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.
Rats! They're just like family. Evolutionarily, anyway. So when it comes to research and biomedical study, what can they do for us?
Mice are small and reproduce quickly, but they're more than just an animal of convenient size and libido. Mice have some truly special genetic gifts that it doesn't take a scientist to appreciate.
Since we're trying to figure out what makes Ted tick (or makes Ted's ticker stop ticking), why not cut out the middle mouse? It's complicated.
About 86,000 rats and mice are used a year in research, while the twitchy-nosed guinea pig has only 1,300 mentions. But you can thank guinea pigs for ridding the world of scurvy pirates.
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?
Few would argue that lab rats lead an easy life. Add to it the assertion that they are prone to cancer just by being lab rats, and we've found a whole new level of depressing. But is it true?
Scientists like rats a lot more than the general population. But when they need a good bunch of them to test some hypotheses, they don't lurk in alleyways or around trashcans with a burlap sack.
Compared to dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits, rats and mice are by far voted Most Popular in research labs. (Dogs and cats are tied for Best Looking.) What's the attraction for scientists?
The human body has around 100 trillion cells. What can you learn from studying these tiny organisms that you can't learn from studying the entire person?
The plot of "The Scent of a Woman" has nothing to do with mice. But in a research lab, some say that very scent is like rodent Valium. Mouse myth or reality?
The age of a beer can dramatically influence its flavor, and usually not for the better. But what about its alcohol content? Does a decade-old barley pop still pack the same wallop as one bottled the week before?
Beer is quickly becoming a trendy mixer for more adventurous cocktail drinkers. However, this acidic ingredient doesn't always play well with others. Why can't beer and milk just get along?
A quickly poured beer or soda can create a layer of foam -- also known as a "head" -- toward the top of the glass. But while a soda head rapidly disappears, a beer head lingers even after you've begun to drink the beer. How can this be possible?
If history has taught us one thing, it's that moonshiners tend to be pretty resourceful when it comes to distilling liquor. But can car radiators really do the work of a still? Is that even safe to do?
There are perhaps few beer-related disappointments greater than drinking a skunky brew. Fortunately, such a fate is avoidable, provided that you know what to look for.
These days, we're busy hacking everything from our lives to our brains. Why should our bodies or our biological information be any different?
Before the scientific method came along, science dabbled in some pretty far-out ideas in its youth. Remember miasmas? And spontaneous generation? And the four elements?
Surprisingly, the date stamped on your unopened can of tuna doesn't really have much to do with how safe it is to eat. So what does it mean, and how can you decide whether to eat it or chuck it?
You might have heard of George Washington Carver and Neil deGrasse Tyson. But what about Patricia Bath? Or Percy Julian? Meet 10 African-American scientists who have made the world a better place for all people.
A snow day is the best. Everyone misses school, and you get to sleep in and spend the day in glorious, chilly nature. But then everyone gets sick of being cold, and suddenly the house seems extremely small. We can help.
If you kiss your bowling ball, you'll bowl a strike. If you buy ice cream, you'll turn into a cold-blooded killer. What other correlations are not causations?
The Lizard King got a lizard. The physics king got a particle. And a long-dead king got a DNA match. What else non-king-related happened in the realm of science in 2013?
After the success of craft breweries, it was perhaps inevitable that moonshine would get its own day in the sun. But while you can make both beer and whiskey at home, there are some major differences between them – starting with legality.
After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, quadrotors assessed buildings not far from Fukushima. And they did it without being harmed by the kind of nuclear radiation that damages us humans. Do they have more tricks under their wings?
Search and rescue missions and extreme weather events often go hand in hand. Fortunately there's a wide range of technology that helps emergency service workers get a leg up in preparing for and handling the elements.
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