SciNews Oct 25, 2015


Food allergies, magnetism and climate change, scary animals, Mars mission movies, and marijuana use trends  – what else would you students be interested in ?  This eclectic collection of current science news stories is brought to you by STAOBlog.

SciNews is published twice weekly. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

An Overreaction to Food Allergies. Scientific American

ust a few years ago a 15-month-old girl—her stomach, arms and legs swollen and her hands and feet crusted in weeping, yellow scales—was rushed to the emergency room at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Laboratory tests indicated a host of nutrition problems. Read more …

 

The Scariest Animals, by the Numbers. Discover

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 dark corners, to find out how they ranked. Read more …

Chemistry13698187_s from 123rf

Oxygen levels and the rise of fire. Science Daily

New research reveals widespread fire occurred on Earth more than 80 million years after plants first invaded the land. The findings indicate that although plants were first detected on land more than 440 million years ago, there is only scant evidence of fire at that time. Read more …

Marijuana use more than doubles from 2001 to 2013; increase in use disorders too. Science Daily

The estimated prevalence of adults who used marijuana in the past year more than doubled in the United States between 2001 and 2013 to 9.5 percent, according to a new article. As is the case with alcohol, many individuals can use marijuana without becoming addicted. However, the clear risk for marijuana use disorders among users (approximately 30 percent) suggests that as the number of U.S. users grows, so will the numbers of those experiencing problems related to such use. Read more …

 

Physics

18685938_s from 123rf

Up to 27 seconds of inattention after talking to your car or smartphone. Science Daily

If you think it is okay to talk to your car infotainment system or smartphone while driving or even when stopped at a red light, think again. It takes up to 27 seconds to regain full attention after issuing voice commands, researchers found in a pair of new studies. The research found most smartphone personal assistants and in-vehicle infotainment systems are highly distracting to drivers. Read more …

 

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

The Designer Behind the Greatest Fake-Mars Mission Ever. Discover

With its strong showing at the box office, The Martian joins Gravity and Interstellar in the club of science-fiction movies that succeed by emphasizing the science and downplaying the anything-goes fantasy elements. But even in this rarefied company, The Martian stands apart. Unlike Interstellar, it is rooted in present-day technology and challenges. And unlike Gravity, it fully respects the physical rules of space travel; in fact, it makes them central to the plot. Read more …

 

 

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