Latest Science News Articles not published in the print magazine.
Updated: 3 hours 38 min ago
Here’s another reason to eat broccoli and related veggies: They protect the body’s cells from killer radiation — at least in rats.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1) What is special about blood that would make it an attractive source of nutrition for some animals?2) Would you expect a blood-sucking animal to be more active during the day or night? Explain your answer.During reading:1) What is a proboscis and what does it do?2) Provide several examples of bloodsucking animals.3) Of the 16 moths Jennifer Zaspel’s team collected, what percentage drank blood?4) What are sensilla?5) What difference appears to explain why some Calyptra thalictri moths are bloodsuckers while others stick to fruit?6) What advantage would there be in evolving to drink blood?7) How do vampire spiders indirectly obtain a meal of blood?8) What separate functions do a vampire spider’s eyes play?
Forget Count Dracula or Twilight’s Edward and Bella. Many creatures have a true thirst for blood, and here’s why.
A Maryland biologist probes the unusual dining behaviors of a blood-thirsty bat.
SCIENCEBefore reading: 1. Define cheating. 2. What are some of the dangers of misusing — or abusing — medicines?During reading:1. What is a psychologist?2. What are some of the symptoms of ADHD?3. Is ADHD common among teens? Support your answer with evidence gleaned from the story.4. Explain the effect of stimulant medicines. How is that effect different in children?5. Why would children or their parents want a prescription for an ADHD drug, even if the drug were not medically necessary?6. What are some of the dangers associated with ADHD medications?7. How do amphetamines affect the body?8. What is a “crash?”
The misuse of these ADHD medicines not only constitutes cheating, but they can become addictive and can mess with your head.
Researchers find a much less yucky way to treat people with a common killer infection.
Safer than DEET, the new compounds could lead to insect repellents that would be affordable even in poor regions where mosquitoes carry malaria.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. Summer can mean hot weather. List some ways you can either a) cool off, or b) avoid that heat in the first place. Would any of these methods work on a much larger scale, either to cool Earth or keep our planet from warming more?During reading:1. Define geoengineering.2. How has Earth’s atmosphere changed since 1750?3. Explain what has caused carbon dioxide levels to increase since the Industrial Revolution.4. How is carbon dioxide similar to the glass used in greenhouses?5. What are the two main approaches to geoengineering?
The big backup plan: Scientists reluctantly consider altering Earth’s climate to head off the catastrophic effects of global warming.
What’s Mars made of? Volcanic rock, glassy particles and a poisonous rocket-fuel chemical, among other things. That’s the latest from tests by NASA’s Curiosity rover.
How sure are scientists that people are to blame for global warming? “Extremely likely,” says an international panel of climate change researchers in a new report.
The achievements behind the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry relied on a lot of complex physics. But the computer techniques pioneered by these three men are now saving chemists a lot of work.
Scared? A nap spent inhaling the proper smell might relieve those fears, a study finds.
Vitamin E is among cheap materials that can avoid the zap of static electricity — a discharge that risks destroying sensitive electronic circuitry.
A trio of scientists who studied how cells transport materials — think of buses moving kids to and from school — will share a 2013 Nobel Prize.
The award honors physicists who predicted the Higgs field — and the famous particle that goes with it.
Studies of humans’ nearest living relatives — chimps and bonobos — reveal similarities and differences among them and us.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. What other animal species alive today are humans most closely related to? If you don’t know, make an educated guess.2. Explain what, if anything, you know about bonobos.During reading:1. What two animals species are humans’ nearest living relatives? Give a few examples of similarities among these species, and a few examples of how the species differ.2. How old is the common ape ancestor of humans, chimps and bonobos?3. What is the biggest difference scientists have noted between chimps and bonobos? Do you think their tendency to be peaceful vs. violent has anything to do with whether males or females dominate? Explain your answer.4. Explain why Wobber believes chimps have become more aggressive than bonobos.5. What did Wobber’s experiments with food sharing among chimps and bonobos uncover? At what age do differences in sharing behavior start to emerge in each species?
The gut of mammals (including people) is awash in germs. Some of those microbes — the right ones — might help prevent obesity, a mouse study finds. But only if the animals also eat right.