Skip to main content

Features

'Super-Earths': Could They Harbor Life?

The night skies are littered with distant planets, but what are they really like? Theoretical models suggest that a surprising number of "exoplanets" could be similar to Earth—and may even support life

By Dimitar D. Sasselov and Diana Valencia

Cheese Story

Swiss dairy farmers created an American institution

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Before Mickey Mouse

The inspiration for today's animated pictures began long ago with dreams and toys

By Brendan Borrell

On the Parasite's Trail

Scientists have traced malaria to its first human victims a mere 10,000 years ago

By Mike May

Snap, Crackle, Bang

The ancient Chinese invented fireworks to scare off 10-foot-tall mountain men

By Mike May

Scrubs

A rise in maternity ward deaths led one physician to discover the importance of hand washing

By Mike May

Thorny Fence

The invention of barbed wire was a huge commercial success--and the subject of furious legal battles

By Mike May

Urban Bug

Packed living conditions made the influenza virus a leading public health threat

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Moral Animal

A sense of right and wrong starts with innate brain circuitry

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Gravity's Tug

The first black holes are almost as old as the universe itself

By Brendan Borrell

The First Humvee

Wheeled vehicles may have first arisen as a tool of war

By Brendan Borrell

Zero

How nothing became something

By Brendan Borrell

Rainbow Cells

Biodiversity was the first step toward complex life

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Departments

Purchase To Read More

Already purchased this issue? Sign In to Access
Select Format

This summer, explore the cosmos with an All Access subscription.