(This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.) Time.
Every year, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control allocate more than $35 billion to researchers to study diseases, treatments and public health.
For many people, leprosy brings to mind Biblical stories of diseased people cast out from society. It’s a condition that today is largely found in developing countries, whereas in other, mostly Western nations it’s a pestilence of the past that was eradicated decades ago.
When the American painter Abbott H. Thayer published his book Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom in 1909, he put forth the hypothesis that animals’ colors served one function and one function only: to camouflage.
"Cancer has been cured a thousand times." So says Christopher Austin, the director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health.
Back in August, it seemed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was cleared of playing any role in one of the greatest hoaxes in scientific history.
You’ve felt it at one time or another. You’re standing on a crowded train platform, or in the park, and suddenly, your alertness spikes: you’re being watched.
One day, it's bound to happen. An astronaut dies in space. Maybe the death occurred en route to Mars.
Our bodies’ cells didn’t evolve to flourish in a petri dish. Even fast-growing skin cells stop dividing and turn thin and ragged after a few weeks outside the body.
The banana is the world’s most popular fruit crop, with over 100 million metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries.
Automated financial trading machines can make complex decisions in a thousandth of a second. A human being making a choice – however simple – can never be faster than about one-fifth of a second.
Let us consider the humble chicken. Or, rather, consider a world without them. Gone are breakfast burritos at Sunday morning brunch, wings at your next tailgate, half the menu at an Italian restaurant, your grandma's precious soup recipe and nearly every fast-food chain out there.
Try to imagine life without yeast. It’s kind of a bummer. The single-celled fungi are the leavening agents that gave rise to sourdoughs, ciabattas and chewy pizza crusts.
It’s spring, and I’m attending a luxurious seafood banquet. Platters of shellfish fill the tables: crab with limbs akimbo; shrimp ready to be peeled; miniature lobster-like langostino peering at my dinner plate as if knowing their fate.
(This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.) There are multiple answers to the question of where we come from: early hominins, monkeys, primordial goo, or the Big Bang, to name a few.
It seems safe to say that the laborers firing clay pavers, bricks and tiles to build the Jesuit mission of Santo Ângelo over 300 years ago had no idea that their toils might someday bear relevance to spacecraft orbiting 600 miles above what is now southern Brazil.
Have you ever wondered why we age and grow old? In the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Brad Pitt springs into being as an elderly man and ages in reverse. To the bafflement of scientists, the fundamental laws of physics have no preference for a direction in time, and work just as well for events going forward or going backward in time. Yet, in the real world, coffee cools and cars break down.
(This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.) Joshua Hinson’s first biological son was born in 2000.
One night in 1984, a man broke into Jennifer Thompson’s apartment and raped her at knifepoint. Throughout the attack, the college student memorized every detail of her rapist’s face, promising herself that when she took the witness stand against him, “he was going to rot” in prison.
A year ago today, a select group of scientists became the first people on the planet to learn that, after a century of theory and experiments, Albert Einstein was right all along.