Maggie Koerth-Baker

Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. From August 2014-May 2015, she will be a Nieman-Berkman Fellow at Harvard University. You can follow Maggie's adventures in the Ivory Tower by subscribing to The Fellowship of Three Things newsletter.


"The Mississippi Baby" wasn't cured of HIV after all

A child, treated for HIV infection at birth and reported as possibly being cured of the virus, is showing signs of infection at age 4.

Explosions at Mount St Helens — For science!

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Later this month, scientists will set explosive charges on Mount St Helens as part of an effort to study the seismic geology of the Pacific Northwest.

Deforestation leads to Ebola

Over the past few months, West Africa has been experiencing the biggest and most deadly Ebola outbreak on record and deforestation is a key part of why.

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Is sunscreen dangerous? An actual scientist weighs in

There's a viral news story going around that claims scientists have found that using sunscreen increases your risk of death. As a redhead, this is relevant to my interests. But it turns out that the paper being cited was vastly misconstrued and wasn't even about sunscreen at all.

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Prescient Nature article on forgotten smallpox samples

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Yesterday, the CDC announced the discovery of several vials of smallpox virus, forgotten in a storage room since the 1950s. Back in April, Nature's Sara Reardon wrote about the risks (and benefits) of just this sort of thing.

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Phrenology bust modeled on a human death mask

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The Morbid Anatomy Museum recently acquired a 19th-century phrenological death mask. Liza Young, a museum studies student at St. John's University, tracked down its history.

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The woman with a nose on her back

There are some pretty freakish, but well-substantiated, reports this week that demonstrate just how much we still have to learn about stem cells and how they work (and don't work).

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Very old erotic graffiti found in Greece

Photograph: Helena Smith


Photograph: Helena Smith

Now we know that Nikasitimos banged Timion (in the past continuous tense, implying a long stamina) on what is now a remote stone outcrop on the Agean island of Astypalaia, approximately 2,500 years ago.

How Komodo Dragons hunt

Komodo Dragons are venomous. All they need to kill prey much larger than themselves is a single bite.

How would a bird the size of a boat get airborne?

Pelagornis sandersi is a 25-million-year-old bird with a 24-foot-long wingspan. Scientists now think it could have flown.

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Perfect "Aryan" was Jewish

Pseudoscience for the win. It would be funny if it weren't for, you know, the Holocaust.

What Richard Feynman didn't understand about women

The legendary scientist had a frankly horrible perspective on interacting with women—and it's by his own account.

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The science of why some people don't like cilantro

It's okay, cilantro lovers. The haters aren't wrong. They're just disabled.

How indirect allergen exposure works

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I'd always sort of thought that people with severe peanut allergies could have a reaction from being too close to peanuts, even without touching them. Turns out, that's not true. Usually.

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What makes a public park successful?

As planners create parks to go with a new Vikings stadium, the Minneapolis Park History blog looks at why some parks became community hubs and others earned bad reputations. (Thanks, Andrew!)