Nervous System

Hand washing is one of the simplest ways to prevent disease transmission.

The Dirty Secret About How Our Hands Spread Disease

The human hand is an incredible tool—and a deadly threat

Fabrizio Fidati, a 57-year-old amputee, uses the MiniTouch device with his prosthetic to accurately sort cubes of different temperatures.

In a First, a Prosthetic Limb Can Sense Temperature Like a Living Hand

The advance may help users feel a greater sense of human connection through touch

A moment from Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which premiered last month at Sundance Film Festival 

Michael J. Fox Reflects on Rise to Fame and Life with Parkinson's

A new documentary offers an intimate look at the actor and activist's story

Scientists developed a skin swab test to detect Parkinson's disease within about three minutes.

Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s Helps Develop a Skin Swab Diagnostic Test

The test, which would be the first of its kind for this disease, can make a diagnosis in about three minutes

On average, Osborne experienced 20 to 40 involuntary diaphragm spasms per minute. In total, he hiccupped an estimated 430 million times before his death in May 1991 at age 97.

The Curious Case of Charles Osborne, Who Hiccupped for 68 Years Straight

A 1922 accident sparked the Iowa man’s intractable hiccups, which suddenly subsided in 1990

According to the American Library Association, Scary Stories were the most challenged books between 1990 and 1999.

Why 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' Frightened So Many Parents in the 1990s

Launched 40 years ago, Alvin Schwartz's spooky series pitted school administrators against PTO members pleading to ban the books

Increased immunity from vaccines and previous infections could be a reason behind the drop in cases of "Covid toes." (Pictured: Nurse Sandra Lindsay—the first person to receive vaccine in the USA on December 14, 2020— receives COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine booster in New York on October 6, 2021.)

Powerful Immune System Response May Be Behind 'Covid Toes'

A new study brings doctors closer to understanding the mysterious frostbite-like lesions on patients' toes and fingers

The Nobel committee announced the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, earlier today.

Scientists Studied Spicy Chili Peppers and Cool Menthol for Their Nobel Prize–Winning Research on Heat and Touch

Their independent discoveries answer fundamental questions about how we sense our environment and could lead to breakthrough pain relief treatments

A heat map of the receptive fields of sensory neuron receptors on a human fingertip.

Study Shows Fingerprint Ridges Play Key Role in Sense of Touch

Experiments show that our fingertips’ finely tuned sensitivity maps onto the whorled ridges of our prints

A round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in a plastic pipe in the lab.

Some Fish Fins Are as Sensitive as a Primate's Fingertips

Experiments reveal fish fins aren't just for getting around. They could have implications for underwater robotics

Could This Brain Implant Stop Epilepsy Seizures?

A new approach, which involves an implantable device delivering neurotransmitters to the brain, proves effective in mice

Glial cells of the mouse spinal cord, 1899 Ink and pencil on paper, 5 7/8 x 7 1/8 in.

See the Founder of Modern Neuroscience's Unique Way of Looking at the Inner Workings of the Brain Through Art

Art meets science in the first U.S. traveling exhibition of Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s sketches

One of the subjects of a new study on how the human nervous system responds to tactile intensity cracks an egg with ease with the help of an experimental prosthetic device.

How Hacking Neural Networks Can Help Amputees Flawlessly Crack an Egg

By tapping into the body's nervous system, researchers could create touch-sensitive prosthetics

Unnerving Find: Cells That Control Goosebumps and Nipple Erections

A new study documents eight new types of nerve cells, including ones that control sweating and blood flow

Is this supposed to be a democracy or what? (Shown here: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un visiting Mangyongdae Revolutionary School in 2014.)

Metaphorically Speaking, Your Nervous System is a Dictatorship

Except when it's an oligarchy. Or a democracy. Or all three.


Ask Smithsonian: Why Do We Get Prune Fingers?

Some researchers say that, like tire treads, our fingers and toes could get better traction in wet conditions

Stretched over a prosthetic hand, this artificial skin acts more like the real thing than anything before it.

Artificial Skin Could Help Prosthesis Wearers Feel, For Real

A new polymer with a lattice of embedded sensors is sensitive to heat, humidity and pressure

Zebrafish embryo

A Scan of a Mechanical Heart Pump Fitted in a Live Human and Other Eerily Beautiful Scientific Images

From a photo of a tick biting flesh to a closeup of a kidney stone, the 18 winners of the 2014 Wellcome Image Awards highlight objects we don't usually see

Conceptual close up image of a synapse.

Does Thinking Fast Mean You’re Thinking Smarter?

The research into the relationship between quick thinking and methodical reasoning could take some time to decipher

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