SciNews, Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thanks to humans, larger marine animals likely to go extinct; keeping TV science honest; controlled “firenadoes” could be put to good use; science hasn’t played a big part in 2016 presidential election; colour vision might work differently than previously thought; season’s first harvest moon – 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

Larger marine animals more likely to go extinct, and humans probably to blame, says study. CBC

Scientists from Stanford University in California studied fossil records for almost 2,500 extinct and modern marine animals. They wanted to put the modern extinction threat into perspective with the past five distinct mass extinction events over the past 550 million years.

What they found is the modern-day threat, due to factors like ocean acidification and warming, is greater for larger animals than smaller ones.  Read more…

Cool Jobs: Keeping TV science honest. Science News for Students

It takes a lot to gross out Donna Cline. As the science advisor for the Fox TV show Bones, she’s used to seeing real-looking mutilated corpses. But when live worms emerged from a fake intestine in an autopsy scene, she almost lost her lunch. “I’m okay with decomposing bodies — I’ve seen them for real. But I don’t like worms,” she confesses.  Read more…

Lab creates new, unexpected type of ‘firenadoes’. Science News for Students

Researchers studying large swirls of fire in the lab have unexpectedly stumbled upon something new. It’s a small, blue, fiery vortex. This tiny tornado of flame burns incredibly hot and produces very little soot. If these fires can be created reliably — and controlled — they might offer a range of benefits. For instance, they might clean up oil spills in the water. And someday, they might even play a big part in clean combustion of fuel in devices such as furnaces or hot water heaters.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

See where Clinton and Trump stand on science. Science News

Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Color vision strategy defies textbook picture.  Science News

Color vision may actually work like a colorized version of a black-and-white movie, a new study suggests.

Cone cells, which sense red, green or blue light, detect white more often than colors, researchers report September 14 in Science Advances. The textbook-rewriting discovery could change scientists’ thinking about how color vision works.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Harvest or super-harvest moon? Astronomers debate Friday’s lunar event. CBC

It’s a lunar phenomenon that Neil Young sang about and Native people took as a sign their corn was ready.

On Friday, we’ll get a peek at the season’s first harvest moon. In fact, it’s being called a “super” harvest moon by some, but not without controversy.  Read more…

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