SciNews, Sunday, June 12, 2016

Brain’s reward circuit changed by long-term marijuana use; grass carp found in St. Lawrence River; Crick revolutionized biology; Ontario’s new climate change plan; the power of electric eels; why the hairstreak butterfly is green; asteroid explodes over Arizona – 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

Long-term marijuana use changes brain’s reward circuit. Science News

Researchers have demonstrated that long-term marijuana users had more activity in the brain’s reward processes when presented with cannabis cues than with natural reward cues.  Read more…

Why the discovery of a grass carp in the St. Lawrence River concerns experts. CBC

Biologists are concerned about the discovery of an invasive grass carp in the St. Lawrence River, and are now struggling to determine its origins. Last month, two fishermen in Quebec’s Lanaudière region reeled in the 29-kilogram specimen.  Read more…

Francis Crick’s good luck revolutionized biology. Science News

When Francis Crick was 31, he decided he needed to change his luck. As a graduate student in physics during World War II, his research hadn’t gone so well; his experiment was demolished by a bomb. To beat the war, he joined it, working on naval warfare mines for the British Admiralty.  Read more…


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Ontario’s climate change plan keeps natural gas, but offers home and car incentives.  CBC

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released details this morning about her government’s controversial plan to combat climate change and cut greenhouse gases, saying the plan will not outlaw the use of natural gas, a staple in home heating.   Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Electric eels can kill horses, new research confirms. CBC

Experiments at Vanderbilt University have proven a 200-year-old observation that electric eels can leap out of water and shock animals to death, a claim originally made by 19th century biologist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.  Read more…

Butterfly-inspired nanostructures can sort light. Science News

The green hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys rubi) gets its blue-green hue from complex nanoscale structures on its wings. The structures, called gyroids, are repeating patterns of spiral-shaped curls. Light waves bouncing off the patterned surface interfere with one another, amplifying green colors while washing out other shades.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Asteroid explosion lights up early-morning sky over Arizona. CBC

An overnight asteroid explosion over Arizona lit up the sky so brightly that it appeared as if it were daylight for a short time.

Videos show the sky temporarily illuminated by a blast of light just before 4 a.m. MT Thursday. The light from the explosion was 10 times the brighter than a full moon, according to SpaceWeatherNews.  Read more…

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