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    It begins with a bite.

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From smallpox to swine flu, learn how disease pandemics have shaped human history and what we can expect, and prepare for, next.

More About Disease

  • Photo: Malnourished children in Dhaka, India

    War on Disease—Challenges for Humanity

    Microbes threaten billions of people in a world weakened by poverty, war, and lack of clean water—and now, new infections may be emerging.

  • Photo: A Thai farmer wearing protective clothing on his land

    Tracking the Next Killer Flu

    In Southeast Asia a virus that kills chickens is now also killing people. And in those deaths, public health experts hear the distant rumbling of a global catastrophe.

  • Photo: Doctor with stethoscope

    Infectious Disease Quiz

    See what can travel faster than a jumbo jet, wipe out entire civilizations, and confound the world's top researchers.

  • Image: Anopheles mosquito.

    Malaria—Bedlam in the Blood

    Nearly half a billion people get malaria worldwide each year. More than a million die. After decades of neglect, the world is renewing its fight against the disease.

The Innovators Project

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How to Feed Our Growing Planet

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    Feed the World

    National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.

See blogs, stories, photos, and news » »


  • Explaining Stillbirth

    A new study on marmoset monkeys offers some hints about the causes of stillbirth.


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Latest Video

  • The invasive stinkbug infesting a home.

    Fighting the Invasive Stinkbug

    U.S. researchers are teaming up with growers to study the invasive stinkbug's biology and behavior to find effective ways to control their numbers. Video.

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Shop Our Space Collection

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    Be the First to Own Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    The updated companion book to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, featuring a new forward by Neil deGrasse Tyson is now available. Proceeds support our mission programs, which protect species, habitats, and cultures.

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The Genographic Project

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    Learn about what's passed on from generation to generation with an interactive look at DNA.

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    Get Involved

    Support the Research of the Genographic Project