Why don’t poisonous animals poison themselves? – TED Ed by Rebecca D. Tarvin

Thousands of animal species use toxic chemicals to defend themselves from predators. Snakes have blood clotting compounds in their fangs, the bombardier beetle has corrosive liquid in its abdomen and jellyfish have venomous, harpoon-like structures in their tentacles. But how do these animals survive their own poisons? Continue reading

How do vaccines work? – TED-Ed

The first ever vaccine was created when Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist, successfully injected small amounts of a cowpox virus into a young boy to protect him from the related (and deadly) smallpox virus. But how does this seemingly counterintuitive process work? Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut details the science behind vaccines. Continue reading

How we look kilometers below the Antarctic ice sheet

Antarctica is a vast and dynamic place, but radar technologies — from World War II-era film to state-of-the-art miniaturized sensors — are enabling scientists to observe and understand changes beneath the continent’s ice in unprecedented detail. Join radio glaciologist Dustin Schroeder on a flight high above Antarctica and see how ice-penetrating radar is helping us learn about future sea level rise — and what the melting ice will mean for us all.

The threat of invasive species – TED Talks, Jennifer Klos

Massive vines that blanket the southern United States, climbing high as they uproot trees and swallow buildings. A ravenous snake that is capable of devouring an alligator. Rabbit populations that eat themselves into starvation. These aren’t horror movie concepts – they’re real stories. But how could such situations exist in nature? Continue reading

Learning by Accident: Spotty Evidence!

sudan IV, oil and water

sudan IV, oil and water

Curriculum Connection: High-school Biology

I was preparing Sudan IV for a nutrient lab for grade 11 SBI3C biology. In order to use the chemical as an indicator for fats and oils, I needed to mix the Sudan IV powder with ethanol. I followed proper safety precautions (gloves, goggles, fume hood). Somehow, a small amount of the Sudan IV powder got on my hand. I promptly washed my hands with soap and water, and checked the MSDS which advised me to flush the exposed area with water. After flushing, my hand appeared to be clean. Continue reading

In the search for life beyond Earth, moons may be the best candidates | CBC News

We only know of one planet in our universe that harbours life: Earth. So it’s logical that humanity has focused its search for life beyond our world on planetary bodies. But a new study suggests that we may be leaving out a larger chunk of the cosmos: moons. Continue reading