SciNews, Thursday, November 3, 2016


Human gene editing; the arrival of HIV; effects of air pollution; heading a soccer ball and the brain; science when the Cubs last won the World Series; earthquake stopped by volcano – 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

Expert panel approves human gene editing. Science News for Students

Recently, scientists have been using chemical “scissors” to edit, or change, the DNA in living organisms. This swapping out of parts of DNA could replace faulty genes. In theory, it also might make it possible to create designer babies that are smarter or better-looking than other individuals. But some people have questioned whether such tinkering with human cells would be like playing god. Many people also worry that editing isn’t safe.  Read more…

We Now Know When HIV Arrived in the U.S. Discover

When healthy young gay men began dying of a rash of rare diseases in 1981, it sparked a panic that soon spread beyond the gay community.

The underlying cause would soon be identified as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, and the AIDS crisis was underway. While 1981 marked the first time that AIDS entered the national consciousness, it had been circulating beneath the radar for some time. By the time it was “discovered,” thousands of people had likely already been infected, creating a pandemic just waiting to emerge.  Read more…

Chemistry

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World’s largest study shows effects of long-term exposure to air pollution and traffic noise on blood pressure. Science Daily

Long-term exposure to air pollution is linked to a greater incidence of high blood pressure, according to the largest study to investigate the effects of both air pollution and traffic noise by following over 41,000 people in five different countries for five to nine years.  Read more…

Physics

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Heading a soccer ball causes instant changes to the brain. Science Daily

Researchers have explored the true impact of heading a soccer ball, identifying small but significant changes in brain function immediately after routine heading practice.  Read more…

A world without DNA and black holes: The state of science the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Science Mag

Science fans, hell is freezing over. The Chicago Cubs are playing the Cleveland Indians for the Major League Baseball championship in the so-called World Series. Long known as lovable losers, the Cubs, who play in the biggest city in Illinois, haven’t made it to the series since the end of World War II, and they haven’t won it since 1908. That’s a long time, for sports fans—and for science.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

There’s a new way to stop an earthquake: put a volcano in its path. Science News

A titanic volcano stopped a mega-sized earthquake in its tracks.

In April, pent-up stress along the Futagawa-Hinagu Fault Zone in Japan began to unleash a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. The rupture traveled about 30 kilometers along the fault until it reached Mount Aso, one of Earth’s largest active volcanoes. That’s where the quake met its demise, geophysicist Aiming Lin of Kyoto University in Japan and colleagues report online October 20 in Science. The quake moved across the volcano’s caldronlike crater and abruptly stopped, the researchers found.  Read more…

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