SciNews Nov 5, 2015

Deadly insects, climate change, concussions, cancer-causing processed meats – just a few of the themes in today’s eclectic collection of SciNews.  Share these stories with your students and get them excited about science.

SciNews is published twice weekly. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

Why some insects kill their mothers. Science Daily.

By eliminating the queen, a matricidal worker frees the way for workers to lay male eggs

Among social insects, why does it pay for workers to help the queen in some situations but then also pay to kill her in others? What explains why some queens get killed and not others, and why kill her at all? One expert explored these questions, and found that by eliminating the queen, a matricidal worker frees the way for workers to lay male eggs. Read more…


Something Fishy in the Food Chain. Discover

The Pacific broad tapeworm thrives in the guts of the sea lions that frolic in the waves of the Pacific Ocean, has been identified in the preserved poop of Peruvians mummified some five millennia ago, and is now making its way to seafood-loving Europeans through the briny conduits of the world-wide commercial fish trade. Read more…


Processed meat can cause cancer. Science Daily

Researchers have evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. They classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect. Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans. Read more…

Journal retracts study by Canadian researcher, citing scientific fraud. Globe and Mail

Twenty-five years after it was first published, one of the world’s top medical journals is retracting a study by a once-renowned Canadian researcher after an internal university report surfaced, revealing the paper is the result of scientific fraud. In an editorial, the BMJ sharply rebukes Memorial University for covering up what it knew about problems with the researcher’s work for years. Read more…



13698187_s from 123rf

Surprising discovery of oxygen in comet’s atmosphere. Science Daily

he biggest surprise so far in the chemical analysis of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s atmosphere is the high proportion of oxygen molecules. While such molecules are common in the earth’s atmosphere, their presence on comets had originally been ruled out. Read more…

Exxon Knew about Climate Change Almost 40 Years Ago. Scientific American

Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue, according to a recent investigation from InsideClimate News. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation—an approach many have likened to the lies spread by the tobacco industry regarding the health risks of smoking. Both industries were conscious that their products wouldn’t stay profitable once the world understood the risks, so much so that they used the same consultants to develop strategies on how to communicate with the public.  Read more…



18685938_s from 123rf

Males and females respond to head hits differently. Science News for Students

Large numbers of kids play sports that can result in an accidental bump to the head. If the blow is hard enough, a concussion — brain injury — may occur. But symptoms and the time it takes to recover can differ depending on whether the patient is male or female, a new study in mice shows.

It’s important to figure out how males and females might be different after injury, says Carmen Lin. She’s a neuroscientist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Determining how the sexes differ after concussion might even help scientists tailor better treatments for each, she notes. Read more…


Prolonged TV viewing linked to eight leading causes of death in US. Science Daily

On average, 80 percent of American adults watch 3.5 hours of television per day and multiple observational studies have demonstrated a link between TV viewing and poorer health. In this new study, investigators reported an association between increasing hours of television viewing per day and increasing risk of death from most of the major causes of death in the United States. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses. Science Daily

A new study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. Read more…


Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from ‘pebbles’. Science Daily

New process explains massive differences between Earth and Mars

Using a new process in planetary formation modeling, where planets grow from tiny bodies called ‘pebbles,’ scientists can explain why Mars is so much smaller than Earth. This same process also explains the rapid formation of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as reported earlier this year. Read more…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.