Category Archives: Science and Society

In the Nose of the Beholder: The connection between human scent and attraction

“No, I haven’t washed it yet. It probably smells disgusting. Here, take a sniff.” He hands me his jacket, which I hold to my nose. Disgusting? No, definitely not; more like delicious. You’ve probably experienced it before, when your significant other or someone you like smells so good even when they shouldn’t. But why does this happen? It’s in your genes

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Designed To Interact: Humanoid Robots Show Promise

It’s official: Robots have come to the Smithsonian. As of this past spring,  humanoid robots (built to resemble the human body) can be found at a number of Smithsonian locations, including Smithsonian Castle, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. What prompted the arrival of these robots to the

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From Spherification to Instagram: How Technology Promotes Food as an Artform and Transforms the Act of Eating

My math professor is discussing the Taylor series in my 10:30 am lecture, and it takes every bit of energy to keep my eyelids from surrendering to gravity. I discreetly slide out my phone underneath the desk and pull up Instagram. All I need for some short-term entertainment is my favorite Instagram page: BuzzFeedTasty. I click on the most recent

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Singin’ in the Brain: Examining Earworms

Music-brain by Wuhuiru55 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Almost everyone has encountered an earworm slowly wriggling its way into their thoughts. Despite the name’s sinister ring, this creepy-crawler is not in fact a living creature and rarely causes medical harm. Instead, people experiencing earworms are more likely to find themselves unconsciously tapping their feet and mouthing the words to

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Second-wave Effects: A Global Health Perspective on Climate Change

Monsoon season in Southwest Asia generally stretches from early June until late September. While the annual rainfalls are known to replenish freshwater and maintain the vibrant green rice paddies that line hills, the last decade has seen a greater severity in the amount of rain, resulting in catastrophic consequences for the people of the south Asian subcontinent. This past year,

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