History of Science

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

The letter sheds light on Jenner's beliefs about the use of cowpox and horsepox in vaccination.

Letter From 'Father of Vaccination' Edward Jenner Sold at Auction

Jenner wrote that new research 'put a stop to the sneers' of 'little minded persons'

Suffragist Rosalie Barrow Edge founded the world's first refuge for birds of prey.

Planet Positive

How Mrs. Edge Saved the Birds

Meet a forgotten hero of our natural world whose brave campaign to protect birds charted a new course for the environmental movement

The bomb may date to the spring of 1942, when the German Luftwaffe heavily bombarded Exeter and other historic English cities.

An Unexploded WWII Bomb Was (Safely) Detonated in England

Routine construction work near the University of Exeter unearthed the 2,204-pound device in late February

Technicians at Canada's main polio vaccine supplier at the time, Connaught Laboratories, working on a step of vaccine formulation in 1955.

The Great Canadian Polio Vaccine Heist of 1959

A theft more than 60 years ago shows how sought-after scarce vaccine doses have been in past epidemics

An 1843 aquatint by Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet, after a painting by Carl von Steuben, depicts Napoleon Bonaparte in his final moments.

Rare Doctor's Note Offers Glimpse Into Napoleon's Agonized Final Years

The 1818 missive, which describes the French statesman's failing health, recently sold at auction for $2,000

An abandoned building near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine Seeks to Designate Chernobyl as a Unesco World Heritage Site

"People should leave with an awareness of the historic significance of the place," says the country's culture minister

Researchers analyze the microbiome of Leonardo's Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk (circa 1490). Housed at the Royal Library of Turin, the detailed sketch is considered by some scholars to be a self-portrait.

Art Meets Science

Hidden Microbes and Fungi Found on the Surface of Leonardo da Vinci Drawings

Researchers used new DNA sequencing technology to examine the "bio-archives" of seven of the Renaissance master's sketches

This year's top ten titles explore the cosmos, fear and cleanliness alongside narratives about owls, fish and eels.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2020

New titles explore the mysterious lives of eels, the science of fear and our connections to the stars

Charles Darwin in 1857, photograph by Maull and Fox

Two Darwin Notebooks Quietly Went Missing 20 Years Ago. Were They Stolen?

Staff at Cambridge University Libraries previously assumed that the papers had simply been misplaced in the vast collections

Most people will tell you that the average temperature for the human body is 98.6 degrees. But a growing body of research is challenging that idea, suggesting peoples' bodies now run a bit cooler on average.

New Research

Even in the Bolivian Amazon, Average Human Body Temperature Is Getting Cooler

A new study finds the average body temperature among Bolivia’s Tsimane people dropped by nearly a full degree in just 16 years

Jewish doctors give medical examinations in the Warsaw Ghetto

Covid-19

How a Public Health Campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto Stemmed the Spread of Typhus

A new study shows how life-saving efforts by Jewish doctors helped curb an epidemic during World War II

Like statues, animals named after controversial historic figures are sparking a conversation about "relics of systemic oppression" in science.

A Bird Named for a Confederate General Sparks Calls for Change

McCown’s longspur has launched a renewed reckoning over the troubling histories reflected in taxonomy

A 1928 portrait of physicist Albert Einstein by Lotte Jacobi

Tesla's Patents, Einstein's Letters and an Enigma Machine Are Up for Auction

Christie's Eureka! sale features personal and academic objects owned by 20th-century scientists

A pandemic from a century ago doesn’t necessarily chart the course of the pandemic happening now.

Covid-19

Compare the Flu Pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19 With Caution

The past is not prediction

The Conway Knot

Graduate Student Untangles Decades-Old Math Problem in Less Than a Week

Lisa Piccirillo recently published her proof of Conway’s knot problem, a well-known quandry that stumped mathematicians for more than 50 years

The Covid-19 pandemic has skyrocketed the demand for new strains of mice to help scientists understand the progression of the disease, test existing drugs, find new therapeutic targets and develop vaccines.

Covid-19

Building a Mouse Squad Against COVID-19

A Maine laboratory is on the verge of supplying a much-needed animal for SARS-CoV-2 research

"A Peep into the Life of a Data Scientist"

Poo-Sniffing Peeps, Miss Ameripeep and More Emerge Victorious in #PeepYourScience 2020 Competition

Blending marshmallows with scientific rigor, the contest offers levity during a difficult time

Archival image, July 9, 1973: (Original caption) A woman seems hesitant about buying fish at a shop in Tokyo recently (June 25) after the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry's June 24th warning that no one should eat more than 567 grams (about one pound four ounces) of fish a week to avoid the possibility of dangerous mercury poisoning.

New Research

A Dead Cat's Brain Revives Discussion of 1960s Mercury Poisoning Disaster in Japan

The exact molecule behind the Minamata mercury disaster, caused by a chemical plant’s wastewater, remains a point of disagreement

A statue of Pliny the Elder at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore in Como, Italy

Cool Finds

This 2,000-Year-Old Skull May Belong to Pliny the Elder

The Roman statesman launched a rescue mission when Vesuvius erupted but lost his life in the process

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