SciNews Nov 7, 2015

Slime cites, hazards of kangaroo farts, parasites controlling your brain – yes, we’re definitely on a “gross” theme in this issue of SciNews.  And “gross” is great to catch student interest and get them excited about science.

SciNews is published twice weekly. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

Slime cities. Science News for Students

Tiny blobs of slime cover your teeth. They also lurk inside your body, on the walls of swimming pools and on boats in the ocean. Sometimes they even grow on the smooth surfaces of medical devices. These slimes are called biofilms. They’re like miniature cities. Each one can house tens of millions of bacteria. All these bacteria need to grow are food and water. And food for these tiny microbes could be anything from sugar to sewage. Read more…


Meet the Parasites That Control Human Brains. Discover

It’s time to enjoy some monster stories, and the scariest monsters of all are those that actually exist.Join us as we share tales of some of the creepiest parasites around — those that control the brains of their human hosts, sometimes leaving insanity and death in their wake. These are the tales of neurological parasites. Read more…



13698187_s from 123rf

Some air pollutants seep through skin. Science News for Students

You might think that toxic pollutants in air enter the body only through the lungs. But you’d be wrong. For some chemicals, a new study finds, more might enter through skin than through breathing.

Each breath of air can deliver toxic pollutants into the lungs. Blood courses through the lungs’ tiniest airways. There, chemicals from air can enter the blood system. But the body’s biggest organ is the skin. And recent studies have shown that skin might serve as “big sponges for these chemicals,” says John Kissel. He is an environmental engineer at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more…


News Brief: Rare gem may hold earliest sign of life. Science News for Students

Researchers have just reported the discovery of what could be the earliest evidence of life on Earth. If confirmed, life emerged at least 4.1 billion years ago. That would make it roughly 300 million years earlier than previous estimates. Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Einstein taught us: It’s all ‘relative’. Science News for Students
While still a relatively young scientist, Albert Einstein painted a new picture of the universe. Some of his final brush strokes emerged on November 4, 1915 — a century ago today. That’s when this physicist shared the first of four new papers with the Prussian Academy in Berlin, Germany. Together, those new papers would outline what would be his general theory of relativity. Read more…



Antiprotons match protons in response to strong nuclear force. Science News

Tightly bunched antiprotons stick together, just like their proton cousins. Physicists sifting through subatomic shrapnel inside a particle accelerator have made the first analysis of the interaction between antiprotons, particles of antimatter that are negatively charged but otherwise nearly identical to protons. The findings, published online November 4 in Nature, reveal that the strong nuclear force securely binds antiprotons in close proximity with the same intensity that it does for protons inside the nuclei of atoms. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

The first breathtaking images are in from Cassini’s close encounter with Enceladus, Saturn’s ‘geyser moon’. Discover

As NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dove toward Enceladus on October 28, its cameras captured a trove of visual data — and today, the first images have reached home. I think you’ll agree that they are truly breathtaking. Cassini captured the image above from an altitude of 38,000 miles above the surface of the icy planet. The spacecraft was racing toward the south polar region of Saturn’s moon, located below the wavy ridge-like features toward the bottom. Read more…


NASA mission reveals speed of solar wind stripping Martian atmosphere. Science Daily

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has identified the process that appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet Mars is today. Read more…

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