Scientific Innovation

The ultrasound sticker

Innovation for Good

This Wearable Ultrasound Sticker Can Continuously Image Organs for 48 Hours

Developed by engineers at MIT, the new technology is about the size of a postage stamp

Researchers say photo recognition could help scientists learn more about how seals move around.

Introducing Facial Recognition Software for Seals

A neural network, trained using thousands of photos of harbor seals, offers a noninvasive way of telling the pinnipeds apart

A 3-D animation put together using data from lidar shows the urban center of Cotoca.

Innovation for Good

Lost Cities of the Amazon Discovered From the Air

Mapping technology cut through the canopy to detect sprawling urban structures in Bolivia that suggest sophisticated cultures once existed

A taxidermied Cumulina holds a block of toy cheese.

The Mouse That Squeaked Its Way Into Scientific History

Forget Dolly the Sheep. The birth of a mouse named Cumulina 25 years ago launched a genetic revolution

In an effort to combat counterfeit whiskies, researchers in Australia created a device called NOS.E that can detect and identify differences by "sniffing" spirits.

Innovation for Good

A New Electronic Nose May Help Sniff Out Counterfeit Whiskey

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia developed NOS.E, a device that can detect differences among whiskies by "smelling" them

This seven-foot statue of Pearl Kendrick, center, and Grace Eldering, left, was unveiled in Grand Rapids in 2019. Lab assistant Loney Clinton stands to the right with a microscope.

Women Who Shaped History

The Unsung Heroes Who Ended a Deadly Plague

How a team of fearless American women overcame medical skepticism to stop whooping cough, a vicious infectious disease, and save countless lives

An artist’s conception of the James Webb Space Telescope at work.

The James Webb Telescope Successfully Launches Into Space

A rocket carrying the $10 billion dollar invention blasted off Christmas morning and powered up as planned, providing astronomers with a long-awaited gift

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won a third award in the behavioral and social sciences category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her prototype of a video game feature to assess anxiety. In addition to her STEM research, Alqahtani is a poet and artist.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Is Developing a Video Game That Assesses Your Mental Health

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Saudi Arabia, is determined to help her peers learn about their anxiety—in the wildly popular setting of 'Minecraft'

Out of the 900 baby lizards created by breeding Mr. Frosty (pictured above) with various other leopard geckos, 80 percent developed tumors before they were five years old.

Innovation for Good

This Gecko Named Mr. Frosty and His 900 Babies May Inspire Human Skin Cancer Treatments

A genetic mutation linked to melanoma in humans gives the lizards their lemony-hue—and triggers tumor growth on their scaly skin

A statue of Benjamin Bannecker on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, as seen in 2020

History of Now

Meet Benjamin Banneker, the Black Scientist Who Documented Brood X Cicadas in the Late 1700s

A prominent intellectual and naturalist, the Maryland native wrote extensively on natural phenomena and anti-slavery causes

In makeshift home laboratories, a team of scientists discovered that cotton flannel is the optimal fabric, and their latest study says that the moisture from our breath makes the mask more effective.

How to Build a Better Homemade Face Mask, According to Science

When Covid-19 hit, Smithsonian researchers set up makeshift home laboratories to conduct groundbreaking studies on mask fabric materials

Virgin's hyperloop system uses magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction and low-pressure sealed vacuums along the track that minimize air resistance.

Futures

Smithsonian's 'Futures' Exhibition to Feature Virgin Hyperloop's Record-Breaking Transportation Pod

Virgin Hyperloop's Pegasus vehicle will be on display for viewers to take a closer look at its interior this fall

An analysis of the genome of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus overlaid on the CDC's map of different states' genome sequencing rates. Darker-shaded states have processed more genomes (relative to their total case count) than lighter, greener states.

Covid-19

Why the U.S. Is Struggling to Track Coronavirus Variants

A scattered and underfunded effort at genomic sequencing has hindered the country’s ability to detect different forms of the virus

An artist's rendering of the five-planet system that orbits star HD 108236, or TOI-1233. In the foreground is a hot, rocky planet that resembles Earth.

Balancing Homework and A.P. Classes, These High Schoolers Discovered Four Exoplanets

Thanks to a Harvard-Smithsonian mentoring program, high school students Kartik Pinglé and Jasmine Wright helped discover new worlds

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

One specimen of the ultra-black fish species Anoplogaster cornuta.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2020 That May Lead to New Inventions

From soaring snakes to surfing suckerfish, nature is an endless source of inspiration

U.S. Air Force Captain Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound in this airplane, the Bell X-1, on October 14, 1947. The aircraft is currently housed at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Remember Chuck Yeager by Exploring the Plane He Flew to Break the Sound Barrier

In 1947, the pilot—who died Monday at age 97—made history by flying the Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound

Newton held unconventional religious beliefs and dabbled in alchemy and the occult.

Isaac Newton Thought the Great Pyramid Held the Key to the Apocalypse

Papers sold by Sotheby's document the British scientist's research into the ancient Egyptians and the Bible

100,000 people die from venomous snakebites each year, a problem the Instituto Clodomiro Picado seeks to address with its antivenoms.

The Lab Saving the World From Snake Bites

A deadly shortage of venom antidote has spurred a little-known group of scientists in Costa Rica to action

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