SciNews Oct 5, 2015

Stuffy classrooms and test scores, the duct tape worts connections, water on Mars and so much more – just what your students want to hear.  This eclectic collection of current science news stories is brought to you by STAOBlog.

SciNews is published every Monday and Thursday. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

 Stuffy classrooms may lower test scores. Science News for Students

Study hard. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a good breakfast. Each of these things can help students do their best on exams. Now scientists say another feature might also boost test scores: fresh air.

Students in stuffier classrooms did worse on standardized tests than did students in buildings with fresher air, two new studies found. The effect was small. But in one of the studies, it held up even after researchers considered other factors that have been linked to student achievement — such as how well they spoke English and how much their parents earned. Read more…

Duct tape can do everything — including cure your warts. Discover

Mmm… warts! Those fun, fleshy skin growths caused by papillomavirus. They are harmless, and yet… ugh. One of the most common methods of removal is to freeze them off using liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy). But apparently there’s a DIY method that, according to this study, works even better: covering them with duct tape. It takes up to a couple months of diligent tape-wearing to work, but hey, it might help you avoid yet another medical bill. Read more…



13698187_s from 123rf

It’s time Canada reassessed its stance on selling water. Globe and Mail

Canada is a nation of resources. We dig them, pump them, cut them, crush them, grow them and export them. They are a huge part of the economy and a massive wealth generator. And yet the country’s most valuable resource of all – water – is the least discussed and most misunderstood. Even acknowledging water’s potential economic value has become taboo for politicians and policy-makers. Read more…


Exercise in a bottle could become a reality

Research finds around 1000 molecular reactions to exercise, opening the door for drug treatments to mirror the health benefits of exercise. Read more…



18685938_s from 123rf

How to print shape shifters? Science News for Students

“Can we print a robot that can walk out of a printer?”

That question almost sounds like a joke. But Hod Lipson wasn’t kidding around. Lipson is an engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. And he issued that challenge earlier this year in the scientific journal 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Lipson’s question has to do with an emerging technology called 4-D — or four-dimensional — printing. Among engineers and scientists, buzz is growing about this field because it expands the limits of what a printer can print. Read more…

Perimeter Institute’s formula for a calculated physics reboot. Globe and Mail

By any measure 1915 was a grim year for humanity. A century ago this week, The Globe’s front pages were crammed with news from the battlefields of the First World War, the most mechanized and destructive conflict yet known.

Yet in the heart of wartime Germany, 1915 also saw two remarkable ideas glimmer to life that today rank among the most profound insights ever granted to mortal minds. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Flowing water found on Mars boosts odds for life on red planet: NASA. Globe and Mail

The dark streaks – sometimes nearly 100 meters long and five meters wide – stretch down the slopes of Martian craters and hills in images captured by orbiting spacecraft.

Ever since scientists spotted the streaks four years ago, the leading theory has been that they could hold flowing water. Read more…


Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs. Science Daily

New dates for Deccan Traps eruptions puts them within 50,000 years of impact

The debate whether an asteroid impact or volcanic eruptions in India led to the mass extinction 66 million years ago is becoming increasingly irrelevant, as new dates for the eruptions show that the two catastrophes were nearly simultaneous. Scientists found that the eruptions accelerated within 50,000 years of the impact and were likely reignited by the impact, which may have generated magnitude 9 earthquakes or stronger everywhere on Earth. Read more…



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