53 articles
  • Stillwell_blog

    What Role Will Immunity Play in Conquering COVID-19?

    It seems like people who get infected with SARS-CoV-2 retain immunity, but we can’t be sure how long that immunity will last. We still lack the testing capabilities to be certain.eamesBot / Shutterstock This story was updated post-publication to include information from a study published on the preprint server medRxiv on April 17, 2020. Nautilus […]
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    Insects and the Meaning of Sleep

    This story was originally published by Knowable Magazine.If you watch an exhausted baby carefully, you may be able to see gravity tug heavy eyelids down. Likewise, a sleeping honeybee’s usually perky antennae droop. Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. Log in or Join now . This adorable sign of insect repose may seem unremarkable. But studying insect […]
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    When Cancer Treatment Re-traumatizes Survivors of Sexual Trauma

    Shutterstock An optical illusion mesmerizes us with its ability to look entirely different depending on our perspective. Our patients can challenge our perceptions, too. Many people are familiar with the famous illusion of Rubin’s vase; the picture can appear to be two faces in profile or simply a vase. With someone pointing the way, viewers […]
  • quentin wheeler

    Meet the World’s Most Notorious Taxonomist

     In 2005, the taxonomist Quentin Wheeler named a trio of newly discovered slime-mold beetles after George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney. He believed the names could increase public interest in the discovery and classification of new species, and help combat the quickening pace of extinction. (Species go extinct three times faster than we […]
  • Van Turkey frozen falls

    Don’t Believe the Hype: Winter Does Not Begin Tonight

    Tonight, at 11:48 PM Eastern Time, is the moment of the winter solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is pointed as far away from the sun as it ever gets. It will be the longest night of the year, and tomorrow will be the day with the fewest hours of sunlight.As most people know, this marks […]
  • Article Image

    How Radio Enthusiasts Are Listening to Earth’s Secret Symphony

    Stephen McGreevy looked nervously at the sky. Outside his camper van in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, angry black clouds gathered on the horizon as 30-mile-per-hour winds whipped across the flat expanse. At his feet, an array of copper wire—hundreds of feet of it—writhed like snakes. As rain beat against the roof, McGreevy hastily gathered the […]

  • Parkes peryton signal bottom hero

    6 Graphs That Showed Landmark Discoveries—But Were Later Debunked

    It begins with the smallest anomaly. The first exoplanets were the slightest shifts in a star’s light. The Higgs boson was just a bump in the noise. And the Big Bang sprung from a few rapidly moving galaxies that should have been staying put. Great scientific discoveries are born from puny signals that prompt attention.And […]

  • operating theater white coats

    How White Came to Be Synonymous With Clean and Good

    White has a physical purity. White light contains roughly equal amounts of every color in the visual spectrum, and activates all three types of cone cells in our eyes related to color. As a result, we perceive materials that don’t absorb color, and reflect light back to us, as achromatic—white.The union of white and purity […]

  • van Gogh infrared

    Looking Through Paintings to See What’s Hidden

    This post originally ran on Facts So Romantic in May, 2013.There is more to the world than meets the human eye, a fact that hit home for the 18th-century astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel when he discovered infrared light—a wavelength of light that lies just outside the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can feel […]

  • new horizons one earth message

    Can “New Horizons” Bring a Crowdsourced Message From Earth to Aliens?

    Now that New Horizons has completed its flyby of Pluto, the spacecraft is on a long journey to become the fifth manmade object to leave the solar system. It does so carrying some curious human artifacts: a Florida state quarter, an American flag, and one ounce of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto […]

  • Pluto Charon bulge hero

    A Visual History of Humanity’s Exploration of Pluto

    Before I could string full sentences together, I used to wander outside past my bedtime. I would push open the sliding glass door and immediately look up, searching for stars sprinkled beyond the silhouetted trees. At the time, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what I was seeing. Instead, each beacon of light represented a […]

  • Franklin painting hero

    How Science Helped Pen the Declaration of Independence

    This classic Facts So Romantic post originally ran in July, 2013.On July 4, 1776, representatives of 13 colonies on the eastern shores of North America signed a Declaration of Independence from England. Winning independence was still a bloody war ahead, an unlikely outcome. Declaring independence was rashness, potentially carrying a death sentence for treason. Not, perhaps, what you would […]
  • solar system Trojans hero

    The Mystery of the Missing Planets

    There is an unsolved problem I want to tell you about: The case of the missing Trojans. You might be thinking of the mythical horse with soldiers hidden inside. Or maybe you’re thinking of a sports team. Or a type of computer virus, or, let’s be honest, of the condoms. (Note that I said, “Case […]
  • Quiz

    The Nautilus Weekly Science News Quiz

    Think you’ve got what it takes to ace our science news quiz? This week, we want you to tell us why Saharan silver ants are so special, how baboons mimic the political process, and more. Go on, test yourself.  Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. Log in or Join now . NB. If you are interested […]
  • Matrix fight left right

    Why Tinder Charmers and Movie Heroes Move the Same Way

    Tinder—in case you’re not active in the young-person dating pool—is a dating application that shows you pictures of other Tinder users in your area. If you are not interested in meeting the person you see, you swipe their picture to the left. If you are interested, you swipe right. If two people right-swipe each other’s […]
  • Quiz_HERO

    The Nautilus Weekly Science News Quiz

    Illustration by Jackie Ferrentino Welcome to the weekly Nautilus science news quiz! This week, we test your turtle sex knowledge and ask you to weigh in on a dinosaur’s slim-down. Put your science news knowledge to the test! Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. Log in or Join now .