Articles
Going Barefoot Is Good for the Sole
Evolutionary biologist Daniel E. Lieberman caused an international stir nearly a decade ago when he published apapershowing that running in cushioned sneakers encourages...


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To Clean Drinking Water, Just Add Microbes
Like many small water utilities in California, the Sunny Slope Water Company in Pasadena has a nitrate pollution problem. The chemical, a legacy of fertilizers used in the...


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Our Brain Uses a Not-So-Instant Replay to Make Decisions
The hippocampus is a small curl of brain, which nests beneath each temple. It plays a crucial role in memory formation, taking our experiences and interactions and setting...


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Mysterious Outburst's Quiet Cosmic Home Yields More Questions Than...
For the first time, astronomers have pinpointed the location of a nonrepeating fast radio burst, and the result defies expectations -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com ...


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New NASA Mission Will Fly Titan's Frigid Skies to Search for Life's...
Dragonfly, a nuclear-powered drone, will visit Saturn’s largest moon in the 2030s -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com


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Bioplastics Could Solve a Major Pollution Problem
Our civilization is built on plastics. In 2014 alone, industry generated 311 metric tons, an amount expected to triple by 2050, according to the World Economic Forum. Yet...


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Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019
One day soon an emerging technology highlighted in this report will allow you to virtually teleport to a distant site and actually feel the handshakes and hugs of fellow...


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The Space Station May Soon Smell like Fresh-Baked Cookies
Space food has come a long way from thepowders, purees and freeze-dried cubesearly astronauts had to endure. New technologies are pushing the boundaries of food preparation...


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New Method for Tackling Stroke Restrains an Overactive Immune System
The pathology of a stroke is deceptively complicated. In the simplest sense, strokes occur when the blood supply to a particular region of the brain is interrupted, cutting...


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A Special Class of Proteins Are Promising Targets for Drugs for...
Decades ago scientists identified a particular class of proteins driving illnesses from cancer to neurodegenerative disease. These “intrinsically disordered proteins”...


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Tiny Lenses Will Enable Design of Miniature Optical Devices
As phones, computers and other electronics have grown ever smaller, their optical components have stubbornly refused to shrink. Notably, it is hard to make tiny lenses with...


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Social Robots Play Nicely with Others
In industry and medicine, robots routinely build, break down and inspect things; they also assist in surgery and dispense prescription drugs in pharmacies. Neither they nor...


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Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019: Introduction
One day soon an emerging technology highlighted in this report will allow you to virtually teleport to a distant site and actually feel the handshakes and hugs of fellow...


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New Method for Tackling Stroke Restrains an Overactive Immune System
The pathology of a stroke is deceptively complicated. In the simplest sense, strokes occur when the blood supply to a particular region of the brain is interrupted, cutting...


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Collaborative Telepresence Could Render Distance (Relatively)...
Imagine a group of people in different parts of the world smoothly interacting as if they were physically together, down to being able to feel one another’s touch. The...


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Smarter Fertilizers Can Reduce Environmental Contamination
To feed the world’s growing population, farmers need to increase crop yields. Applying more fertilizer could help. But standard versions work inefficiently and often harm...


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Worm Wiring Diagram May Help Us Understand Our Own Nervous System
More than 30 years ago a team of scientists painstakingly traced the connections among each of the 302 nerve cells in the hermaphroditeCaenorhabditis elegansworm. But it...


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A Special Class of Proteins Is Promising Targets for Drugs for...
New possibilities for treating cancer and other ills -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com


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Safer Nuclear Reactors Are on the Way
Controlling carbon in the atmosphere will require a mix of energy technologies—potentially including nuclear reactors, which emit no carbon but are seen as risky because of...


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Advanced Food Tracking and Packaging Will Save Lives and Cut Waste
About 600 million people suffer food poisoning every year, according to the World Health Organization, and 420,000 die. When an outbreak occurs, investigators can spend...


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Massive Forest Restoration Could Greatly Slow Global Warming
We have heard for years that planting trees can help save the world from global warming. That mantra was mostly a statement of faith, however. Now the data finally exist to...


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Utility-Scale Energy Storage Will Enable a Renewable Grid
The way the world gets its electricity is undergoing a rapid transition, driven by both the increased urgency of decarbonizing energy systems and the plummeting costs of...


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DNA Data Storage Is Closer Than You Think
Every minute in 2018, Google conducted 3.88 million searches, and people watched 4.33 million videos on YouTube, sent 159,362,760 e-mails, tweeted 473,000 times and posted...


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Future Gravitational Wave Detectors Could Find Exoplanets, Too
More than 4,000 exoplanets are now known to orbit other stars. Indeed, astronomers suspect that such worlds are ubiquitous, estimating that, on average, every star in the...


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A Special Class of Proteins Offers Promising Targets for Drugs for...
Decades ago scientists identified a particular class of proteins driving illnesses from cancer to neurodegenerative disease. These “intrinsically disordered proteins”...


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Quirky Quantum Tunneling Observed
Imagine you are walking and encounter a barrier, such as a hill or a wall. The only way to make it to the other side is to climb all the way up and over it. Yet what if you...


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Science and Sustainability May Clash on the Moon
Earth’s moon looms. Fifty years after humans first set foot on the lunar surface, multiple nations and for-profit private companies are racing to go back.For those hoping...


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Viking History Is Melting Away in Greenland
Lining the fjords of Greenland are remnants of Viking-era Norse outposts that flourished for less than 500 years before they were mysteriously abandoned. And now this lost...


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A New Twist on Artificial Muscles
Even as electronics have shrunk more and more, motors, hydraulics and other gadgets used to drive motion have stubbornly resisted the trend. It is difficult to make and...


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Humans Fold: AI Conquers Poker's Final Milestone
During a 2017 casino tournament, a poker-playing program called Libratus deftly defeated four professional players in 120,000 hands of two-player poker. But the program’s...


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What to Expect from India's Second Moon Mission
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, lander and rover will seek out water ice and other potentially valuable resources near the lunar south pole -- Read more on...


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Tropical Storm Barry's Dangers Will Reach Far Inland
Rains from the system will prolong the already historic flooding along the Mississippi -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com


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