Finding new diseases is difficult and dangerous work. In the middle of the night, the researchers would get dressed in protective gear. They would wear suits that covered them from head to toe, goggles, two pairs of gloves, and boots. Then they would go to caves and set up nets to capture bats and tarps to collect their droppings. There would be so many bats that it would take the team just a few minutes to have hundreds to sample. Continue reading Smithsonian Scientists Discover Six New Coronaviruses in Bats in Myanmar
When Charles Darwin first sailed into the tropics aboard the HMS Beagle in 1835, he was stunned. The 26-year-old naturalist had expected to find the same level of diversity of plants and animals as he had left behind in the higher latitudes of Plymouth, England. Instead, on the balmy Galapagos Islands, he found a multitude of strange and diverse creatures thriving together.
On turning 20, I decided to earn my living as a hybrid Spanish teacher and tour guide. I had in my favor a certain knowledge of grammar and a history of long walks through Havana that had brought me to places and stories the travel books don’t mention. I looked forward to teaching foreigners about Cuba while also providing them the language skills to explore on their own. From my very first student, however—as I taught verb conjugations and introduced unknown and unusual sights—I knew this work would also enable me to rediscover my own country.
Today marks the official opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Located in Washington, D.C., it is now the only museum in the US that’s main emphasis is African-American culture, life and history. The grand opening will be brought forth by a three day festival event which will feature the likes of Angela Bassett and Robert De Niro reciting the works of black poets and historians in addition to musical performances via Stevie Wonder and Patti Labelle.