Research

The U.S. Has a Social Mobility Problem, But Not the One You Think

A child's chances of reaching the middle class aren't declining. But whether they get there depends a lot on where they live.

How Texting Actually Changes the Way We Walk

The science of distracted strolling.

Driving Is Actually Less Energy-Efficient Than Flying

A revealing comparison in how we've come to use two very different modes of transportation.

How the Western World Enables China's Air Pollution

Americans and Europeans are partly to blame for the smog floating over the Pacific, say researchers.

The Map That Reveals 5,900 Natural Gas Leaks Under Washington, D.C.

Researchers say a dozen of them are bad enough to cause explosions.

Of Course Scientists Are Attaching Cameras to Alligators

Meet the "Crittercam."

One Day, Your Phone Could Be Powered by 'Micro Windmills'

The nano-turbines are so small that hundreds could fit inconspicously on a phone's sleeve.

Philadelphia's Bedbug Infestations Are Skyrocketing by 70 Percent a Year

The blood-feasting insects seem more active in the summer, according to new sleep-killing research.

Scientists May Have Decoded Your Social Circle

Researchers studying the shape of our social networks make some startling findings.

Beefing Up Population Density Won't Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new map showing the carbon footprint for nearly every zip code indicates that suburbs are powerful greenhouse-gas emitters.

Facebook Is Using Your Profile to Track Global Urban Migration Trends

Which cities attract the most people, and what kinds of communities are losing them.

Americans Are Terrible at Estimating Income Inequality

In some surprising ways.

The Lingering Power of Geography Over How We Communicate

Even in an era of cheap, digital communication, most of us are still talking to our neighbors.

Your Neighborhood Significantly Influences the Air You Breathe

Levels of pollution exposure can vary dramatically within a city.

We Don't Know Nearly As Much About the Link Between Public Health and Urban Planning As We Think We Do

Car culture may not be making us sick. Cities aren't necessarily healthier than suburbs.

How the Cost of Other People's Parking Drives Up Your Rent

By as much as $200 a month.

Computers Can Now Automatically Stereotype 'Hipsters' and 'Bikers'

Scientists have trained algorithms to determine your "urban tribe" from your online photos.

The Oceans Are Vibrating With Humanity's 'Background Hum'

These maps show how shipping vessels are creating loud neighborhoods for oceans and the animals that live there.

Across the 50 States, a Big Disparity in Road Safety

States with the toughest driving laws see far fewer traffic fatalities.