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Smithsonian Science How?

Wearing blue gloves, Juan Pablo Hurtado Padilla puts a sample into the tray of a scanning electron microscope.
by Dan Kulpinski -- May 21, 2018

In this video, Microscopy Educator Juan Pablo Hurtado Padilla talks about microscopes, what he likes about his job, and how to find a career you like.

Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho sp.) perched on a leaf, showing the underside of its wings, with a bit of upperside blue peeking out. Photo by DerBurgunder via Pixabay.
by Devin Reese -- May 21, 2018

Learn the function and basis of butterfly coloration, and how blue is often created differently from other colors.

Smithsonian's Dr. Helen James and Maggy Benson during a live Smithsonian Science How webcast
by Maggy Benson -- Dec 17, 2014

Welcome to the first “Smithsonian Science How” video blog!

If you tuned in to the...

This scanning electron microscope image shows fungi making bead-like minerals (elemental selenium). Image from Carla Rosenfeld, Smithsonian.
by Devin Reese -- Feb 26, 2015

A microbe is a tiny organism, microscopic in size. We often think of microbes as menaces, such as pathogenic bacteria or fungi that cause disease...

This meteorite piece from an ancient asteroid contains valuable crystals and metals. Smithsonian image 6474.
by Devin Reese -- Jun 9, 2015

Meteorites may conjure images of giant rocks smashing into towns. In fact, meteorites rarely hit people and regularly bring valuable materials to...

Members of the 3D fossil whale team. Smithsonian photo NHB2014-00826 by James DiLoreto
by Devin Reese -- Jul 1, 2014

Want to see the largest 3D digital print of a fossil ever made? It’s a 20 x 8 foot print of a whale skeleton hanging in...

Tiny heart-shaped “gametophyte” life-stage of a Tender Brake Fern (Pteris tremula). Photo by Pete the Poet, via Flickr, CC-BY-NC.
by Devin Reese -- Mar 29, 2018

Most of us picture a fern as a plant with big, feathery fronds. Yet, there is another ...

Ancient scorpionflies pollinating the primitive seed plants Caytonia, at left, and Alvinia, at right. Depiction by Mary Parrish, Smithsonian.
by Devin Reese -- Jan 24, 2018

Some systems that sustain life on Earth have been operating for a really long time. Cycles of oxygen, water, and minerals all come to mind. But...

The 2013 eruption of the Mount Etna in Italy sent materials skyward. Photo by gnuckx, public domain.
by Devin Reese -- Nov 14, 2017

Lava is the most famous hazard of volcanoes. It is featured in movies, and used to describe lamps, chocolate cakes, and mobile phone cases. But...

Sea urchin (Araeosoma belli) with poison sacs on the end of its spines. Photo by Dave Pawson, Smithsonian.
by Devin Reese -- Oct 23, 2017

While this animal looks like a pincushion, you would not find it in a sewing kit. This venomous sea urchin, A. belli, lives on the ocean bottom as...

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