SciNews Thursday, April 7, 2016

Zits or warts; plant-based supplements may not be healthy alternative; better catalyst for splitting water; impact of music affected by acoustics; puzzling sand dunes on Mars – 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

From zits to warts: Which disturb people most? Science News for Students

Pimples pop up on teen faces all the time. In fact, 85 percent of adults have experienced an outbreak of painful, embarrassing zits at some point. So wouldn’t it make sense for these people to feel sympathy for others with acne? After all, they know what it feels like. But a new study shows that this often isn’t what happens. Most people respond to images of acne with disgust and fear rather than understanding. And acne provokes stronger feelings of revulsion than most other skin conditions, the new study reveals.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Explainer: Some supplements may not have what it takes. Science News for Students

Some dietary supplements are made in a lab, like drugs. Others are derived from plants. But there’s another big difference between these supplements than just where they came from. Those plant-based ones may sound healthier, because they have a natural source. But there’s no guarantee that plant-based supplements contain the chemicals that are supposed to make them healthful.  Read more…

New catalyst is three times better at splitting water. Science Daily

With a combination of theory and clever, meticulous gel-making, scientists have developed a new type of catalyst that’s three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen — the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Concert hall acoustics influence the emotional impact of music. Science Daily

Researchers have found that the emotional impact experienced by music listeners depends on the concert hall’s acoustics. The research group aims to understand how room acoustics affect sound signals, and how people perceive room acoustic properties. Research focuses on improved prediction and understanding of concert halls and other acoustically demanding spaces.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Rover reveals puzzling sand dunes on Mars. Science

The Martian was only a movie, but the blowing sand that drove the plot really does influence Mars today—and is now a source of intrigue for scientists studying the planet. Investigators with NASA’s Curiosity rover are exploring the planet’s dark sand dunes and have discovered structures thought to be unlike any on Earth: ripples spaced about 3 meters apart, intermediate in size between the little ripples and big dunes found on both planets. Scientists aren’t sure how they form, but they think the density of the thin martian atmosphere plays a role in shaping them.  Read more…


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