SciNews, Sunday, October 2, 2016


RNA and DNA evolved simultaneously; battle over CDC tests; girls’ bones benefit from corn fibre; Canada not showing great reductions in greenhouse emissions; water droplets misbehaving; Samsung washers can explode if overloaded; print-on-demand bones; plans to get humans to Mars within 10 years – 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

News from the primordial world. Science Daily

A new study offers a twist on a popular theory for how life on Earth began about four billion years ago. The study questions the “RNA world” hypothesis, a theory for how RNA molecules evolved to create proteins and DNA. Instead, the new research offers evidence for a world where RNA and DNA evolved simultaneously.  Read more…

Documents reveal intense battle over CDC Zika tests. Science/AAAS

A protracted battle between a Zika expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and his superiors over tests for the virus came to light yesterday.

The fracas centers on allegations by CDC’s Robert Lanciotti, chief of the Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory activity for mosquito-spread viruses in Fort Collins, Colorado. He alleges that the agency’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) discounted his research in April and created “a public health threat” by relying on a less dependable human test for the Zika virus.  Read more…

Girls take note: Corn fiber can strengthen bones. Science News for Students

Many older women suffer hip fractures, from which they may never fully recover. Thin and brittle bones can put them at risk for such breaks. And that risk may trace all of the way back to childhood. That’s when much of a woman’s bone is built up. Not surprisingly, girls are often told to consume plenty of milk and other sources of bone-building calcium. Now a study finds that teens and women could boost the value of that calcium even more by also eating foods rich in soluble corn fiber.  Read more…

Chemistry

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Canada needs a national price on carbon to meet emissions target: report.  CBC

Days before Environment Minister Catherine McKenna meets with her provincial counterparts, a leading environmental group has released a report detailing how the provinces are doing and what they need to improve upon to meet their emissions targets.

The report, titled Race to the Front, says that some provinces have made progress reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, but Canada’s emissions in 2014 were only two per cent lower than they were in 2005.  Read more…

When water droplets misbehave. Science AAAS

You might think we know all there is to know about raindrops, including how they form on windshields and windowpanes. But the physics of this process has long been a mystery. Now, a new study shows just how it happens, contradicting expectations of what a proper liquid should do.  Read more…

Physics

18685938_s from 123rf

Samsung washing machines can explode if overloaded, CPSC warns. CBC

Samsung washing machines can explode if overloaded, warns the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The consumer watchdog warned in a bulletin Thursday that some washing machines made between March 2011 and April 2016 can violently open if overloaded with heavy items such as bedding.  Read more…

Print-on-demand bone could quickly mend major injuries. Science/AAAS

If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine. Researchers have created what they call “hyperelastic bone” that can be manufactured on demand and works almost as well as the real thing, at least in monkeys and rats. Though not ready to be implanted in humans, bioengineers are optimistic that the material could be a much-needed leap forward in quickly mending injuries ranging from bones wracked by cancer to broken skulls.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Elon Musk reveals plan to get humans to Mars within 10 years. CBC

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk updated the world on his ambitious plans to get humans to Mars within the next 10 years, something he said would insure the human race against some kind of doomsday event, which he said is likely inevitable at some point in the distant future.  Read more…

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