1921 Christmas greetings slide by Arthur Earland

The Nerdiest Christmas Cards Ever May Be These Microscope Slides Composed of Shells

The unusual holiday exchange, which lasted decades during the early 20th-century, hints at the drama between the two colleagues


Watch the Strongest Indoor Magnetic Field Blast Doors of Tokyo Lab Wide Open

The unexpectedly large 1,200 tesla boom could help researchers explore quantum physics and help in the quest for nuclear fusion

Venting frustrations

Cannibalism, Roller Coasters and Self-Colonoscopies in the News? It's Ig Nobel Season

The satirical awards celebrate some of the strangest scientific research

Researchers Find More Evidence for the Higgs Boson

Analysis of years of data from the Large Hadron Collider shows evidence the particle decays into bottom quarks

The charred papyrus scroll recovered from Herculaneum is preserved in 12 trays mounted under glass. Here is PHerc.118 in tray 8. The scroll was physically unrolled in 1883-84, causing irreparable damage.

Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia

A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from the early days of Western civilization

Stephen Hawking's memorial stone in Westminster Abbey.

A Message From Stephen Hawking Is On Its Way to a Black Hole

After his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, a musical composition and "message of hope" were broadcast toward 1A 0620-00, the nearest black hole

Artist’s impression of satellites and debris in low-Earth orbit. Currently 70 percent of all cataloged objects are in low-Earth orbit, which extends to 2000 km above the Earth’s surface.

Greening the Future of Outer Space

A team of scientists and policy experts want to develop space sustainably for future generations

Kids Are Drawing Women Scientists More Often Than They Did Decades Ago

But analysis of studies over the past 50 years show that sketches of male scientists still dominate

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

A large female Greenland shark observed near the community of Arctic Bay, Nunavut.

The World's Most Ancient, Elusive Sharks Were Finally Caught on Video

Greenland sharks, which can live more than 400 years, reveal how little we know about life in the coldest oceans

Kinorhynchs (aka mud dragons) range in size from about 0.13 to one millimeter. Like other meiofauna species, they are integral parts of marine food chains in sediments throughout the world.

King of the Mud Dragons

Robert Higgins has spent his career dredging out tiny creatures from dirt and obscurity

Hilleman's one-year-old daughter Kirsten (center, with her sister Jeryl Lynn and Dr. Robert Weibel) became the first to receive the mumps vaccine.

You Should Thank Maurice Hilleman for Helping You Live Past the Age of 10

A new Smithsonian podcast tells the story of the “Greatest Scientist of the 20th Century”

A replica of Foucault's famous experiment at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e Tecnica in Milan, Italy

How Does Foucault's Pendulum Prove the Earth Rotates?

This elegant scientific demonstration has been delighting everyday people for nearly 200 years

The newly lifted funding ban allows for more research of viruses like influenza, SARS, and MERS. But critics worry it's a risky step.

NIH Lifts Ban on Funding High-Risk Virus Research

Manipulating viruses could help prepare the U.S. for future pandemics, but it could also risk starting the next outbreak

An artist's rendering of the CP-1 nuclear reactor.

How the First Man-Made Nuclear Reactor Reshaped Science and Society

In December 1942, Chicago Pile-1 ushered in an age of frightening possibility

The reproductive organs of Schlumbergera, known as the Holiday Cactus. This was heady stuff in Erasmus Darwin's time.

Charles Darwin’s Grandfather Was Famous for His Poems About Plant Sex

Erasmus Darwin’s poetics influenced his grandson’s vision of nature

Enrico Fermi, Italian-American physicist, received the 1938 Nobel Prize in physics for identifying new elements and discovering nuclear reactions by his method of nuclear irradiation and bombardment.

Was Enrico Fermi Really the “Father of the Nuclear Age”?

A new book takes a fresh look at the famed scientist

Icy sugar cubes - Overall winner and winner: Earth Science and Climatology

Royal Society Photo Contest Winners Capture Drama and Wonder of the Natural World

From Antarctic ice to eclipses and killer whales, the images unveil nature's strange and sometimes surreal beauty

Gary Steinberg

A Neurosurgeon's Remarkable Plan to Treat Stroke Victims With Stem Cells

Gary Steinberg defied convention when he began implanting living cells inside the brains of patients who had suffered from a stroke

Natalie Batalha

Meet Natalie Batalha, the Explorer Who's Searching for Planets Across the Universe

The Kepler mission's project scientist, she has guided the discovery of thousands of planets

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