SciNews January 14, 2016

Marine creatures navigating by moonlight, whales in the wrong ocean, the Iceman’s gut, toxins in fracking fluids, bugs with 3D vision, 5 new gadgets – 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

In Arctic winter, marine creatures migrate by the light of the moon. Science Daily

A few months ago, researchers reported the surprising discovery that marine creatures living in one Arctic fjord keep busy through the permanently dark and frigid winter months. Now, a report extends this activity to the whole of the Arctic. They also find that, in the absence of any sunlight, it’s the moon that drives the vertical migrations of tiny marine animals. Read more…   

Arctic passageways let species mingle. Science News

One whale spotted in the wrong ocean seemed merely odd. But a second misplaced whale looked more like a sign of an ecological shake-up: Pacific Ocean fauna moving into the Atlantic Ocean and vice versa. As the Arctic’s icy barriers melt, new waterways may soon allow many formerly separated animals to move and mix. Read more…

Ötzi the Iceman Spills His Guts. Discover

Gut microbes found in a 5,300-year-old mummy may revise the story of human migration into Europe.

A team of researchers recently found the remains of H. pylori in the digestive tract of a Copper Age mummy known as Ötzi the Iceman. He died 5,300 years ago, near the present-day border between Italy and Austria, and his remains were frozen in a glacier for thousands of years until hikers stumbled across the body in 1991. He’s been well-studied in the decades since, but his stomach had been overlooked until 2010, when a group of radiologists happened to take a second look at an earlier CT scan and noticed that Ötzi’s stomach was actually well-preserved.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Toxins found in fracking fluids and wastewater, study shows. Science Daily

In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in and created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), researchers found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information. Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Bug eyes: Tiny 3D glasses confirm insect 3D vision. Science Daily

Miniature glasses have proved that mantises use 3-D vision, providing a new model to improve visual perception in robots. 3D vision in mantises was originally shown in the 1980s but this work used prisms and occluders which meant that only a very limited set of images could be shown. The new research team has developed 3D glasses suitable for insects which means they can show the insects any images they want, opening up new avenues of research. Read more…

5 New Gadgets Creating a Buzz at CES 2016. Discover

The Consumer Electronics Show, held this year in Las Vegas, is the yearly event where tech companies gather to flex their muscles as they show off new and revolutionary tools, gadgets, appliances, and the occasional smell-based alarm clock. This year’s show was no exception, with smart fridges, wearables and drones taking center stage, as well as a host of other concept technologies. Read more…


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