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Elizabeth Preston
Works at MUSE magazine
Attended Williams College
Lives in Somerville, MA
455 followers|6,611,704 views
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Elizabeth Preston

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If you've ever wondered what it's like to be attacked by a lemming, this is for you.
In a world of shy, quiet-as-a-mouse rodents, one lemming is the exact opposite. It attacks when it should retreat to a hole. It squeals and shrieks when it should keep silent. One scientist is working to figure out how evolution created this animal—and wearing thick gloves while he does it. First, forget what you think you …
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Elizabeth Preston

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I hope a lot of your clothing is red.
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Elizabeth Preston

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Imagine you’re on a particularly boring leg of a road trip and you start counting houses. You pass through long stretches of country without counting anything. When you do see houses, they’re clustered into towns, and may have spacious yards with tire swings. As you approach a city (finally!), rows of houses appear at regular intervals instead of clumping. …
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Try to read up on the okapi and you won’t find much. This African mammal is most often seen next to the adjective “elusive.” But even if we can’t find any okapi, we can learn about their lifestyle through their DNA—and we can find their DNA in their feces. The okapi is an ungulate, like a cow. …
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How’s this for a dystopian future: You finally receive your personal robot assistant, delivered to your door by Amazon drone. You unpack the shiny new machine, dust off the Styrofoam peanuts, and charge up the batteries. Then you switch it on and lead it to the kitchen so it can cook you dinner. The robot …
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Adorable, though.
In 2005, Mercedes-Benz revealed a concept car with a strange shape. Called the Bionic, the cartoonishly snub-nosed vehicle was modeled after Ostracion cubicus, the yellow boxfish. Car manufacturers aren’t the only ones to take inspiration from this weird coral dweller. But researchers now say engineers who mimicked the boxfish might have been misled. Shaping the car like a boxfish …
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The real meaning of "Twitter engagement"?
“Opinions are my own,” declare countless Twitter profiles. Users want to make it clear that they aren’t speaking for an employer. Yet even when we think our words are our own, our circumstances may speak for us more than we realize. Microsoft Research scientists Munmun De Choudhury and Michael Massimi studied how Twitter users’ language changes after they get …
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Elizabeth Preston

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We’ve all been there: it’s easy enough to follow our plans to exercise and eat healthily, until suddenly it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and we’re ready to plunge our faces into the first dandelion we see. Honeybees, like humans, can exert self-control when making decisions about food. But when they get hungry enough, that control buzzes right out the window. For …
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Athletes don’t normally need to be chased down the track to get their training mileage in. But a green anole lizard is not a normal athlete. Scientists wanted to know whether it’s possible to train a lizard at all. Human athletes and other mammals perform better with consistent exercise, but is this universal? Can a reptile increase …
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 “When we flip them over onto their backs and they can no longer flip themselves back onto their feet,”
ha! this is exactly how I know when I've run far enough...
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If a polar bear tells you to talk to the hand, don’t be offended. The animals seem to communicate with each other through scent trails left by their paws. Their tracks tell a story to the other bears roaming their habitat, helping potential mates to find each other—as long as there’s habitat left, anyway. As they crisscross the snowy …
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Watch a video of a bee tongue in action!
A perennially fascinating question to scientists is how animals get liquids into their faces without cups, straws or hands. In recent years they’ve cracked the puzzle in dogs and cats, two creatures that often do their noisy drinking near us. Bees, too, sip nectar in plain sight of humans. But their methods are more subtle and mysterious. …
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A good poker face may help you win a Hold ‘Em tournament, but it won’t do your memory any favors. Our faces naturally flinch into emotional expressions that match what we’re seeing or hearing. These quick expressions, in addition to giving away our pocket aces, seem to help us recall things later. Using stiff cosmetic masks, scientists showed that it …
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Have her in circles
455 people
kheirou hobl's profile photo
Sylvie A Daley's profile photo
Krystyna Faroe's profile photo
AMOR SAOUDI's profile photo
Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán's profile photo
Tim Skellett's profile photo
MOZUS  ELIJA X's profile photo
Sarah Webb's profile photo
Chris Barncard's profile photo
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Employment
  • MUSE magazine
    Editor, present
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Currently
Somerville, MA
Previously
Chicago
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Science sharer
Introduction
Editor of MUSE, an educational magazine for kids. Author of Inkfish, a science blog for everyone. Compulsive pedestrian.
Education
  • Williams College
    Biology, English, 2003 - 2007
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Female