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Innovation

Do you know how common everyday items, such as mirrors, fireworks or sunglasses work? This collection of Innovation articles explores the workings of objects you may come into contact with on a regular basis.

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So Exactly What Is American Cheese, Really?

It's melty, it's gooey, it's oozy, it's yellow, it's processed It's on your burgers and in your grilled cheese sandwiches. But, uh… what's it made of?

New Device Turns Grape Juice to Wine in Just an Hour. Where Do We Sign Up?

Researchers develop a gadget that lets winemakers hasten the fermentation process, experiment more.

What Do Scientists Think of Science Coverage in the Media?

Very often, media coverage of scientific studies is misleading or just plain wrong. What do scientists think would make it better?

How Animal Testing Works

Animal testing has a long, gruesome history, but it's also saved countless human lives.

Newly Created Transparent Wood Could Change How We Build

Swedish researchers have figured out how to take the color out of wood and make it 85 percent transparent. It's part of a trend of new see-through materials.

10 Questions That Science Can't Answer Yet

Science is forever uncovering the mysteries of our universe, but some questions remain elusive. What topics have us still scratching our heads?

How Color-changing Ice Cream Works

Sure, novelty foods can seem gimmicky sometimes, but color-changing ice cream is a treat that's fun for your taste buds and your eyes. Learn the chemistry behind the confection — it's sweeter than you think.

Is Extra Credit Messing With Science?

College students who volunteer to participate in academic experiments for extra credit don't exactly represent humanity. And that's a problem for research.

Study Shows Pinterest Has an Anti-Vaccination Bias

While it might seem like the home only of Martha Stewart wannabes, Pinterest has a political side too.

Gravitational Waves! Or the Chirps That Prove Einstein Was Right

In 1915, the great physicist predicted the existence of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. A century later, scientists finally have detected them on Earth.

Hand Sanitizer Is Great at Preserving Insect DNA

Inexpensive hand sanitizer (as well as antifreeze) can preserve insect DNA for several days, helping citizen scientists to easily send specimens to researchers.

Recycling Stadium Urine as Turf Fertilizer Could Be a Golden Opportunity

Thousands of screaming fans. Thousands of beers. Thousands of visits to the bathroom. And a field that needs nutrients. You thinking what we're thinking?

Whey to Go: Behold the Power of Cheese, Literally

Dairy waste product gets second life as biogas in — where else? — France.

How Ice Sculpting Works

Ice sculptures can range from small tabletop pieces to entire buildings. In this fundamentally temporary medium, art and engineering combine to form sparkling, breathtaking effects.

This Bossy Desk Decides When You Stand Up and Sit Down

Sure, you've heard about the benefits of standing desks. But what about a "smart desk" that decides when you stand or sit?

There’s a Study on That: Are People Born on the 13th Unlucky for Life?

Do people born on the 13th of a month have a lifetime of bad luck? Researchers examined whether an “unlucky” birthdate could impact employment, earnings and marriage.

HowStuffWorks: How Porta Potties Work

You can find porta-potties at festivals, construction sites and concerts across the planet – but how do they work? Get a closer (non-messy) look here.

How Porta-Potties Work

Using a portable toilet at an outdoor concert or festival might be disgusting. But it sure beats going in a field! Now, imagine if your job were to clean out those suckers.

Can a baby have three biological parents?

The genetic material from two parents combines to form a child. Can we throw a third set of genes into the mix?

Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant?

You may have heard of Topsy the elephant and her sad demise at the hands of Thomas Edison. But what's the real story?

10 Outrageous Experiments Conducted on Humans

Some truly bizarre and troubling things have been done through the ages in the quest for scientific knowledge. The 10 experiments on this list all made humans into lab rats.

How Do Fireworks Explode in Specific Shapes?

Nothing quite thrills like seeing fireworks light up the night sky. A lot of design and planning goes into creating the awe-inspiring shapes we've come to love.

Could you grow meat from stem cells?

We tend not to want to think about where our food comes from. Picture a cow in a field, mentally skip the butchery part — voila, hamburger! Is a petri dish any different, really?

Is glass really a liquid?

Whether it's checking your look in a mirror or using a smartphone, we've come to rely on glass so much that it's nearly impossible to imagine life without it. But what exactly is this remarkable material? Solid, liquid or other?

How can studies on mice apply to humans?

From the looks of it, we don't have much in common with our mouse friends. But at a genetic level, we're closer than you might think. Close enough to make a difference in our health?

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