SciNews, Thursday, December 1, 2016

Youth duped by information online; dogs remember more than you think; fluoridation reduces cavities; nylon fibres flex like muscles; teen studied rocket nozzles; losing geologic information every day – 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

Students have trouble judging the credibility of information online, researchers find. Science Daily

Education scholars say youth are duped by sponsored content and don’t always recognize political bias of social messages.  Read more…

Your dog remembers more than you think. ScienceMag

At last, scientists may have an answer to a question every dog owner asks: Does your pet remember the things you do together? For people, at least, the ability to consciously recall personal experiences and events is thought to be linked to self-awareness. It shapes how we think about the past—and how we predict the future. Now, a new study suggests that dogs also have this type of memory, indicating that the talent may be more common in other animals than previously recognized.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

50 years ago, fluoridation was promoted as a bone protector.  Science News

Fluoridation lessens disease in adults — Antifluoridationists … not only “have little concern for the preservation of children’s teeth,” but “are contributing to the ill health of all of us, young and old alike,” [said] Dr. D. Mark Hegsted, professor of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health.… [An] adequate intake of fluoride can keep bones healthy and prevent soft tissues from calcifying.  Read more…

Nylon fibers made to flex like muscles. Science Daily

Engineers have found a simple and inexpensive new approach to creating bending artificial muscle fibers. Artificial muscles — materials that contract and expand somewhat like muscle fibers do — can have many applications, from robotics to components in the automobile and aviation industries.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

This teen researched rocket nozzles and won big. Student Science

Studying rockets took Eleanor Sigrest to new heights in October during the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS middle school STEM competition.

Inspired by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explosion, Eleanor, 13, experimented with cold gas rocket nozzles to contribute to the engineering knowledge on the subject. Small versions of cold gas rockets help astronauts move around in space when they venture outside their craft. Larger versions control the Falcon 9’s orientation and help stabilize it as it lands. Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

‘Atlas of the Underworld’ reveals oceans and mountains lost to Earth’s history. ScienceMag

Earth has a bad habit of erasing its own history.

At intersections of tectonic plates worldwide, slabs of ocean crust dive into the mantle, part of the continuous cycle that not only drives the continents’ drift, but also fuels the volcanism that builds up island chains like Japan and mountains like the Andes. The disappearance of these slabs, called subduction, makes it difficult to reconstruct oceans as they existed hundreds of millions of years ago, as well as the mountains flanking them. “Every day, we’re losing geologic information from the face of the Earth,” says Jonny Wu, a geologist at the University of Houston in Texas. “It’s like losing pieces of broken glass as you’re trying to put it together again.”  Read more…

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