It's not just useless crap.
Plus adorable echidna puggles
Drugs have been found in wastewater around the world.
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in two states, lawmakers and law enforcement have to grapple with how best to deal with cannabis-impaired drivers.
Synthetic marijuana has been shown to get people good and high. But this is not your parents' weed.
The unfair science behind the M(J) Phelps suspension
Sewage is more than just filth. It's evidence of our worst habits, everything from caffeine to cocaine, all ingested and flushed down the toilet. Now scientists are using wastewater to drug-test entire cities, and the results are sobering
In the dark and chatty world of avatars and assumed identities, this cybercop is a virtual Sybil, trolling for creeps and thieves.
It's arson, bomb and booby trap week at one of the nation's toughest forensics schools.
What happens when states ease up on penalties for possession
The nation's research-grade cannabis is controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose mission to curb use is at odds with that of researchers looking to study pot's therapeutic properties.
Medical and otherwise
This is the first study to compare smoking marijuana and pills that contain the psychoactive chemical in the plant.
Related: Can cats get high on marijuana?
From our archive: a reporter's LSD trip, a guide to getting high during Prohibition, and more
Researchers find promising antibacterial agents in marijuana
Researchers have discovered the benefits of THC in the brain
It's impressive researchers have managed to conduct even that many studies.
While the medical marijuana debate rages on, drug companies race to leverage the power of pot
A forensic chemist at a Massachusetts crime lab was arrested for tampering with drug evidence recently. A bad egg or the product of perverse incentives?
Well, that settles that
Spectrographic breath analysis is more reliable and sensitive than a urine test
One man's experience with LED grow lights
An anti-dopamine drug could block the addictive rush associated with THC.
Synthetic marijuana brand Spice may still technically be legal in the United States, but it's quickly getting banned around the world
Reefer madness! Pot causes psychosis! Except maybe not.
It involves the same brain system that responds to marijuana
For the first time since the 1970s, researchers are being allowed to study the potential medical properties of the most tightly controlled substances around. But it's not easy.
Because they sure look and smell alike.
Hint: not pot
How earographs, invisible ink detectors, and the famed "Stamp Detective" used science to catch unsuspecting crooks.
A new device that tests for as many as 10 drugs in less than 5 minutes.
Forensic scientists in Switzerland are pioneering a whole new way to do autopsies. No scalpel required.
But can it work well enough to generate reliable leads?
Tollbooths, ATMs, doctors' offices, online chat: You leave critical personal data behind wherever you go. Let's follow one American as he scatters his digital DNA.
Researchers have pinpointed a set of biological markers that could help diagnose PTSD--and, eventually, treat it.
Police sketches from eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. The question is, Will "DNA sketches" be any better?
It's time to stop pinning our hopes on pseudoscience.
How safe can a citizen expect to be in a post 9/11 city? What technology can a city use to make its citizens safe?
Chemistry: And you thought 'Six Feet Under' was morbid.
High-tech security isn't just for the airport anymore. Advances now coming out of the labs will help protect what's dear to you, from your car to your kids, your dinner to your dinero
It's time to think about who has your data.
New databases and digital techniques are broadening the kinds of evidence available to the crime scene investigator.
My name's Pat, and I'm 133 years old
Technology may be ushering in a golden age of stalking, in which predators use GPS, cellphones and other devices to track and terrorize.
Information about how terrible drugs and alcohol are for your health doesn't seem to be an effective deterrent, a new study says.
Can software distill mayhem into a database?
Long before pipes and bowls, people in Central Asia burned cannabis plants in wooden bowls and inhaled the smoke.
In his lab far from the scene of a crime, Skip Palenik forges unbreakable chains of evidence from dust & detritus. Let's watch the master at work.
Wind, solar, tidal—all are battling for the renewable-energy crown, but what about the six billion highly efficient short-stroke engines in our midst? What about us?
The best way to prepare for catastrophe? Head to the place where they engineer it.
By turning its crime problem into a data problem, Santa Cruz is reinventing police work for the 21st century
Dogs are the best bomb detectors we have. Can scientists do better?
Topics included the opioid crisis, nuclear weapons, and "beautiful clean coal."
Geographic profiling pioneer Kim Rossmo has been likened to Sherlock Holmes; his Watson in the hunt for serial killers is a digital sidekick -- an algorithm he calls Rigel.
His sensors could help automate everything from therapy to police work
The U.S. has been pouring millions of dollars into anti-drug campaigns since the 1980s. Has it done any good?
From our archive, a dramatic first-hand account of marijuana overdose.
The brains of habitual cannabis users have trouble synthesizing dopamine, according to a small study.
A group of neuroscientists are using new technology to understand how the brain performs under the influence of drugs
The web is crawling with jokes, hoaxes and more insidious fakes. Digital-image experts aim to develop foolproof detection tools, but until then, seeing is not believing
A creative new use of DNA testing
A muscle-numbing magic wand protects cops and citizens, Jedi-style
America is haunted by 100,000 missing persons and 40,000 unidentified sets of remains. Only one lab can truly connect the lost and the dead—and it's revealing the secrets of serial killers in the process
Ted Berger has spent the past decade engineering a brain implant that can re-create thoughts. The chip could remedy everything from Alzheimerâ€™s to absent-mindednessâ€”and reduce memory loss to nothing more than a computer glitch
Stories from the coolest day jobs in the world.
How do you secure an event like a big-city marathon?
The 20 ideas, trends, and breakthroughs that will shape our world in 2014
Say "ahh": new saliva tests that will catch cancer, gum disease and even exhaustion
A former spy's excruciating death by radiation poisoning marks the beginning of an era of high-tech hit men who can kill from anywhere
Man's best friend? Not if the man is on trial and the dog is an expert "nose witness" who may be more convincing than reliable.
But it's not all about the gunfire
You should probably just cook it
The study aimed to test whether Taser devices have caused heart-related problems or death in meth-addled suspects
Many police officers aren't allowed to administer life-saving antidotes, a study finds.
How do police extract eyewitness accounts they can trust?
“Liquid courage” gets scientific backing
Everything you need to know about the hottest topic in
medicine, from big-league breakthroughs and new therapies to emerging health risks and the patients willing to take them
Launch the gallery below, and enjoy our favorite pictures of the year, all in one place
A brave new world of mucus
Welcome to a future in which big data helps law enforcement predict and punish crime before it happens.
America's drug czar has announced that the nation's drug policy should be governed by neuroscience, not politics.
The brand-new Brooklyn museum is part Wonka, part science
Minneapolis ranked first among U.S. cities in innovative transportation solutions, fourth in energy technology.