A virus may explains the deaths of millions of starfish along the Pacific Coast of North America. The deaths affect 20 species. Some of the stricken animals appear to melt into puddles of slime.
Soot levels in stations for New York City’s electric subway trains exceed the levels outdoors, a new study finds. The underground source of this black carbon: maintenance trains that share the tracks with subway trains. Breathing soot can aggravate asthma and other lung disease.
Most people think that air pollution poses the biggest risk to our lungs. In fact, pollution hits the brain too, sometimes by traveling a direct route — through our noses. These tiny pollutants can harm IQ and more.
Classroom questions for Nano Air Pollutants Strike a Blow to the Brain
Illegal drugs called “bath salts” can reduce communications among different brain regions. New research, done in rats, may explain the violent and unpredictable behavior seen in some people using these drugs.
Menthol’s effects on the brain may make tobacco more addicting. In contrast, foul odors might help smokers quit. Two new studies show how.
Stars form from clouds of hydrogen and other gases. Astronomers have found the light from newborn stars can drive off that gas. That action can starve a galaxy of the ingredients needed to make more stars.
The arrangement of major muscles in a duck-billed dinosaur’s legs would have helped them outrun predators such as T. rex, a new analysis suggests.
New analyses of insects and mammals trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits point to climate surprises during the last ice age.
Classroom questions for Tar pit clues provide ice age news.
Discarded food wastes can turn city spaces into food courts for disease-carrying rats and pigeons. But a new study shows tiny cleanup crews — especially pavement ants — are doing their best to eliminate such wastes. This, in turn, makes cities less attractive to bigger pests.
Climate change has made winters a little bit warmer. Many bird species are now wintering a lot farther north than they did a few decades ago, a new study finds.
Magnets in sports helmets could repel players’ heads as they move toward a collision. This should reduce the risk of the hard hits that lead to concussions.
A half-century search for samples of Earth’s most abundant mineral has ended. This stuff forms only deep in the rocky layer surrounding our planet’s core. But scientists found bits of it in a meteorite that fell in 1879. And finally, this bridgmanite gets a name.
Air pollution from cars and industries can spew pollutants known as PAHs. A new study shows children have a greater risk of ADHD if their mothers inhaled a lot of PAHs while pregnant.
In 2008, an outbreak of large starfish killed off much of a coral reef. But some patches were spared. New data point to why: Mini crabs had fended off the big attackers.
Rats, birds, fish — even flies and worms — can stand in for people in laboratory testing. This allows scientists to safely evaluate harmful chemicals as well as to identify and test potential new drugs. But such tests will never be a foolproof gauge of effects in people.
Classroom questions for Why animals often ‘stand in’ for people
The pollutants in cigarette smoke can linger indoors for hours. Indeed, they may pose risks long after any visible smoke is gone.
Mexican free-tailed bats can jam each other’s signals while hunting at night. The interference makes snagging an insect supper even more competitive for the flying mammals.