Many cassiopea xamachana, upside down jellyfish

Upside-Down Jellyfish and the Mucus of Death

Jellyfish are a bane to ocean swimmers—the sight of a single small gelatinous mass can make them think the water is filled with stinging crowds of non-sentient Jell-O, and that...
A hedgehog in a porcelain cup

Biomimicry Comes for the Noble Hedgehog

If you had no idea what a hedgehog is, you might read Pliny the Elder’s description and mistake it as fact: They catch apples with their quills, can predict the...
The cover page of Rebecca Lee Crumpler's book

The “Doctress” Was In: Rebecca Lee Crumpler

On March 9, 125 years ago, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler passed away at the age of sixty-four. As the first Black woman physician in the United States, she had served...
Alice Ball

The Chemist Whose Work Was Stolen from Her

Alice Augusta Ball was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1894, the child of a middle-class family in which both parents and a grandfather were photographers. At the time, developing and...
J. Ernest Wilkins Jr.

The Black Mathematician Who Resisted Nuclear War

When J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. graduated from the University of Chicago in 1942 with a PhD in mathematics at the age of nineteen, he became one of the one half...
Termites

Margaret S. Collins, Pioneering Black Entomologist

Born in 1922, Margaret James Strickland Collins was the first African American woman entomologist in the United States, at a time when the country made higher education difficult, if not...
A puffin carrying tree branches in it's mouth

Puffins Seen Using Tools, Breaking Dumb-Puffin Stereotypes

If bird intelligence were like high school, corvids (crows, ravens, jays) would be the whiz kids. They make and use tools for multiple purposes: to get at food, to poke...
A cartoon of a T Rex holding a boom box

Take These Teenage Dinosaurs Seriously!

Q. How can tell you tell how old a dinosaur is? A. Count the rings… In 2005, two partial dinosaur skeletons were found at the Hell Creek Formation site, which...
A stamp printed by Poland, showing Ibn Sina

The Vast Influence of Ibn Sina, Pioneer of Medicine

One thousand years ago, medicine not only looked different from what it is now, it also varied geographically. While many of the scientific texts of the Greeks were lost to...
An illustration of a syringe and a microscope

The Measles Might Make Your Body “Forget” Its Own Immunity

In June 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that rinderpest—a deadly disease affecting cattle and other ungulates, related to measles—had been eradicated from the earth. A month later, The...