SciNews, Sunday, November 20, 2016

Whale retirement home; countless microbes in sand; Parkinson’s may get its start in gut; Venus’ greenhouse effect; supersolids; oldest woman in space – 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

World’s 1st captive whale retirement home could be in Nova Scotia or B.C. CBC

A U.S.-based non-profit group is looking to build the world’s first retirement facility for captive whales and dolphins — and members are eyeing Nova Scotia or B.C. waters as the possible location for the sanctuary.  Read more…

Beaches can be a germy playground. Science News for Students

Grab a handful of sand on your next visit to the beach. Feel the jagged edges of grains and the sticky moisture they leave behind on your skin. Countless unseen microbes — bacteria and algae — live in that sand.

Yet the beach is a tough place to call home, even for plants, animals, bacteria and other organisms that evolved to live there. The microbes that live in beach sand must endure pounding surf, harsh sunlight, changing tides, howling winds, violent storms and large swings in temperature and moisture — sometimes even freezing winters. It’s not any easy life for many.  Read more…

Protein linked to Parkinson’s travels from gut to brain. Science News

Over the course of months, clumps of a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease can travel from the gut into the brains of mice, scientists have found.

The results, reported November 14 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, suggest that in some cases, Parkinson’s may get its start in the gut. That’s an intriguing concept, says neuroscientist John Cryan of the University College Cork in Ireland. The new study “shows how important gut health can be for brain health and behavior.”  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Rare molecule on Venus may help explain planet’s weather. CBC

Venus has been called a planet with a runaway greenhouse effect. Astronomers haven’t been able to understand the driving mechanism behind the process, but new research may change that.

Venus has the ability to trap a lot of heat. Its thick clouds push temperatures to a sweltering 470 C, making it the hottest planet in our solar system.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Supersolids produced in exotic state of quantum matter. Science News

A mind-bogglingly strange state of matter may have finally made its appearance. Two teams of scientists report the creation of supersolids, which are both liquid and solid at the same time. Supersolids have a crystalline structure like a solid, but can simultaneously flow like a superfluid, a liquid that flows without friction.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to become oldest woman in space. CBC

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is on the verge of becoming the oldest woman in space, adding to her long list of barrier-breaking records.

Whitson will be 56 when she rockets off the planet Thursday. She’ll celebrate her 57th birthday in February on the International Space Station.  Read more…

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