Natural Sciences

Paruroctonus soda

These California Teens Discovered Two New Scorpion Species

One of the creatures could be wiped out if its range isn't protected, researchers say

Scientists are studying ancient wolves to better understand the domestication of dogs.

Dogs May Have Evolved From Two Different Wolf Populations

A massive new wolf family tree dating back 100,000 years could help researchers understand where dogs were first domesticated

Glowing green waters surrounded a boat in the Arabian Sea.

What Causes Swaths of the Ocean to Glow a Magnificent Milky Green?

A sailor who witnessed the rare phenomenon in person and a scientist who saw it from the sky team up to learn about the ghostly light

Giraffes may have evolved such long necks, in part, because of sexual competition.

An Extinct, Head-Butting Animal May Help Explain Giraffes' Long Necks

The giraffe’s ancestor used its sturdy head and neck to fight for mates

Biotech firm Oxitec is genetically modifying mosquitoes in the hopes of curbing the overall population. The company completed its first open-air release of the bugs in Florida.

Innovation for Good

First U.S. Open-Air Test of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Deemed a Success

Biotech firm Oxitec engineered the bugs in an effort to curb their numbers and help stop the spread of disease

Geologic processes have led to changes in the water and gases released by mudpots, geysers and springs—like this one.

Five Big Changes Scientists Have Documented During Yellowstone National Park's 150-Year History

Scientists have monitored the region closely for generations, and these are some of the most dramatic shifts they've seen

Spider silk is more than just a web for snaring prey.

Fourteen Ways That Spiders Use Their Silk

From making parachutes to building scuba tanks, the arachnids have come up with some fascinating creations

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

Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1512, red chalk on paper

Art Meets Science

Historians Identify 14 Living Relatives of Leonardo da Vinci

An ongoing effort to trace the artist's male lineage may help researchers sequence his genome

Scientists reconstructed a new beetle species in 3-D thanks to X-ray scans of fossilized poop.

New Species of Beetle Found in 230-Million-Year-Old Feces

The insect is older than any amber-encased specimen, and may inspire scientists to look for more insects in fossilized dung

Iran's Lake Urmia, once one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world, is vanishing due to climate change.

Innovation for Good

Can Climate Fiction Writers Reach People in Ways That Scientists Can't?

A new subgenre of science fiction leans on the expertise of biologists and ecologists to imagine a scientifically plausible future Earth

Smithsonian ecologist Andy Boyce reported the rediscovery and photographed the elusive Bornean subspecies of the Rajah scops owl, Otus brookii brookii, in the mountainous forests of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.

Rare Owl With Bright Orange Eyes Seen for the First Time in More Than 125 Years

The elusive Bornean Rajah scops owl is inspiring scientists and researchers after its brief rediscovery

Covid-19 patients during their weekly vocal lessons as part of ENO Breathe.

Covid-19

How Opera Singing Is Helping Long-Haul Covid-19 Patients Recover

Developed in the United Kingdom, ENO Breathe is a virtual program that rehabilitates patients through the art of song

Female springbok mantises will fight against males who want to mate

Male Mantises Wrestle to Escape Cannibalistic Females

Mating is not so romantic for these insects

An RN administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a nurse at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2020

From the rapid development of vaccines for Covid-19 to the stunning collection of an asteroid sample, these were the biggest science moments of the year

Projects that harness the public to make observations and report data about the health of our environment are growing. Anyone can join—no PhDs needed.

Innovation for Good

Twenty-Four Ways to Turn Outdoor Passions Into Citizen Science

Heading into the new year, consider collecting scientific data while skiing, hiking, surfing, biking and partaking in other adventures

Encounters with the giant oarfish—the world's largest bony fish—may have inspired sailors to tell tales about fantastical sea serpents.

Virtual Travel

Meet the Real Animals Behind Mermaids, Dragons and Other Mythical Creatures

You can now take a virtual tour of a "Harry Potter"–inspired exhibition exploring the origins of fantastical beings

Many types of mosses live in British Columbia.

Will the Slender-Yoke Moss Be Saved?

In the crush of conservation priorities, scientists grapple with how to help an endangered species with no obvious value

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

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