SciNews – Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bugs as drugs; girls start drinking earlier than boys; dolphin moms use whistles to call babies; more teens vaping than smoking; the science of President Trump; a search for life next door – 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

Bugs’ as drugs: Harnessing novel gut bacteria for human health. Science Daily

Scientists have grown and catalogued more than 130 bacteria from the human intestine. Imbalances in our gut microbiome can contribute to complex conditions and diseases such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and allergies. This research will enable scientists to understand how our bacterial ‘microbiome’ helps keep us healthy and start to create tailor-made treatments with specific beneficial bacteria.  Read more…

Teen girls start drinking earlier than boys. Science News for Students

Although tweens and teens should not drink alcohol, plenty do. So a major U.S. survey recently asked a large group of 12- to 24-year-olds how old they were when they had their first full alcoholic drink. Just a sip or two did not qualify, here. Girls, it now turns out, were more likely than boys to start drinking before age 18.  Read more…

Video: How dolphin moms reunite with their babies. Science Mag

Imagine if, when you wanted to get your kid’s attention, you called them—not by their name—but by your own. It turns out that bottlenose dolphin mothers do just that. They use “signature whistles,” high-pitched, individualized calls, which function like human names. Scientists have known about these whistles since the 1990s. But now for the first time, they have confirmed that moms use the whistles to call their babies home.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Teen vaping soars past cigarette use. Science News for Students

In 2013, nearly three times as many U.S. high school kids smoked as puffed on electronic cigarettes. Within two short years, that trend has reversed. Today, almost twice as many high school kids vape as smoke, a new study finds. Middle-school students have an even stronger preference for vaping over smoking.  Read more…


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The Science of President Trump. Scientific American

Just about every topic, from eminent domain to “hand” size, has scuttled onto the debate stage this election cycle. But the presidential candidates have uttered little about science policy

“It’s been conspicuous by its absence,” says Dr. Peter J. Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Nearby exoplanet trio new target in search for life. Science News

Three Earth-sized planets orbiting a star practically next-door might be a good place to hunt for alien life — or at least check out some worlds that are different from anything in our solar system.  Read more…

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