synthetic stingray

The Next Frontier in Synthetic Biology

Researchers have built something pretty weird­—an artificial stingray. Ethicists and legal experts are still debating the rise of synthetic biology.
Fireflies

The Nuptial Gifts of the Firefly

Fireflies, lightning bugs, glowworms: the evocative insects of summer reveal some surprising new insights into biology.
Hevelius map

Where Did the Moon Come From?

Despite years of study, it is only since the 1980s that a theory of the moon's origin has coalesced.
Buzz Aldrin with equipment on the moon

What the Space Race Left Behind

How should the artifacts of the space race be preserved?
Roller coaster in Atlantic City

What Makes Your Roller Coaster Go? Physics!

The physics behind the fun: roller coasters provide so many examples of basic principles that they are a staple of physics lessons. 

Where in the Solar System is Vulcan?

A hypothetical Planet Vulcan was the best explanation for strange astrological phenomena—until Einstein, that is. 

Neanderthals Were Smarter Than You Think

Neanderthals, suggest recent studies, had complex societies and even some culture.

What’s in a Name (Of An Element)?

Chemists recently announced the names of four newly discovered elements. Naming elements is serious business, and not without controversy.

Who Needs Mitochondria Anyway?

Mitochondria was once thought to be an integral part of all complex organisms. Then this organism was discovered.
SpaceX rocket

The Commercialization of Space

Policymakers and scientists have been thinking about the details of the commercialization of space for decades.