SciNews, Thursday, October 27, 2016

Scientists watch bacteria resist killer drugs; does IQ matter?; turning CO2 into ethanol; dilemma of driverless cars in emergencies; eight people in space right now; secrets in cosmic dust – 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

Scientists watch germs evolve into superbugs. Science News for Students

Germs are everywhere. Fortunately, most pose no risks to people. And those that do cause disease usually can be killed with antibiotic drugs. Sometimes, however, harmful bacteria evolve ways to “laugh at” antibiotics — survive as if the poisons were not even there. This so-called drug resistance make infections hard, if not impossible, to treat. How bacteria learn to resist killer drugs normally is invisible. But scientists have just unveiled a new tool that lets them watch it happen, right before their eyes.  Read more…

What is IQ — and how much does it matter? Science News for Students

Earlier this year, 11-year-old Kashmea Wahi of London, England scored 162 on an IQ test. That’s a perfect score. The results were published by Mensa, a group for highly intelligent people. Wahi is the youngest person ever to get a perfect score on that particular test.

Does her high score mean she will go on to do great things — like Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein, two of the world’s greatest scientists? Maybe. But maybe not.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol.  Popular Mechanics

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their findings were published in the journal Chemistry Select.

The researchers were attempting to find a series of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel, when they realized the first step in their process managed to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could in turn be used to power generators and vehicles.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Moral dilemma could limit appeal of driverless cars. Science News for Students

Self-driving cars are just around the corner. Such vehicles will make getting from one place to another safer and less stressful. They also could cut down on traffic, reduce pollution and limit accidents. But how should driverless cars handle emergencies? People disagree on the answer. And that might put the brakes on this technology, a new study concludes.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

‘Hello, Future’: 2 spacecraft, a rocket and a probe blasted off to space.  CBC

Space usually seems infinitely vast, but it’s feeling a little crowded these days — two different crewed missions and two uncrewed missions have just blasted off for their various projects exploring the cosmos.

In total, there are eight people in space: three at the International Space Station, another three on their way, and another two just made it to China’s orbiting station.  Read more…

A trail of cosmic dust may lead to alien life. Science News for Students

The vast space between the planets, moons and stars hold trillions of specks of dust. These grains are few and far between. And they are too small to see with the naked eye. But they are fast. They shoot through space as quickly as 400 kilometers (250 miles) per second. That’s hundreds of times faster than a bullet. Importantly, they hold lots of information about places far, far away. Read more…

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