SciNews Thursday, March 24, 2016

T. rex was pregnant; photosynthesis more than 3.5 billion years old; dust mites and dermatitis; methane emissions to be cut by as much as 45%; electrons sink in crystal; Mercury’s carbon originated deep below surface- 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

‘Pregnant’ T. rex discovery confirmed. CBC

A Tyrannosaurus rex that died 68 million years ago in what is now Montana was “pregnant” at the time, U.S. researchers have confirmed.

Chemical tests confirmed the T. rex’s thigh bone contained medullary bone — a special kind of bone that is expected to only form when a dinosaur is laying eggs or about to lay eggs.  Read more…

Photosynthesis more ancient than thought, and most living things could do it. Science Daily

Most modern bacteria descended from ancestors who could convert the Sun’s energy to fuel more than 3.5 billion years ago.  Read more…

Here’s how dust mites give dermatitis sufferers the itch. Science News

House dust mites surround us. Burrowing cheerfully into our pillowcases, rugs and furniture, the mites feast on our dead skin cells, breaking them down into small particles they can digest.

Now that your skin is crawling, relax. If you’re like most people, you will never know they are there.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Trudeau vows to clamp down on methane emissions. Globe and Mail

The federal government will impose regulations to cut methane emissions in the oil and gas industry by as much as 45 per cent as part of a bilateral climate deal announced Thursday during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official visit to Washington.

Ottawa will work with industry and provinces – including Alberta and British Columbia, which are already proposing mitigation measures – to establish national regulations for both new and existing sources of methane, which is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping agent.  Read more…

Down the rabbit hole: How electrons travel through exotic new material. Science Daily

Researchers have observed a bizarre behavior in a strange new crystal that could hold the key for future electronic technologies. Unlike most materials in which electrons travel on the surface, in these new materials the electrons sink into the depths of the crystal through special conductive channels.  Read more…


Blowing bubbles for science. Science News for Students. Science Daily18685938_s from 123rf

There’s a science behind the art of blowing soap bubbles. It’s not the thickness of the soapy film that matters. Rather, the speed of the blowing gust of air determines whether bubbles will emerge, scientists now report.“We have all blown soap bubbles,” says study coauthor Laurent Courbin. He is a physicist at the University of Rennes in France. “It’s nice to be able to explain simple experiments that we have all experienced in our lives.” Read more…




Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Mercury’s mysterious ‘darkness’ explained. Science Daily

Scientists have long been puzzled by Mercury’s very dark surface. Previously, scientists proposed that the darkness came from carbon accumulated by comet impacts. Now scientists confirm that carbon is present at Mercury’s surface, but that it most likely originated deep below the surface, in the form of a now-disrupted and buried ancient graphite-rich crust, which was later brought to the surface via impacts after most of the current crust formed.  Read more…

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