Roach milk, Alzheimer’s drug, antibacterial soaps and hoverboards – what will they think of next! These are 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.
Got milk? Roach milk could be a new superfood. Science News for Students
Many people don’t consider their breakfast complete without a glass of milk. Right now, cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep provide most of the world’s milk. But soon, people could be sipping milk from cockroaches. At least, that’s what an international group of scientists is proposing.
That’s not as crazy as it might sound. New research shows this “milk” is super-nutritious. What’s more, some scientists have already begun referring to many insects as mini-livestock.
New Alzheimer’s drug shows promise in small trial. Science News
An experimental drug swept sticky plaques from the brains of a small number of people with Alzheimer’s disease over the course of a year. And preliminary results hint that this cleanup may have staved off mental decline.
News about the new drug, an antibody called aducanumab, led to excitement as it trickled out of recent scientific meetings. A paper published online August 31 in Nature offers a more comprehensive look at the drug’s effects.
FDA bans chemicals in antibacterial soaps. Science News
As of today, antibacterial soaps have a short shelf life. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned soap products containing 19 active ingredients, including the notorious chemical triclosan, marketed as antiseptics.
Inventor who starred in viral CBC hoverboard video aims higher. CBC
Omni Hoverboards is still the same cluttered hodgepodge of electronic equipment, dirty dishes, and science experiments as it was one year ago. The warehouse in old Montreal is where inventor Alexandru Duru made his dream come true.
His dream was to fly — to really fly. What came out of his head was a cross between Michael J. Fox’s ride in Back to the Future, and the flying machine the Goblin wreaked havoc on in Spider-Man.
Squishy ‘Octobot’ may point to future of robotics. CBC
When you think of a robot, you probably imagine a metallic humanoid — and indeed, most robots today have hard, rigid bodies made of metal and plastic.
But the robots of the future may actually be a bit more soft and squishy.
CBC Radio technology columnist Dan Misener looks at the softer, more flexible robot nicknamed the “Octobot.”
Earth and Space Science
Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor may have Earth-like planet. Science News for Students
It’s a world at least 1.3 times as massive as Earth that orbits a dim star 4.2 light-years away. That star, alled Proxima Centauri, is the one closest to our sun. Its newly discovered planet whips around its star so fast that each year on that world lasts a mere 11.2 days. That reflects the fact that this planet is so close to its sun — just 5 percent as far as Earth is from our own sun. Yet that other world is at just the right distance from its star for any liquid water to still be able to flow on its surface.
Melting Arctic permafrost releasing ancient carbon, study confirms. Globe and Mail
Researchers have confirmed the widespread release of ancient carbon from melting Arctic permafrost in what could be the lit fuse on a climate-change bomb.
A paper published this week in Nature Geoscience has released the first measurements of greenhouse gases from permafrost under Arctic lakes. But while the study confirms those gases locked away in ice for thousands of years are seeping free, it concludes the amounts are not yet large.