SciNews – Sunday, May 15, 2016

Overweight not bad; teachers dealing with current events; recycling textiles; cool science of hot peppers; summer concert = earplugs; solar-powered plane heading to Oklahoma; teen finds 4,600 year old city – 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

Healthiest weight just might be ‘overweight’. Science News

As a group, overweight people are living the longest nowadays, suggests an almost four-decade study in Denmark published May 10 in JAMA. And obese people seem to be at no higher risk of dying than those of normal weight. The new analysis fuels ongoing debate about what’s a healthy body mass index — especially in light of rising obesity rates (SN: 5/14/16, p. 5), improved heart health treatments and other factors influencing health and longevity.  Read more…

Teachers make time for Ebola and other current events. Science News for Students

The 2014 Ebola outbreak triggered a flood of misinformation that worried students and parents alike.

“Students were very concerned about the outbreak and the treatment center here,” says Kim Hansen in Omaha, Neb. She is a social studies teacher there at Christ the King Catholic School. At the time, local medical experts were treating U.S. Ebola cases, bringing the epidemic close to home.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Textiles are the next frontier in recycling for cities looking to cut waste. CBC

It started with a blue sock.t

I pulled it off and realized it had a big hole in the heel. I balled it up and was about to test my athletic skill by attempting a long, basketball-style shot into a waste can when I paused.

Was that the right thing to do? Shouldn’t my sock go somewhere else?  Read more…

The cool science of hot peppers. Science News for Students

Shiny green slices of jalapeño pepper adorn a plate of nachos. Chomping into one of those innocent-looking chilies will make a person’s mouth explode with spicy fireworks. Some people dread and avoid the painful, eye-watering, mouth-searing sensation. Others love the burn.

“A quarter of the world’s population eats chilies every day,” notes Joshua Tewksbury. He is a biologist who spent 10 years studying wild chili peppers. He also happens to enjoy eating hot, spicy food.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Headed to a concert this summer? Pack earplugs.  Science News for Students

If you’re headed to a rock concert this summer, you may want to pack earplugs. Stuffing the spongy blobs in your ears may seem strange, especially if you’re going to listen to live music. Doing so, though, just might prevent hearing loss, a new study finds.

Wearing earplugs at a 4.5-hour music festival reduced the risk of temporary hearing loss and ringing in the ears, a study found. Reducing how often such temporary changes occur can prevent permanent damage to the ears.  Read more…

Solar Impulse 2 heads off on next leg of global journey. CBC

A solar-powered airplane that landed in Arizona last week is headed to Oklahoma on the latest leg of its around-the-world journey.

The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 took off from Phoenix Goodyear Airport about 3 a.m. local time Thursday with a destination of Tulsa International Airport.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Quebec teen uses stars to locate possible lost Mayan city in Mexican jungle. CBC

A 15-year-old boy from Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Que., has discovered what could be the ruins of a lost 4,600-year-old city in Mexico by comparing ancient star charts and the positions of known Mayan ruins.

William Gadoury, a Grade 10 student at Académie Antoine-Manseau in Joliette, became interested in Mayan civilization in 2012 and wanted to understand how the Mayans chose where to build their cities.  Read more…

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