Category: Smithsonian

Junkie Ants Show That Insects Can Be Addicts, Too

Smithsonian James Traniello, College of Arts & Sciences The temporary euphoria associated with opioids comes at a steep price: heroin, oxycodone, opium, morphine and other painkilling drugs are some of the highly addictive culprits fueling the drug epidemic that is sweeping America… Expert quote: “The results are very interesting, but perhaps not unusual given the […]

Can Antiquities Looting in Syria Be Stopped?

Smithsonian Michael Danti, College of Arts & Sciences The Islamic State is selling antiquities to fund their fight, now a secretive group is trying to protect those cultural treasures… Expert quote: “What started as opportunistic theft by some has turned into an organized transnational business that is helping fund terror. It’s the gravest cultural emergency I’ve […]

Meet the Two Scientists Who Implanted a False Memory Into a Mouse

Smithsonian Magazine Howard Eichenbaum, College of Arts & Sciences It was the day before Christmas, and the normally busy MIT laboratory on Vassar Street in Cambridge was quiet. But creatures were definitely stirring, including a mouse that would soon be world famous… Expert quote: “It’s a fantastic feat. It’s a real breakthrough that shows the […]

Humans Are Naturally Inclined to Believe We’re Immortal

Smithsonian Natalie Emmons, College of Arts & Sciences According to Roman Catholicism, existence begins at conception. But that’s far from a universal idea. Some indigenous cultures in the Amazon Basin, for example, don’t have a cultural take on life before birth… Expert quote: “Even kids who had biological knowledge about reproduction still seemed to think that they had […]

Scientists See Insect Outbreaks From Space

Smithsonian Robert Kennedy, College of Arts & Sciences It’s become a destructive cycle in the western U.S.: Warmer temperatures and drought conditions prolong the life cycle of mountain pine beetles, allowing them to prey on the pine, spruce and fir trees that blanket the mountains… Expert quote: “We’d look at an image from 2000 and […]