Theories and Discovery

The image shows a 6 mm long, 12.5 day old mouse embryo obtained with the Mesolens. The inset shows a blow-up of the eye region revealing the individual cell nuclei. It is possible to identify fine structures throughout the embryo such as the developing heart muscle fibers and fine details in the eye such as the corneal endothelium using the Mesolens.

Let Us Now Praise the Invention of the Microscope

Early scientists wielded this revolutionary tool to study the invisible world of microbes, and even their own semen

Paradoxically, food aid can cause game like the black curassow to be overhunted.

What's the Best Way to Help the Amazon's Indigenous People?

Can a pioneering computer model save the rainforest's residents from our best intentions?

Did Neanderthals Die Out Because of the Paleo Diet?

A new theory links their fate to a meat-heavy regimen

Astrophysicist Kip Thorne dared to dream of a machine to find gravitational waves.

The Detection of Gravitational Waves Was a Scientific Breakthrough, but What’s Next?

Scientists are sitting on top of the world after this monumental discovery and are eager to keep exploring the universe

A Chin-Stroking Mystery: Why Are Humans the Only Animals With Chins?

It's an evolutionary conundrum, and scientists are still divided over the answer

The Theory of Relativity, Then and Now

Albert Einstein's breakthrough from a century ago was out of this world. Now it seems surprisingly down-to-earth

Why is music so important to so many of us?

Here’s How Music Really Could Soothe Your Soul

A leading scholar theorizes that music developed as an evolutionary adaptation to help us deal with the contradictory nature of life

The mysteries surrounding Stonehenge persist.

Did Stonehenge Hold Up a Giant Stage?

A new theory poses that the prehistoric structure could have been something like an “ancient Mecca on stilts”

The blue whale is the biggest animal on the planet - and would have massively outsized the ocean's largest species 500 million years ago.

The World’s Sea Creatures Have Gotten Bigger

A new study reveals evolution in the ocean appears to favor larger animals

The olinguito, a small mammal native to South America, was announced as the first new carnivorous mammal species discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years today.

For the First Time in 35 Years, A New Carnivorous Mammal Species is Discovered in the Americas

The Olinguito, a small South American animal, has evaded the scientific community for all of modern history

Silhouette of the Tyrannosaurus called Stan. This "tyrant lizard king," was excavated and prepared by the Black Hills Institute.

The Top Ten Weirdest Dinosaur Extinction Ideas

Paleontologists, both professional and amateur, have dreamed up some bizarre explanations of how the dinosaurs disappeared from Earth

Two neutron stars violently collide—potentially the sourse of all heavy elements in the universe, including gold.

All the Gold in the Universe Could Come From the Collisions of Neutron Stars

When two stars recently collided, astronomers landed on a new theory about where gold and other heavy elements originate

A sample of Dyslexie, a tyepface designed to help dyslexic people

How New Fonts Are Helping Dyslexics Read and Making Roads Safer

The right font can be appealing, but please don't take this as an excuse to use Comic Sans


How Do Death Valley’s ‘Sailing Stones’ Move Themselves Across the Desert?

These mysterious rocks have puzzled scientists for decades—until one geologist found the answer on his kitchen table


The Robot Revolution Is for the Birds

Look up for robotic ravens and cyborg pigeons

A chronology of NFL helmets

Leatherhead to Radio-Head: The Evolution of the Football Helmet

From hand-cobbled beginnings, the football helmet has shifted to become one of the most highly designed pieces of equipment in all of sports

Hydrologic Commonwealths for the American West, proposed by John Wesley Powell, 1879

Design for a Water-Scarce Future

Design strategies for arid regions go back centuries, but in the face of climate change, drylands design is a whole new ballgame

A thermal infrared image of orchard water levels

Drones: The Citrus Industry’s New Beauty Secret

In the future, farmers will use unmanned drones to improve the appearance of their crops

Testing the Tango at the University of California Citrus Breeding Program

Design Specs for a Genetically Ideal Snack

How plant geneticists are growing convenience food on trees

A dragon statue in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Where Did Dragons Come From?

In honor of the Year of the Dragon, we take a look at some potential inspirations for the dragon myth

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