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Elizabeth Preston
Works at MUSE magazine
Attended Williams College
Lives in Somerville, MA
561 followers|7,114,574 views
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Elizabeth Preston

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Yes, there are still giant mammals in the ocean we know nothing about:
Never heard of an Omura’s whale? There’s a good reason. Until recently, no one had laid eyes on one in the wild. Before 2003, the Omura’s whale was thought to be simply a dwarf version of another type of whale. Then Japanese scientists studying the whale’s DNA and bodily characteristics decided it ought to be its own species, and named it …
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Elizabeth Preston

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Nope, no resentment here toward my 20/20 siblings...
It’s bad enough for the first kid when a new baby shows up to steal your thunder. But the injustice is compounded when you have to start wearing glasses while your little sibling stays as cute and non-four-eyed as ever. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone: firstborn kids are more likely to be nearsighted. Part of the …
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Remember, there's always a weirder plant-insect interaction we just haven't discovered yet.
Mary Poppins taught us that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. A bumblebee’s favorite sugary drink may already be laced with medicine. And bees seem to dose themselves with medicinal nectar when they’re suffering from a gut full of parasites. Plants manufacture many chemical compounds to defend against attackers. Some of these are familiar to humans—like …
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Exercise scientist Conrad Earnest was dodging some oblivious pedestrians in England when inspiration struck. He was trying to walk down the sidewalk, but all around him people were weaving back and forth as they focused on their smartphone screens. Earnest suggested to two of his students that they study the dangers of texting while walking. …
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If your favorite color is chartreuse, there might be something wrong with you.
As much as you think your tastes are unique, psychologists say they can guess your favorite color. It’s likely to be blue. And it’s especially unlikely to be yellow—unless you’re colorblind. Men with red-green colorblindness have preferences that are essentially opposite from everyone else’s. The finding could help scientists understand why humans like what they like, …
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If you need to beat anyone up this holiday weekend, take a lesson from a kangaroo.
When you look at a kangaroo or a wallaby, it’s obvious the animal is well built for bouncing around the outback. What may be less obvious is that its arms are built for fighting—if it’s male, that is. Males of these species have disproportionately long arm bones. And the more brawling a species does, the more exaggerated the …
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Elizabeth Preston

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Turns out Americans find snakes roughly as scary as a nuclear attack.
Spiders are less scary than snakes, but scarier than clowns. That’s one of the findings of a survey of American fears published this week. The survey creators focused on the things Americans find most frightening: government corruption, cyber-terrorism, and tracking of their personal data, for example. But America’s creepy-crawlies have surely been waiting, in their drains and …
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OH MY GOD BRO WHAT IS THAT THING
A Boston man’s incredulous, shout-y, and profanity-packed encounter with a fish charmed the Internet this week. What would he say if he could see some of the things swimming a little deeper? On his Facebook page, Michael Bergin posted the now-viral video taken on a fishing trip with his friend Jason Foster. The two have just come …
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Just how much monkey business is there in monkey sex? In groups with alpha males, monkeys lower on the totem pole may have to sneak around to mate. How well they conceal their activities can shed light on the cognitive powers of primates. Macaques are monkeys that live in troops with complex social hierarchies. High-ranking males may have dibs …
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I know, it's what you've all been waiting for!
Doesn’t look a day over 40 million, right? This fossilized sperm and its compatriots turned up in a 50-million-year-old worm cocoon in Antarctica. And it has some pretty exciting implications for scientists—aside from the obvious news that we’re looking at a loser of an eons-old swimming race. Ordinarily, squishy worms don’t wriggle into the fossil record. Their boneless bodies …
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Not normal.
If you already think everything at the bottom of the ocean is slightly terrifying, Iosactis vagabunda won’t change your mind. It’s transparent, can tunnel underground, and hunts animals 15 times its size. And scientists are now realizing that there might be way, way more of these roaming killers than they’d previously thought. Iosactis vagabunda lives on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, a …
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One thing you won’t find in the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar is the part where after transforming into a butterfly, he mates with a female who has a Very Hungry Reproductive Tract waiting to devour his sperm. She has a special digestive organ just for this purpose. It’s so powerful that it could even …
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In her circles
240 people
Have her in circles
561 people
Navnath Shinde's profile photo
John Mark's profile photo
Amanda Nicol's profile photo
Dirk Hanson's profile photo
Andrea Michalek's profile photo
Victor Hugo Carrillo Alvarez.'s profile photo
Michael Quest's profile photo
Katy Chalmers's profile photo
Rosana Rosa's profile photo
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  • MUSE magazine
    Editor, present
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Currently
Somerville, MA
Previously
Chicago
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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