Engineering

One potential tool to combat the growing affordable housing problem, which the National Low Income Housing Coalition says has grown to a need for more than 7 million homes, is 3D printing.

Can 3D Printing Help Address the Affordable Housing Crisis in the United States?

The construction is faster, cleaner and more affordable, but experts acknowledge some trial and error is needed

Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper in Milan, Italy

Ken Burns Turns His Lens to Leonardo da Vinci

An upcoming two-part documentary will be the filmmaker's first foray into a non-American subject matter

University of Nebraska engineer Sean Crimmins loads the robotic arm into its case. A surgeon on Earth will remotely guide the robot through a surgical simulation while it is on the International Space Station.

This Remotely Controlled Robot Will Conduct a Simulated Surgery on the International Space Station

Robot surgeons could treat astronauts on long space missions—but they could also be used on Earth in places where surgeons aren't present, such as rural areas or war zones

This prototype of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter achieved the first successful free flight under simulated Martian conditions (on Earth) in 2016.

Prototype for Mars Helicopter Will Soon Be on Display at National Air and Space Museum

The surprisingly long-serving Ingenuity ended its historic service after breaking a rotor

The original Macintosh computer may seem quaint today, but the way users interacted with it was game-changing.

Forty Years Ago, the Mac Triggered a Revolution in User Experience

When it was introduced in 1984, Apple's Macintosh didn't have any striking technological breakthroughs, but it did make it easier for people to operate a computer

The United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 8, carrying Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander.

American Moon Mission Suffers Fuel Leak, Has 'No Chance' of a Soft Landing

Launched early Monday, the Peregrine spacecraft started losing propellant almost immediately, and the mission, which is carrying NASA scientific instruments, has been derailed

The capsule has a gelatinous coating that dissolves in stomach acid.

Engineers Design a Vibrating Pill for Weight Loss That Could Create a Feeling of Fullness

The capsule is the size of a multivitamin, and in an experiment with pigs, it appeared to reduce the animals' appetites

Monarch butterflies' signature white spots could help them fly—and inspire better drones.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2023 That Could Lead to New Inventions

Biologists learned lots about animals and plants this year, and their findings could inspire better robots, medicine and environmental technologies

A pneumatic mail tube at the main Post Office Department branch in New York City, circa 1914 or 1915

When a Labyrinth of Pneumatic Tubes Shuttled Mail Beneath the Streets of New York City

Powered by compressed air, the system transported millions of letters between 1897 and 1953

See-through wood has a number of interesting properties that researchers hope to exploit.

The Surprising Possibilities of See-Through Wood

Stronger than plastic and tougher than glass, the resin-filled material is being exploited for smartphone screens, insulated windows and more

Boat docks sit on dry, cracked earth at the Great Salt Lake's Antelope Island Marina on August 1, 2021.

Could a 550-Mile Pipeline From the Ocean Save the Great Salt Lake? Scientists Say Probably Not

New research suggests the electricity costs would exceed $300 million per year and carbon dioxide emissions could approach one million metric tons annually

The products range from measuring games to coding activities—and even include a robot that introduces children to artificial intelligence.

Ten Engineer-Selected STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2023

From coding to building to circuitry, these educational activities support basic skills to serve children in science, engineering and beyond

Hummingbirds' unusual flying abilities have long fascinated scientists.

Watch How Hummingbirds Fly Through Narrow Spaces

Slow-motion video revealed the birds take two different approaches: flying sideways or pinning their wings back and darting like a bullet

Atlantic salmon spend most of their lives in the cool waters of the ocean. When they venture upstream in freshwater rivers to spawn, however, they encounter challenging warmer waters.

Engineers Create 'Air Conditioning' for Salmon With Chilled Patches of River Water

Wild Atlantic salmon can struggle with heat as they swim upstream to spawn—but artificial "thermal refuges" may help them cool off

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The Never-Ending Race to Build the World’s Tallest Structure

From ancient Egypt to present-day Dubai, a close look at some of the buildings that held the height record

A new generation of blood pressure measuring devices that don’t require an inflatable cuff around the arm may make it easier to manage hypertension.

New Devices Could Change the Way We Measure Blood Pressure

Embedded in a cellphone or in accessories such as rings, bracelets or watches, the novel tools aim to make it easier to manage hypertension

Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes, speaks at the 2003 ceremony. The first ceremony was held in 1991.

Smart Toilets and Licking Rocks: Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Strange Scientific Achievements

Winning research projects reanimated dead spiders and examined how anchovy sexual activity influences ocean mixing

Across the United States, around 70 percent of coal travels by rail.

Using A.I. to Track Air Pollution From Open-Top Coal Trains

Scientists in California are working with communities—and a suite of tools—to better monitor air quality

Firefighters, still dressed in their smoke- and soot-stained bunker gear, take a breather after a harrowing day of battling a particularly stubborn brush fire.

15 Scenes of Americans at Work

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest commemorate Labor Day

Artist Oscar Nilsson based the facial reconstruction on DNA and skeletal analyses.

See the Face of a Woman Who Died in a Shipwreck in 1628

A new facial reconstruction vividly resurrects Gertrude, one of 30 people killed during the sinking of the Swedish warship "Vasa"

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