SciNews, Sunday, October 9, 2016


Limit to human life span; obesity rate for professional baseball players out of park; Nobel Prize for deducing cell’s recycling system; House of Commons endorsing Paris agreement; many foods declare themselves trans fat free; Samsung phone catches fire; Rosetta’s mission ends spectacularly – 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

How long can people live? New study suggests there’s a limit. CBC

New research suggests there may be a limit to the human life span — one that’s hard to extend without some sort of breakthrough that fixes all age-related problems.

The record for the world’s oldest person is 122 years and the odds of shattering that record are slim, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Read more…

Heavy hitters: Obesity rate soars among professional baseball players. Science Daily

Major League Baseball players have become overwhelmingly overweight and obese during the last quarter century, say health researchers. They found that the athletes’ weight held steady for over 100 years, with the majority of them weighing in at what is considered “normal,” — i.e., with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. However, around 1991 the average player’s BMI began to rise, and over the last 25 years nearly 80 percent of players fall into the overweight or obese category with a BMI above 25. Read more…

Scientist who deduced secret of cell’s recycling system wins Nobel Prize. Globe and Mail

A Japanese researcher whose decades of work in an underappreciated branch of cell biology allowed him to uncover one of life’s most fundamental processes has won this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology was recognized for his pioneering role in deducing the mechanisms behind autophagy – the way in which living cells scavenge and repurpose their own components. Read more…

Chemistry

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MPs vote 207 to 81 to back Paris climate change agreement. CBC

The House of Commons voted 207 to 81 to endorse the Paris agreement on climate change tonight, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined a national carbon price plan Monday that will begin in 2018. Read more…

Why trans fats became a food villain. Science News for Students

On a recent road trip, we stopped at a gas station to fill up our truck’s tank and pick up snacks. Inside the dingy, stale-smelling roadside store, I picked up a packet of thick cookies. The package proclaimed “zero grams trans fat!” Throughout the shop, more products echoed the first. “No trans fats here!” “Now trans fat free!” It’s the same story in stores across the United States. Many baked goods and prepared foods, from doughnuts to burritos, now declare themselves “trans fat free.” Read more…

Physics

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Samsung phone catches fire on Southwest plane. CBC

A Southwest Airlines flight in Louisville, Ky., bound for Baltimore was grounded on the tarmac Wednesday morning after a passenger’s Samsung smartphone caught fire and filled the cabin with smoke.

Capt. Kevin Fletcher, of Louisville fire department’s arson unit, said a Samsung smartphone overheated Wednesday morning and began to smoke, which led Southwest Airlines to evacuate the plane before it departed for Baltimore. Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Rosetta comet mission ends with one-way thrill ride to surface. Globe and Mail

Two years after becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a comet and dispatch a probe to its dusty surface, Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft has ended its mission with a spectacular final plunge.

The spacecraft released an unprecedented series of snapshots during its descent to a mysteriously pitted region of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko as scientists and engineers looked on from the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Read more…

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