SciNews Dec 12, 2015

Paris Climate Change Deal Reached! , Plankton from Space,  In Vitro puppies, and spooking quantum connections – 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.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

Scientists identify plankton from space. Science News for Students

Plankton — tiny organisms drifting in the sea — often are too small to see without a microscope. But with the help of some math and a very powerful imaging device, scientists for the first time have identified a species of plankton from space. Finding out which plankton are proliferating can help researchers learn more about toxic threats in the ocean. For instance, it might help determine if your nearest beach should be closed owing to poisons shed by those microbes.  Read more…


Banana threat: Attack of the clones. Science News for Students

he fight to save the banana just got more challenging. A fungus that threatens the world’s most popular fruit is spreading, according to a new study. And it’s doing so despite massive efforts to stop it.

At risk is the sweet “Cavendish” banana sold in North America and Europe. But that’s not all. There are 400 edible varieties of banana, and many of them also are susceptible to killing by Panama disease. (That’s the name of the disease that this fungus causes.) Indeed, many of those other types of bananas are important sources of food for millions of people outside the United States and Europe. Read more…


First puppies born by in vitro fertilization. Science Daily

For the first time, a litter of puppies was born by in vitro fertilization. The breakthrough opens the door for preserving endangered canid species using assisted reproduction techniques. It could also enable researchers to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs. Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Six graphics that explain climate change.  BBC News

  1. What is the problem?

The world is getting warmer

The average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased by about 0.85°C (1.4F) in the last 100 years. Thirteen of the 14 warmest years were recorded in the 21st Century, with 2015 on course to set another record. Read more…


Carbon dioxide has an unexpected effect in Antarctica. Science News for Students

At the bottom of the world, carbon dioxide is doing something surprising. Rising levels of this gas normally cause warming. But over central Antarctica, they produce a cooling. That’s the finding of a new study. This discovery does not undermine climate science, the researchers note. Rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, do raise temperatures elsewhere. The effect is instead a sign of how extreme and unique the conditions are in Antarctica. Read more…



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Spooky quantum connection quantified for multiple particles. Science News

A first-of-its-kind measurement has quantified a mysterious quantum bond shared by several particles rather than just two. The experiment, reported in the Dec. 3 Nature, brings physicists closer to understanding the true scope of this link, known as quantum entanglement.  Read more…

Christmas drone invasion predictions concern authorities.  CBC News

The number of drones flying through North American skies is about to get a boost, say industry insiders — causing serious concern for safety among aviation authorities. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it fears up to one million unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, could make their way under Christmas trees this season, according to Aviation Daily. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Climate Change Deal Reached.  BBC News

A deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C has been agreed at the climate change summit in Paris after two weeks of intense negotiations. The pact is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions. The agreement is partly legally binding and partly voluntary. Earlier, key blocs, including the G77 group of developing countries, and nations such as China and India said they supported the proposals. Read more…


Event Horizon Telescope reveals magnetic fields at Milky Way’s central black hole. Science Daily

Most people think of black holes as giant vacuum cleaners sucking in everything that gets too close. But the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies are more like cosmic engines, converting energy from infalling matter into intense radiation that can outshine the combined light from all surrounding stars. If the black hole is spinning, it can generate strong jets that blast across thousands of light-years and shape entire galaxies. These black hole engines are thought to be powered by magnetic fields. Read more…




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