SciNews Sunday, February 28, 2016


Rest concussed brains; teeth predict human evolution; acidification slows reef’s growth; harvesting water from air; describing a wave; twin black holes in a star; massive black holes – 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

Concussed brains need time to heal. Science News for Students

Repeated hits to the head — even mild ones — can take their toll. But a new study shows that to let the brain recover, taking a few days to rest may be essential.

A typical high school or college football player experiences about eight hits to the head each week of the football season. And those hits can add up. None may seem serious by itself. They may not even give rise to symptoms of concussion — unconsciousness, headache, dizziness or forgetfulness. But continued hits to the head rob a player’s brain of the time it needs to heal, new data show.  Read more…

Predicting human evolution: Teeth tell the story. Science Daily

The evolution of human teeth is much simpler than previously thought, research shows, suggesting that we can predict the sizes of teeth missing from human and hominin fossils. The findings will be useful in interpreting new hominin fossil finds, and looking at the drivers of human evolution. As well as shedding new light on our evolutionary past, the findings will provide clues about how we may evolve into the future.  Read more…

Chemistry

13698187_s from 123rf

Ocean acidification already slowing coral reef growth. Science Daily

A team of scientists performed the first-ever experiment that manipulated seawater chemistry in a natural coral reef community in order to determine the effect that excess carbon dioxide released by human activity is having on coral reefs. Their results provide evidence that ocean acidification is already slowing coral reef growth.  Read more…

Slippery slope to harvesting water from air. Chemistry World

A beetle, a cactus and an insect-gobbling plant have provided the inspiration for the most efficient surface for condensing water vapour ever seen. The slippery surface, containing arrays of bumps of a precise geometry, can be fabricated inexpensively from almost any material, says the team. The new surface sheds water droplets 10 times faster than the best comparable surface. The finding could have important applications wherever condensation is needed, such as in desalination, air conditioning, water harvesting and thermal heat generation.  Read more…

Physics

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Mathematical advance in describing waves. Science Daily

Two mathematicians have published a new paper that advances the art — or shall we say, the math — of describing a wave. The study explores what happens when a regular wave pattern has small irregularities.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

LIGO’s twin black holes might have been born inside a single star. Science Daily

On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes 29 and 36 times the mass of the Sun. Such an event is expected to be dark, but the Fermi Space Telescope detected a gamma-ray burst just a fraction of a second after LIGO’s signal. New research suggests that the two black holes might have resided inside a single, massive star whose death generated the gamma-ray burst.  Read more…

Black hole heavyweights triggered gravity wave event. Science News

The recent detection of gravitational waves is a stunning confirmation of Albert Einstein’s theories and the start of a new way of observing the universe. And at the center of it all is a celebrity couple: the first known pairing of black holes and the most massive ones found outside of the cores of galaxies.  Read more…

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