180970957/The suit alleges that oil firms are responsible for climate change driven algae blooms, which have delayed and shortened recent crab-harvesting seasons Wed, 05 Dec 2018 18:39:06 +0000It Only Takes Six Hours for Billions of Plastic Nanoparticles to Accumulate in Sea Scallopshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/it-only-takes-six-hours-billions-plastic-nanoparticles-build-sea-scallops-180970956/The particles accumulated with rapid speed, but it took up to 48 days for them to disappear from the mollusks’ systemsWed, 05 Dec 2018 17:02:27 +0000Lonesome George the Giant Tortoise's DNA Reveals Cancer-Fighting and Longevity Geneshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/lonesome-george-giant-tortoise-reveals-cancer-fighting-and-longevity-genes-180970948/The iconic reptile and last Pinta Island tortoise passed in 2012, but a new look at his DNA is helping researchers understand geneticsTue, 04 Dec 2018 21:06:19 +0000Thousands of Little-Known Plant Species Are at Risk of Extinctionhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/thousands-little-known-plant-species-are-risk-extinction-180970945/When researchers used machine learning to evaluate 150,000 plant species, they found that 10 percent were likely to qualify for the IUCN Red ListTue, 04 Dec 2018 17:01:24 +0000U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for Third Year in a Row, Reflecting Rising Drug Overdoses, Suicideshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/us-life-expectancy-drops-third-year-row-reflecting-rising-drug-overdose-suicide-rates-180970942/Drop represents longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the tumultuous period of 1915 to 1918Mon, 03 Dec 2018 21:11:17 +0000Dads Also Pass on Mitochondrial DNA, Contrary to Long-Standing Beliefhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dads-also-pass-mitochondrial-dna-contrary-long-standing-belief-180970940/A new study, which found paternal mitochondrial DNA in 17 individuals, upends the commonly accepted theory that mtDNA comes exclusively from the motherMon, 03 Dec 2018 19:46:56 +0000This Is How Much Starlight the Universe Has Producedhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-much-starlight-universe-has-produced-180970938/4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons over 13.7 billion yearsMon, 03 Dec 2018 19:02:08 +0000200 Whales Have Died in Three Mass Strandings on New Zealand’s Shores https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/200-whales-have-died-three-mass-strandings-new-zealands-shores-180970931/Experts do not fully understand why whales beach themselves, but the recent incidents do not appear to be linked Fri, 30 Nov 2018 19:46:21 +0000Jumping Spiders Are the Only Arachnids Known to Provide ‘Milk’ For Their Younghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/jumping-spiders-are-only-arachnids-known-milk-their-young-180970930/The milk-like nutritious fluid contains four times the protein of cow’s milkFri, 30 Nov 2018 18:55:12 +0000Here's How That Cow Got So Largehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-knickers-the-mega-cow-is-so-mega-180970929/The sad fact is most steers are slaughtered before they reach their full, awesome size, making the Aussie bovine more lucky than freakishFri, 30 Nov 2018 18:15:23 +0000Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found on International Space Station Toilethttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/drug-resistant-bacteria-found-space-station-toilet-180970920/The bacteria do not currently pose a risk to astronauts, but that could change as the microbes adapt to their environmentThu, 29 Nov 2018 17:42:20 +0000These Wasps Hijack Spiders' Brains And Make Them Do Their Biddinghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wasp-turns-social-spiders-zombies-build-their-cocoons-real-life-horror-story-180970919/Larvae of the newly discovered species in Ecuador hijacks the spider to build a super-tough incubation chamberThu, 29 Nov 2018 17:32:03 +0000Stone Age Humans Feasted on Caviarhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/stone-age-humans-enjoyed-rich-diet-featuring-caviar-180970918/Researchers used advanced protein analysis to identify traces of carp roe eggs left on a 6,000-year-old clay plotThu, 29 Nov 2018 16:13:26 +0000Modern Humans Emerged As Ancient 'Siberian Unicorns' Died Out—But Their Demise Wasn't Our Faulthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-climate-change-killed-siberian-unicorn-180970911/A new study has found that the ancient rhinoceros went extinct 39,000 years ago—not 100,000 years ago, as experts previously believedWed, 28 Nov 2018 21:22:21 +0000Could a Freeze-Dried Vaccine Spell the End of Polio Worldwide Forever?https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/freeze-dried-vaccine-could-spell-end-polio-180970907/The vaccine does not require refrigeration, meaning aid workers could get it to children in hard-to-reach regions of the world. So far, it works in mice.Wed, 28 Nov 2018 20:36:11 +0000Researchers Stabbed Slabs of Meat With Cacti Spines to Learn About Puncture Strengthhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-unravel-secrets-cactis-stabbing-spines-180970906/Barbed spines function much like porcupine quills, drawing on an overlapping shingled design to hook onto victims’ muscle fibersWed, 28 Nov 2018 16:43:24 +0000It Takes 1.71 Days to Poop Out a Legohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/it-takes-171-days-poop-out-lego-180970897/Six intrepid volunteers swallowed the heads of LEGO figurines for the unusual studyTue, 27 Nov 2018 19:12:53 +0000Extreme Weather Is Turning the Arctic Brown, Signaling Ecosystem’s Inability to Adapt to Climate Changehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/extreme-weather-turning-arctic-brown-signaling-ecosystems-inability-adapt-climate-change-180970896/Vegetation affected by extreme warming absorbs up to 50 percent less carbon than healthy green heathlandTue, 27 Nov 2018 17:37:23 +0000Early Mammals Were Thought to Be Small and Unseen in the Age of Dinosaurs. An Elephant-Sized Fossil Complicates That Storyhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/elephant-size-mammal-cousin-mingled-dinosaurs-180970886/At a time when proto-mammals and other creatures were getting smaller, this dicynodont bulked up with the thunder lizardsMon, 26 Nov 2018 20:00:52 +0000Since Thanksgiving Cold Snap, More Than 200 'Cold-Stunned' Sea Turtles Have Washed Ashore on Cape Codhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/more-200-cold-stunned-turtles-wash-ashore-cape-cod-180970887/As climate change warms North Atlantic waters, turtles are migrating farther north—but when cold weather hits, some can't make it out of Cape Cod BayMon, 26 Nov 2018 19:02:19 +0000Climate Change Will Cost Taxpayers Billions In Near Future, Federal Report Showshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-report-offers-stark-assessment-climate-changes-impact-us-180970885/ By 2100, the country’s GDP could shrink by 10 percent, triggering an economic crisis twice as damaging as the Great RecessionMon, 26 Nov 2018 18:33:01 +0000Whales Change Their Tune Every Few Yearshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/whale-songs-undergo-cultural-revolutions-180970880/After becoming increasingly complex over a period of years, the songs are ditched in favor of simpler ditties, a new study has foundFri, 23 Nov 2018 18:16:11 +0000Ants Take Sick Days, Toohttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ants-take-sick-days-too-180970881/A new study has found that when some members of the colony are exposed to pathogens, they spend less time in the nest Fri, 23 Nov 2018 17:52:14 +0000Brown Recluse Silk Is Stronger Than Steel Because It's Constructed Like a Cablehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/brown-recluse-silk-made-cable-180970871/Thousands of nanotendrils come together to form the flat, super-strong spider silkWed, 21 Nov 2018 19:30:44 +0000These Ants Immobilize Prey With Acid Then Drag Them Back to Nest for Dismembermenthttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-ants-immobilize-prey-acid-drag-back-nest-dismemberment-180970870/Decapitated heads, dismembered limbs litter the floor of <i>Formica archboldi</i> nestsWed, 21 Nov 2018 19:09:27 +0000Facial Recognition Software Is Helping Identify Unknown Figures in Civil War Photographshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/facial-recognition-software-helping-identify-unknown-figures-civil-war-photographs-180970863/Civil War Photo Sleuth aims to be the world’s largest, most complete digital archive of identified and unidentified Civil War-era portraitsWed, 21 Nov 2018 18:50:48 +0000New Catalogue Describes Everything We’ve Sent Into Spacehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-catalogue-offers-comprehensive-account-artifacts-messages-weve-sent-space-180970861/ Entries include Doritos’ advertisement, Klingon Opera invitation, Beatles songTue, 20 Nov 2018 19:00:20 +0000Your Cat's Tongue Is a Rough, Pink Engineering Marvelhttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/your-cats-tongue-masterpiece-design-180970859/Researchers have found how spines on the sandpapery tongue keep kitties clean and coolTue, 20 Nov 2018 18:02:14 +0000Why Wombats Make Cube-Shaped Poos https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-wombats-make-cube-shaped-poos-180970847/New research shows differences in elasticity in the intestines shapes the poo as it moves throughTue, 20 Nov 2018 11:00:00 +0000Hurricane Harvey Didn’t Stop These Fish From Matinghttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hurricane-harvey-didnt-stop-these-fish-reproducing-180970848/Spotted seatrout engaged in normal spawning patterns as the eye of the storm passed directly over their habitatMon, 19 Nov 2018 21:30:35 +0000Promising Peanut Allergy Treatment Could Become Available in the Near Futurehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/peanut-allergy-treatment-could-become-available-near-future-180970849/A new study has found that gradually exposing children to peanut protein could increase their tolerance—though the treatment does not offer a complete cureMon, 19 Nov 2018 20:21:02 +0000