SciNews Jan 31, 2016

The sweat-health sensor, texting and sleep, a plastic planet and nuclear fusion – what more could you science students want?  These are 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

Tracking health is no sweat with new device. Science News

A new electronic health-monitoring device can sense a person’s temperature, analyze chemicals in a drop of sweat, and send the data wirelessly to a smartphone app — all in a package about the size of a few postage stamps. Read more…


Texting at night affects teens’ sleep, academic performance. Science Daily

Researcher finds that instant messaging in the dark makes a difference compared to having the lights on

A new study is the first of its kind to link nighttime instant messaging habits of American teenagers to sleep health and school performance. Media use among children of all ages is increasing exponentially; studies have found that children ages 8 to 18 use electronic devices approximately seven-and-a-half hours daily. Read more…



13698187_s from 123rf

Beyond element 118: the next row of the periodic table. Chemistry World

Four new elements have just been added to the periodic table completing the table’s seventh row. But despite elements 113, 115 and 118 all being discovered in the early 2000s and 117 in 2010, there’s still no sign of elements 119 and beyond. Why has no one claimed to have created one of these new superheavyweights and when will chemists be able to start an eighth row on the periodic table? Read more…

Human impact has created a ‘plastic planet’. Science Daily

Anthropocene study into lasting effects of plastic on land and oceans. Planet Earth’s oceans and lands will be buried by increasing layers of plastic waste by the mid-century due to human activity, according to new research. Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Nuclear fusion gets boost from private-sector startups. Science News

The lab where a company called General Fusion is trying to spark an energy revolution looks like a cross between a hardware store and a mad scientist’s lair. Bins full of electrical gadgets are piled high against the walls. Capacitors recycled from a bygone experiment are stacked up like bottles in wine racks. Ten-foot-high contraptions bristle with tangled wires and shiny plumbing. Read more…

Self-checkouts: Who really benefits from the technology? CBC

They’re everywhere. From supermarkets to hardware stores, self-service machines are an increasingly common sight, promising faster, more convenient checkouts. And it’s not just in-store shopping: Canadians are selecting their own movie seats, printing their own event tickets and checking themselves into flights. Read more…



Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

The Milky Way’s clean and tidy galactic neighbor. Science Daily

Many galaxies are chock-full of dust, while others have occasional dark streaks of opaque cosmic soot swirling in amongst their gas and stars. However, the subject of this new image, snapped with the OmegaCAM camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, is unusual — the small galaxy, named IC 1613, is a veritable clean freak! IC 1613 contains very little cosmic dust, allowing astronomers to explore its contents with great clarity. Read more…




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