Debunking Common Shark Misconceptions

by Elim Eyobed, age 10

There is a common misconception among surfers in which they think that since there are dolphins swimming then there must be no sharks around the area. An expert on sharks at the University of San Diego, Andrew Nosal says, “This is a myth.”

Additionally, another shark expert at Florida Atlantic University, Stephen Kajiura, agrees with Nosal’s claim. He states, “If anything it’s the opposite….If you see dolphins, more often than not, there might be sharks in that same area.” Since these aquatic creatures are most likely to be in close contact with one another, it could hint at the idea that they are neutral to each other.

Sharks and dolphins are carnivores, meaning that both parties usually hunt in similar areas. The misconception originates from the false idea that sharks and dolphins are natural enemies, hence the idea that they might not be in nearby territories. Although dolphins and sharks usually ignore each other, dolphins will occasionally attack sharks whenever they feel threatened. [read more]

New Study Suggests Cannabis May Cause
Long Term Changes to Teen Brains

by Kelly Vazquez, age 16

Since the late 1930s, cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana, has been a topic of great debate in the United States. Currently, many states have legalized marijuana or decriminalized it for recreational and medical use. Despite the growing movement to legalize recreational use for adults, Matthew Albaugh, professor at University of Vermont, explains that it can still be harmful for young users. He stated,“Brain areas that change the most during adolescence may be especially vulnerable to cannabis exposure.” There have been significant studies that indicate cannabis having brain altering effects on humans.

Albaugh and his team conducted a study with 799 14-year-olds throughout four European countries: Germany, France, Ireland, and England. The kids received MRI scans and five years later, the study was repeated with the same kids. During the second MRI, 46% of them said they had tried cannabis; approximately 75% said they had used the substance 10 or more times. The study showed that there was quite a contrast between the prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for decisions, impulses, and focus) of those who used cannabis and those who didn’t. The prefrontal cortex had thinned faster for those who used cannabis than those who didn’t, even more so for those who used it frequently. These results have been somewhat inconsistent since researchers can’t experiment with real teenagers. However, results do add to the existing data that supports the claim that cannabis affects the brain's development. [read more]

How Do Plants Defend Themselves?

by Ruben Beceril Gonzalez, age 9

Although plants are seen as simple organisms that grow from the ground, they are very much alive and still require methods of defending themselves. Animals are able to run away or defend themselves with various physical attributes such as their claws, teeth, poison, and sometimes spikes. Plants, however, can't run away. They usually have to stay still and be consumed, but some plants can defend themselves with their special abilities and characteristics.

Plants use a variety of techniques to protect themselves from mammals, birds, and insects. One defense mechanism that various plants have is spiky leaves. For example, tropical plants known as screw pines have rows of sharp leaves running down their edges and midribs. Animals that run into these plants can get impaled and seriously hurt.

Similar to spiky leaves, some plants have thorns and spines for protection. One of these plants is the cactus. These plants live in hot and dry places and their spines act as a defense from predators that try to consume their water. Another plant well known for its defense is the rose. Roses have flexible stems with thorns that can be straight or curved. Predators can get easily trapped in the spiky thorns. [read more]

Humans Have Deliberately Shaped the Genetics of Living Things for Thousands of Years

by Jordan Banks, age 14

Did you know that many different types of animals and the food you eat are affected by artificial selection? The meat you consume and maybe even your household pet are the products of centuries or even millennia artificial selection.

The definition of artificial selection is 'breeding to produce desired characteristics in animal or plant offspring.' Natural selection, in contrast, is when an organism independently adapts to their environment to survive. Humans cause artificial selection when they mold the organisms to what people desire.

Many animals are a product of artificial selection. For example, dogs go through artificial selection by dog breeding. The dog originally comes from the wolf, but with thousands of years of breeding we have many different types of dogs. Today we have dogs such as goldendoodles and french bulldogs, both of which were artificially selected. [read more]

Tectonic Plates: They Rock!

by Dani Garduno, age 10

Have you heard about tectonic plates? Tectonic plates are large separate pieces of the sea floor. Seismologists have recently learned something new about tectonic plates. Seismologists thought that the tectonic plates drifted apart naturally. Now, seismologists discovered rock rising; We now know why we were drifting.

When tectonic plates move together, they sometimes collide and cause cracks in the seafloor, exposing lava. Over time, this lava is forced up to the surface as magma by the Earth’s mantle. Magma rises to the surface and is cooled down by water, eventually becoming rock. This process is called rock rising. Rock rising may be the cause of the continents to flow away from each other.

Unfortunately, because the continents are flowing away from each other, this may cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Rock rising may happen afterwards. It happens when the tectonic plates collide with each other. After the plates have calmed down, they separate from each other. There is a crack that appears and lava spits out of the crack. This is what causes natural eruptions. These eruptions will cause shock waves that will ricochet around the world. [read more]

World's Oldest Wild Bird Still Hatching Eggs at 70

by Elim Eyobed, age 10

Have you ever wondered how old birds can live? There is one special bird, Wisdom, who has lived for 70 years! She is the oldest living banded bird in her species. This is twice as long as the average Laysan Albatross bird species life expectancy. In 1956, researchers found Wisdom on Midway Atoll which is near Hawaii in the North Pacific Ocean.

After extensive research, biologists have concluded that Wisdom has laid hatched around 30 to 36 chicks so far! It’s commonly believed that birds breed in the same process as humans, but not Wisdom. Wisdom has hatched chicks every year for the past 15 years. Usually, the older a bird gets, the fewer chicks they hatch. However, since she’s so old, she outlived all of her mates. Wisdom’s most recent egg hatched in early 2021 on a piece of land in the Pacific Ocean.

Wisdom travels hundreds of thousands of miles all around the world to get away from predators and to find new mates. It’s not known if Wisdom will continue to lay eggs but up to this point, she has grown the population of her species exponentially, more than any other Laysan Albatross bird. [read more]

Velociraptor or Deinonychus? Did the Jurassic Park Movie
Get its Dinosaurs Mixed Up?

by Zale Thoronka, age 12

Did you know the movie Jurassic Park probably featured Deinonychus dinosaurs instead of Velociraptors?

The Deinonychus dinosaur was not the first raptor-like dinosaur to be found, but it is one of the largest at 10 feet long. It had three claws on each hand and four toes on each foot. There was one small toe, one extra-big toe, and one normal-sized toe, which it stood on. The fourth toe was used to kill, and it worked like the blade of a can opener. In addition, the Deinonychus had sharp, serrated teeth, long limbs, and a huge tail.

Deinonychus had a relatively large brain, so it was intelligent. It was fast and strong on its feet. Like an acrobat, it could jump very high and perhaps twist mid-air. And the Deinonychus could use its sharp claws as hooks to climb up the bodies of its prey. [read more]

Humans Have Always Marveled at the World Around Us

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 11

A natural phenomenon is something that happens on its own in the universe. It is not caused by humans. A phenomenon can be as small as a storm or as big as a comet in space.

Common phenomena that occur in space are comets and meteorites that travel near Earth. A comet is an icy solar system body that releases gases as it travels close to the sun. It can periodically be seen from Earth. A meteorite is broken bits of comets and asteroids that fall to Earth. The biggest recorded meteorite that fell into Earth was found in Namibia, South Africa in 1920, it measured nine feet long and weighed 60 tons.

Something that you might see in movies can be the northern lights or the aurora borealis. Their vari-colored bands of light can be seen across the sky in the polar region and are caused by particles from the sun reaching the Earth's magnetic field. [read more]

Archaeopteryx: The Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs

by Malaya Lawson, age 10

The fossil remains of Archaeopteryx were such an important discovery due to the species' having features of both reptile-like dinosaurs and birds. This is fascinating since it could mean the Archaeopteryxwas on an evolutionary pathway between two species. In other words, the Archaeopteryxwas a creature that best shows the transition of reptile creatures evolving to birds.

The Archaeopteryxwas small in size, it was about as big as a modern-day crow. Similar to any other bird, it was also covered in feathers. This bird-like creature could also take flight, but it's believed that it only flew in small bursts. Since the creature didn’t have a big sternum or strong muscles it wasn’t able to fly for too long in the air.

This bird could have been found in what is now known as Germany during the late Jurassic period. The Archaeopteryxfossils are now located in museums in Berlin, Germany, and the United Kingdom. What's interesting about the Archaeopteryxis that it was alive 150 million years ago. Researchers know this because the fossils have well-preserved wings, feathers, and flat sternum. Not only that, but it also had teeth and a bony tail. The fossil’s uniqueness makes it one of the most important fossils to be discovered. [read more]

Scientists Create New form of Flexible Ice

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 13

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you tried to bend an icicle? Ice is almost always a well-structured, stiff and brittle substance. Icicles have a thin and pristine feel to them that is slick and spotless. However, through recent scientific discoveries, pure ice grown in labs can transform into an elastic and bendable substance using electric voltage to make flexible ice.

Icicles, also known as crystals, contain small defects such as tiny cracks, pores or dislocated sections. In contrast, the whiskers of ice grown in labs are a fraction of the width of a normal human hair, and lack the defects of normal ice.

The process of making flexible ice was discovered by Peizhen Xu who attends the University of Zhejiang, located in China. They used a needle to insert electric voltage inside a chilled chamber causing the cold vapor to form into crystals called ice whiskers. Bending the crystal’s fibers makes the core of the crystal compress on the inside of the curve causing it to tighten up and flatten. Crystals can make up a variety of shapes such as a square, triangle, star or hexagon. The shapes in which the crystals can morph depends on the change in temperature and pressure. [read more]

Ancient Human Relative Discovered in Northern China

by Felix Berkelman, age 15

The recent discovery of the skull of an unknown human relative in northeastern China is creating a stir in the scientific community.

The skull was originally found in 1933 by a bridge construction worker in Harben, China during the Japanese occupation of the city. To keep the Japanese from finding it, the worker hid it in an abandoned well, where it remained for decades until it was retrieved by his grandson in 2018, shortly before his grandfather’s death. However, it was only recently that this important discovery became widely known. The skull is thought to be around 146,000 years old and is in exceptionally good condition.

The unusual features of the skull have left scientists debating over what species it belongs to. It is considerably larger than other humanoid skulls, suggesting that its owner was bigger and taller than the average human. It has wide nostrils for breathing in the cold and a thick brow ridge, features associated with Neanderthals. However, it also has more human-like facial features, such as a gentle curve in the brow and a rounder head shape. [read more]

The Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs Also Changed the Forest

by Dani Garduno, age 10

People are familiar with the asteroid that killed off dinosaurs; however, that asteroid also killed 75 percent of life on Earth, including many trees. The forests eventually transformed into the rainforests we see today.

Before the asteroid, there were a lot of different plant species populating the Earth. Half of the plants were conifers and ferns, while the other half were flowering trees and shrubs. When it rained, nutrients flowed out of the soil. The conifers could grow despite the lack of nutrients. These trees had the unique ability of being able to grow with very little food, which was helpful for survival. Herbivores, specifically sauropods, the largest animals ever to walk our planet, helped prevent the trees from over expanding by opening gaps in the top of the forests. Insects also lived in the forests. Some insects only ate one type of plant leaf and other insects were generalists, which meant they ate many types of plants and were able to survive after the impact.

66 million years ago, the fireball hit overnight and triggered a massive extinction event. Plants, animals, and the soil were changed into present day Colombia. Woodlands were changed into rainforests like the Amazon. It took six million years for the rich diversity to return. The woodlands were replaced by dark, moist, green trees and shrubs. Many of these types of trees are seen today. When the asteroid hit, ash from the fires fertilized the soil and grew flowering trees and shrubs. These species evolved to create canopies, which blocked sunlight from the forest floor. [read more]

Strange Sea Creatures Were the Earliest form of Vertebrate Life

by Dilma Attidekou, age 7

Did you know that the first fish were unable to bite with their jaws but rather they sucked up their prey from the mud?

Around 500 million years ago, the first fish appeared. As protection, these early fish had hard, curved plates of bone all over their bodies. They also ate differently. Some sucked their food while others were strong hunters with sharp bones in their jaws to cut up their food.

Ancient fish looked very different from fish today. Some could walk out of water. Other ancient fish look like sharks. They were spiny and had big teeth. Many types of early fish were fierce hunters. Over time, ancient fish changed to look like modern fish. [read more]

What Gave the T-Rex its Powerful Bite?

by Jules Da Costa, age 13

Scientists always knew the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T - Rex) had a powerful bite but they were unsure why. Now, new research explains the science behind why the bite had such tremendous power.

Scientists have recently gathered data about the T- Rex’s bite. They discovered that the bone-crushing bite was powered by a stiff lower jaw. The stiffness came from a small boomerang-shaped bone called the prearticular. A study presented in April 2021 shows that this bone was what gave the T- Rex its flexible lower jaw. A flexible lower jaw allowed them to open their mouth wider than most reptiles to bite larger prey. Like all reptiles, T-Rex had a joint in their lower jawbone called the intramandibular joint. Scientists have shown that with a bone spanning this intramandibular joint, the T-Rex could produce a bite force of more than six metric tons of power, which is the weight of an average delivery truck.

The scientists used 3-D scans and computer models to discover how the T-Rex bite was so powerful. One of the scientists was John Fortner. He is a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. John and his colleagues are using some advanced technologies to dig deeper for information about the T-Rex’s bite. First, they started a 3-D scan of its skull. After the scan, they used a computer model to see how the mandible would move. Finally, the scientists created two different versions of the jawbone to see how ligaments and the prearticular affected the bite strength. [read more]

New Science Shows Einstein Was Right About Gravity Waves

by Allison Torres, age 12

Gravitational waves are identifiable changes in space-time that are produced when objects move at significantly high speeds. According to NASA, gravitational waves can be made when a star explodes asymmetrically, when two big stars orbit each other, or when two black holes orbit each other and merge. For example, when objects move, they create waves, just like when you shake a stick back and forth in the water. The same physics applies when a planet or star shakes back and forth at incredibly high speeds, only instead of waves in the water, gravitational waves are created.

In his famous general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein was the first to theorize the idea of gravitational waves. Einstein explained how large objects can make changes in space-time when spiraling closer to each other, and those changes, or ripples, are what he called gravitational waves. However, he wasn’t confident in his theory, and the technology didn’t exist at the time to prove it.

It is very difficult for scientists to measure or detect these gravitational waves, because they are so small and there are few scientific instruments that can detect them. Nevertheless, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is specialized in detecting these gravitational waves. LIGO can detect if any gravitational waves are reaching our planet. LIGO has two observatories so any gravitational waves that are detected can be double-checked for accuracy. [read more]

The Brontosaurus: Not a Real Dinosaur... Until Now!

by Jazmin Becerril Gonzalez, age 13

Sauropods, some of the largest animals to ever roam the earth, were long-necked and long-tailed dinosaurs often portrayed in movies eating from the top of the trees. The Brontosaurus, also known as the “thunder lizard,” is part of the sauropod family, but until recently many thought it didn’t exist.

Othniel Charles Marsh was the paleontologist who named the Brontosaurus genus in 1879 describing it as a separate species of sauropod. In 1903 another paleontologist, Elmer Riggs, believed that the Brontosaurus was part of the same genus as the Apatosaurus which had been identified in 1877. Since the Apatosaurus study was published first, the name Brontosaurus was removed as a type of dinosaur species.

But that is not the end of the story, a recent study looked at the differences between the Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus fossils. Emanuel Tschopp, a vertebrate paleontologist at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal, concluded that the neck is where differences between the Brontosaurus and the Apatosaurus are most noticeable. The Apatosaurus has a wider, shorter neck compared to the Brontosaurus, suggesting they were from different species. [read more]

Epidemiologists: The Scientists Who Study Pandemics

by Eleanor Pleasnick, age 12

There are many illnesses in the world, such as the novel Coronavirus, which is currently fueling a global pandemic. Between 1918-1920, there was another pandemic: the Spanish flu pandemic. These are just a couple of examples of the diseases that epidemiologists study by observing these illnesses and their patterns.

According to National Geographic, epidemiologists study infectious surfaces and spread within communities, as well as injuries acquired in the workplace and as a result of crimes. Aside from studying such illnesses, epidemiologists also focus on the effects of environmental exposures to pollution and substance abuse and how they relate to people's mental and physical health. They do this so that they can figure out more about the effects of people’s surroundings on human mortality and illness.

To describe illnesses, epidemiologists explain mortality rates, prevalence, and incidence using statistics from the communities. Prevalence is the total number of current cases, incidence means the number of new cases within a certain time frame, and the mortality rate is the number of deaths overall within a community. Using measurements and calculations, epidemiologists can use the data from individual communities and apply them to the whole population. [read more]

The Dinosaur Decline Started Long Before the Asteroid Hit

by Moises A. Hernandez, age 16

About 66 million years ago, an asteroid struck the Yucatán Peninsula and caused apocalyptic ecological havoc, including tsunamis, an overheated atmosphere, darkened skies, and a cold wave. It is estimated that this event wiped away seventy-five percent of known life on Earth, including dinosaurs. But, is this the whole story?

Paleontologists are studying life of past geological periods as shown from fossil remains. This disaster, which marks the shift from the Cretaceous geological time period to the Paleogene geological time period, has been named by scientists as the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (K/Pg). To have a better understanding of this event, researchers have begun to examine the patterns of life before and after the impact, as opposed to only at the moment.

“In order to get an idea of what happened in the wake of the asteroid impact, we need solid baseline data on what rates of background extinction were like before the K/Pg took place,” said Paul Barrett, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, England. Having this baseline data would help scientists determine whether the asteroid strike was the primary cause of the extinction of so much of life on Earth or was simply the coup de gre of destructive events already underway. [read more]

Scientist Discovers New Metal-Eating Bacteria in an Unusual Place: His Sink

by Jazmin Becerril Gonzalez, age 13

Bacteria are perhaps the earliest form of life on Earth and can be found everywhere. Earlier this year, scientists accidentally discovered something pretty crazy: a metal eating bacteria that they had suspected existed for decades but were unable to identify.

Dr. Jared Leadbetter, a microbiologist at California Institute of Technology, discovered the bacteria after leaving a glass jar covered with chemicals used in other experiments to soak in tap water in his office sink. When he returned after several months, he found a dark material covering the jar. At this point, he and his team conducted experiments trying to figure out what caused this chemical reaction. They concluded that the dark material was oxidized manganese caused by newly discovered bacteria which probably exists in tap water.

What makes this bacterium so unique is that it feeds and survives off metal by converting carbon dioxide into biomass in a process called chemosynthesis. Since the bacterium is found in tap water, scientists theorize that a chemical reaction between manganese oxides and the bacterium is responsible for clogging the water system pipes with manganese. Scientists are hoping this knowledge about the chemical reaction between the manganese oxides and bacteria will help solve the problem of clogged pipes. Researchers also want to use this discovery to further understand manganese nodules, metallic balls that contain rare metals found on the seafloor. [read more]

The Unsolved Mystery of the Rarest form of Lightning

by Aissata Bah, age 10

Did you know that there is a kind of lightning called ball lightning? It does exist but it is really rare.

Ball lightning, also known as globe lightning, appears as a floating sphere with lightning coming out of it. Ball lightning ranges in color from blue to orange to yellow but is only visible for a few seconds. Sometimes it has a hissing sound and a bad odor.

People have speculated about ball lightning for centuries. One of the first times that ball lightning was sighted happened in 1638 when a “great ball of fire” flew through a church window in England, according to National Geographic. Some people think that ball lightning occurrences are hallucinations but most scientists think that it is real even if they don't know what causes it. [read more]

The Hair-Rasing Science of Static Electricity

by Camila Cruz, age 13

Have you ever rubbed a balloon against your hair, causing it to stand up? This happens because of static electricity. This type of electricity is stationary, meaning it does not flow or move.

Hair has a positive charge. So when a person rubs a balloon on their hair, negative charges transfer to the balloon from the hair, leaving it positively charged and the balloon negatively charged . Because positive and negative charges attract each other, the hair is drawn towards the balloon causing it to look like the hair is standing up.

Static electricity can be much more forceful than just making hair stand up. For example, lightning is made with static electricity. When the clouds rub against each other, they charge up, creating an enormous spark called lightning. [read more]

Last Stand of an Ice Age Species

by Gabriella Shell, age 14

Woolly mammoths are an extinct branch of the elephant family that once roamed the Ice Age landscape from from Spain to Canada. In prehistoric times, Asia was connected to North America by a natural landbridge running from what is now Russia to Alaska. And glaciers covered most of modern-day Eurasia and Canada.

Most scientists say mammoths became extinct 10,000 years ago. Nevertheless, some still believe that mammoths roam the Earth to this day, tucked away in the dense taiga, a coniferous forest, in Yakutia, Russia.

There are a few stories of these ancient beasts roaming in small groups deep in the heart of the Siberian taiga. There have even been some documentaries dedicated to finding out if the woolly mammoths really are extinct. [read more]

New Science May Improve Genetic Diversity Among Critically Endangered Cheetah Populations

by Devika Pal, age 15

In February, researchers at three institutions developed a breakthrough process to potentially conserve the cheetah population worldwide. The institutions involved in making this accomplishment possible were the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Texas.

Using in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, biologists and zoologists were able to deliver two cheetah cubs. In Vitro fertilization is the process by which the eggs of one female are fertilized by the sperm of a male, and the embryo is carried by a surrogate mother. Such a process comes as the cheetah population faces lowering numbers and the risks of inbreeding.

This accomplishment “...really opens the door to many new opportunities that can help the global cheetah population,” said Jason Ahistus, a Carnivore Curator at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. [read more]

New Study Reveals the Complexities of Early Human Migration

by Devika Pal, age 15

A study published recently in the biomedical journal Cell, paints a new picture of human history. Omer Gokcumen, a geneticist at the University at Buffalo, describes early human genetics as “almost as a spider web of interactions, rather than a tree with distinct branches.” This new way of looking at history explains how Neanderthal genes integrated into the human race throughout the years.

Neanderthals have a reputation for being unintelligent, when in fact, they were a refined species. They were skilled hunters and showed artistic abilities. Archaeologists originally found Neanderthal fossils in Europe and Eurasia from 200,000 to 40,000 years ago. The common ancestors of Neanderthals and humans left Africa around 600,000 years ago.

Dr. David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School was the first to create a Neanderthal genome. A genome shows the DNA present in a cell. The comparisons between the Neanderthal genome and that of humans have suggested that Asians and Europeans have more Neanderthal DNA than Africans do. In 2010, a study using Neanderthal fossil DNA found that humans and Neanderthals only crossed paths 60,000 years ago, after humans left Africa. This reinforced the notion that modern-day Africans have hardly any Neanderthal DNA. However, this year’s study challenged that theory. [read more]

More Recent Science Articles

When looking for life on other planets, we tend to look at exoplanets, which are planets that are orbiting a star outside of the solar system. But, there is a new theory for a new type of planet called “eyeball planets.” [read more...]
As states gradually loosen stay-at-home orders, public health officials caution that widespread testing will be critical to safely relaxing social distancing guidelines. Unfortunately, this has been difficult to achieve with the tests available at present. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that antigen tests might be “the breakthrough innovation in testing” that the public needs. [read more...]
Using new technology created by researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, a spacecraft would be able to be launched to the closest star, Alpha Centauri, which is 437 light-years away. [read more...]
Rogue waves are abnormally big, dangerous waves that can appear with little to no warning in any weather conditions. For example, the sea can be filled with waves that are 11.8-meters tall but then a rogue wave can appear and be 26-meters high, 15 meters taller than the other waves surrounding them. New research may help save lives from this rare phenomenon. [read more...]
Robins are warm-blooded creatures known for migrating south during the winter to make it easier to locate a source of food. But you might still wake up one winter morning and hear the sweet song of the robin outside your window. Wonder why? It’s because not all robins migrate during the winter. [read more...]
Ever thought that we could walk on concrete made out of gelatin? Well, a research team at the University of Colorado has come up with a new kind of concrete that is alive and can even reproduce. [read more...]
The sound of birds singing in the morning and the sight of migrating birds in the fall are familiar occurrences to us. However, according to several recent studies, bird populations in our country seem to be decreasing. [read more...]
When you see images of Earth from outer space, you don’t notice the 500,000 pieces of debris floating around in low-earth orbit. All of that debris is affecting the satellite business, threatening the future commercialization of space, and jeopardizing the growth of the space economy. [read more...]
Many ant species form symbiotic relationships with plants. Symbiotic means that both the plant and the ant benefit from being together. But, scientists are not sure how or when this relationship between plants and ants first began. [read more...]
What would you do if you went to a medical facility for a small procedure and you ended up leaving with a rare, deadly illness that has no known cure? “Nightmare Bacteria,” better known as drug resistant bacteria, infects about two million Americans annually, causing 23,000 deaths. [read more...]
Older men are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and die from the disease compared to older women. But in recent years, this has not been true for younger women, according to a new report from the National Institutes of Health. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered where information about the weather comes from? Or how meteorologists find out what to broadcast or put on your mobile device? Meteorologists use multiple tools and electronics to find out the weather for days to come. Some of these tools measure wind speeds and directions, the temperature, and the amount of rainfall. [read more...]
Technology plays a big part throughout humans’ lives, from young children to older adults. Kids are accused of being addicted to screens, but who gives them the example? Jaime Gonzales, Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Texas, shares his childhood stories and his opinions with the world. [read more...]
Voices and body language are the two most important ways penguins communicate with each other. The type of call depends on the species of penguin and the message they want to communicate. [read more...]
Although some cats don’t seem to connect with their caregivers, others do bond in some ways, according to a new study. Researchers now believe that this trait doesn’t just belong to dogs, as prior research indicated. [read more...]
Today habitat loss and degradation is the number one cause of species extinction and loss of biodiversity across the planet. In particular, habitat fragmentation – the separation of habitat landscapes into isolated sections due to natural or human causes – has dramatically impacted the composition of environments and species survival rates. Despite this, a UW study has recently shown that habitat and species recovery is possible through the process of connecting habitat fragments. [read more...]
When you think of whales, you probably imagine huge and glorious animals at sea. However, millions of years ago, whales looked more like an ordinary otter at the zoo, just bigger, and with different behavior. [read more...]
Astronomers are in shock as they have recently discovered a foreign planet that is three times bigger than Jupiter. Planet HR 5183 b has quickly earned a notorious reputation because it has a strong, elliptical orbit — so strong that if it orbited in our solar system, it would completely shift the orbits of our outermost planets. [read more...]
An international research team led by the University of Groningen has used the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio to study the development of lightning flashes and why they often strike twice. [read more...]
If you were to get bitten by the rhinoceros viper a small amount of its venom would kill you. [read more...]
Science has recently discovered how to reverse time… in quantum computers. This discovery, however, just reinforces the belief that reversing time is impossible in the natural world, largely due to the extreme manipulations required to rearrange the structure of just one particle. Besides, even if the technology were possible, there would be a near infinite amount of ways to rearrange the atoms of an object until you finally reached the desired arrangement. [read more...]
Out in the fields of thick sandhill wire grass—also called pineland threeawn—just outside of the town of Cheraw in South Carolina, a 65-year-old retired English teacher and self-taught naturalist, is America’s Turtle Whisperer. [read more...]
Death Valley is located between California and Nevada and is known to be the hottest, driest place in the world. Including its name, Death Valley is very unique compared to other national parks. One of the oddest features of this park are the sailing stones. [read more...]
Between the Southern Ocean and McMurdo Antarctic Research Station there lies the Ross Ice Shelf. During the months of December and January, the time when America sends the most supplies by boat to the research station, there is about 27 kilometers of ice in between the station, and the edge of the ice shelf. This ice can be over three meters thick. [read more...]
In 2018, the Sidewalk Labs C.E.O. Dan Doctoroff had a goal. His goal was to build the first 21st-century city, not out of steel or concrete, but out of wood. So far, it's looking pretty good. Teng Li, a mechanical engineer at the University of Maryland, works with his colleagues to create a high-performance type of wood that's as strong as steel but weighs six times less. This kind of wood is said to be able to replace the steel used for cars, airplanes, and even buildings. [read more...]
Mosquito repellent typically contains two main chemicals: DEET and picaridin. However, a recent discovery found that using bacteria is much more powerful in terms of ridding mosquitoes. [read more...]
Recent studies at Yale University indicate that drinking diet soda after defeating colon cancer can lessen chances of the cancer returning. [read more...]
Neutrinos are one of the oldest riddles in physics and astronomy. Thanks to IceCube, though, scientists learned about them. [read more...]
The way we taste food is with our taste cells that function on our tongue. Our taste cells have certain receptors that help new cells know where to go to replace old cells that have stopped working. Then our new cells will emerge where our old cells were originally. [read more...]
On the right hand of a 17-year-old boy, there is an extra finger. He controls it with his own muscles and tendons. [read more...]
A connection between modern day birds and dinosaurs has been discovered by researchers at UW-Madison. The fossil of a small, winged dinosaur called Lori is at the forefront of this discovery. [read more...]
Each year, between 12,000 and 56,000 Americans die from influenza, more commonly known as the flu, and related complications. To combat this disease, scientists have decided to take on a different approach to developing a new flu treatment. [read more...]
Former president Ronald Reagan founded national ice cream month in 1948. He recognized its “nutritious and wholesome qualities.” [read more...]
Did you know that fat is necessary to feed our brains? Fat was useful to early humans, as it fed their growing and hungry brains, as well as protected them against starvation. Now, fat is needed because we have moved from the “fat primate” to, in many cases, the “obese primate.” [read more...]
The emerald ash borer is a non-native invasive beetle from East Asia. It is infamously known for invading the precious ash trees in North America, particularly in Michigan and Wisconsin. It destroys the trees by disrupting the flow of nutrients below the bark. [read more...]
There are about 2,000 long-nosed, inquisitive-faced tree shrews that reside in Yunnan, China in the Kunming Institute of Zoology. These tree shrews are the only mammal besides humans known to consume hot chili peppers. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered if plants can die from radiations and nuclear disasters? [read more...]
While reading Plant Cycle, I came across many new words. For example, Germination, Sprout, Pollen, Reproduction, and Ovules. [read more...]
The world’s insect numbers are shrinking and threatening nature. This is causing a catastrophic change in nature’s ecosystems. The numbers are dropping so fast that it is becoming a global crisis. [read more...]
In early 2018 an unlikely visitor touched down in the Sahara Desert—a snowstorm. [read more...]
To be a black woman in the United States has always been hard. Especially during the era of segregation. During this time African Americans did not have the same rights as white people, for example, they could not drink from the same water fountain, use the same bathroom, or sit in the front of the bus. For these reasons, the story of Patricia Bath is inspiring. [read more...]
Would you say hurricanes are stronger than tropical cyclones? The answer is yes, the difference between them, is the destructive power and wind speed the hurricanes release. [read more...]
No solid evidence has been found that Airpods are harmful to ears. However US scientists did a peer reviewed study about radiation. They wanted to know if Airpods cause cancer. US scientists tried two radiation tests on rats and they gave the rats cancer on both occasions. This is the only animal that they have tried it on. We don’t know what would happen if it is tested on another animal. [read more...]
Hurricanes are similar to tornadoes, but they form over water. While the official name for these types of storms is tropical cyclones, they are also called typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they occur. They cause damage to coastal cities and can kill thousands of people, and leave thousands of others homeless. [read more...]
Instead of finding a new species of snake sliding through their habitat in Chiapas, Mexico, scientists found a new species of snake called Cenaspis Aenigma in a coral snake’s belly. [read more...]
The story of human evolution is a long and complicated one. The line towards modern humans did not simply develop in one direction, but has had many divergences. A recent discovery in the Philippines has managed to shed light on one such divergence, Homo luzonensis. [read more...]
The lake sturgeon is a fish native to Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The species’ population is declining rapidly; however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has failed to respond to growing calls for action, prompting conservation groups to file suit. [read more...]
America has had a long history of racial discrimination. Various unfair practices have been implemented into society, changing the course of success for hundreds of communities, and especially for people of color. [read more...]
If you ever want to see the birth of a star, you are not in luck because it takes “just” millions of years for them to form. [read more...]
Recent studies have shown that an insect repellent called DEET not only keeps insects away but does so by confusing their sense of smell. The repellent temporarily messes up the brain work of insects, leading to confusion in the odor receptors of an organism. As a result, insects don’t even go around their favorite smells if DEET is present. [read more...]
Imagine a future where storms, droughts, and floods are much more destructive and much more common than they are today. In this foreseeable future, the world's ecosystems have altered completely with polar bears and many other animals extinct and others migrating across the globe. Diseases exist in areas they had never been before. This future could become a reality if humans do not slow down the current global warming problem. [read more...]
Many people wonder what the term is for when water travels from a glacier to the ocean to a cloud. There is one simple answer: the water cycle. [read more...]
Mars is the fourth planet away from the sun. Mars has a thin atmosphere, which can possibly trap water and make it as thin as ice beneath the surface of Mars. There’s even a chance that Mars can have fossils of life forms. In 1984. scientists discovered there was a meteorite that landed in Antarctica and came in the form of a four pound rock which came from Mars. [read more...]
The first ever image of a black hole, taken in an international effort, has been released by the National Science Foundation. The seemingly ominous mass is located in the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy, 55 million light years away from our planet. [read more...]
Coming to Madison is a new state-of-the-art production facility for Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (FCDI). The company, formerly known as Cellular Dynamics International, was founded by James Thomson, a UW-Madison stem cell pioneer, in 2004. In 2015, Fujifilm Holdings Corp., a Japanese company, purchased and renamed Cellular Dynamics International for $307 million. [read more...]
There is now a surgical glue that is able to close wounds in 60 seconds. Methacryloyl Tropoelastin, or MeTro, is a surgical glue with “natural highly elastic proteins with light-sensitive molecules,” which allows the glue to set in 60 seconds when exposed to UV light. The UV-treatment enables the glue to construct tight bonds with the structure on the surface of the tissue. [read more...]
For centuries in human history, one of the biggest problems in health has been the race to find a cure for major life-threatening diseases like cancer. Recently, the rise of genome sequencing research has alleviated some pains of illnesses and some even suggest the field has the potential to eradicate these epidemics altogether. [read more...]
Imagine it is the year 2514. A scientist had arrived at the University of Edinburgh, unboxed a container, and grew glass vials of bacteria left by a scientist of today’s world. [read more...]
Did you know that the snow leopard is capable of killing prey three times its own size? A snow leopard is a kind of leopard that can be found throughout the mountains of Asia, Afghanistan, Russia, and many other places. [read more...]
If you have experienced or heard of a 100-year flood, you might think that there won’t be a flood like this in another 99 years, but you are wrong. [read more...]
Food takes longer to cook at altitudes higher than 3,000 feet above sea level. The key factor is the decrease in air pressure. Lower air pressure drops the boiling point of water by approximately 1-degree Fahrenheit for every 500 feet in increased elevation. [read more...]
Daily hygienic products such as deodorant, perfume, and soaps turn out to be some of the world’s biggest pollutants. Ironically, these products that enhance good smells contaminate the atmosphere at rates and levels similar to those of cars and other motor vehicles. [read more...]
Pluto’s status as a full-fledged planet was fleeting, lasting only a few decades. The planetary object was later classified as a dwarf planet in 2006. But only a few people know what a dwarf planet is, much less why the label played such a big role in Pluto’s fate. [read more...]
The Sun is a star that gives humans living on Earth light and heat so that they can survive. Without the sun, there would be no life and everything would be cold and dark. [read more...]
When you hear about an asteroid hitting Earth, you probably think about Hollywood movies. But have you ever thought of what would happen if an asteroid actually struck Earth? The chances are slim, but it is possible. And if it did happen, the human race as we know it would be obliterated. [read more...]
In physics, a culturally perceived “man’s science,” only two women had ever won the Nobel Prize, according to Rachel Ivie from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics. This past year, in the fall of 2018, a third took home one of the most prestigious awards in science. [read more...]
In the winter months, people miss valuable time at school and work due to the unbearable sniffles and itchy throats caused by the common cold. The thought that there is a correlation between cold weather and sickness is so prevalent that many people question if cooler weather can really leave people feeling under the weather. Dr. Stan Spinner, chief medical officer for Texas Children’s Pediatrics, says cold weather does not make people sick; however, the environmental changes that come along with the change in temperature have the ability to leave people feeling ill. [read more...]
The space capsule was once the safest form of transportation. This was because the amount of money and expertise put into the United States’ space research made sure that the program was, statistically, safer than driving on a freeway during rush hour. [read more...]
Earthquakes are powerful, dangerous, and terrifying natural disasters and they can also be the cause behind bigger and more dangerous disasters. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered an animal fossil dating nearly 20 million years earlier than the Cambrian explosion of life. This first known fossil existed 558 million years ago, while the Cambrian explosion happened 540 million years ago. That’s when modern looking animals such as snails and arthropods emerged. [read more...]
Bugs do not survive without protection for very long. Unlike other animals, bugs have an exoskeleton on the outside of their bodies. This is a shield that protects the bug. When the bug grows and the shell becomes too tight, it molts. When a bug molts, it means the bug sheds its shell. [read more...]
In the lower Rio Grande River Valley, there is great biodiversity that will be negatively affected due to the construction of the border wall. [read more...]
Have you ever noticed that when someone near you yawns, you yawn too? Scientists have noticed the same reaction with scratching, and they are using mice to test this theory. [read more...]
Stem rust, a fungus disease affecting cereal crops such as wheat, is raising concern among pathologists. An issue that plant scientists thought was resolved resurfaced, and they are currently working to develop different types of resistance to this disease. [read more...]
Zimbabwean high school student, Macdonald Chirara recently developed a device to power his community with waste. [read more...]
Hurricanes threaten millions of people all over the globe. From formation to the naming process, Simpson Street Free Press is here to answer all your questions about hurricanes. [read more...]
At age 24, Matt Hiznay, a second-year medical student at the University of Toledo, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Stage IV means that the cancer is deadly and survival is slim. Only one percent of stage IV cancer survivors can say they beat cancer. [read more...]
According to, a boulder is “a detached and rounded or worn rock, especially a large one.” Back in the early 1600s, fur traders who were crossing Lake Superior heard stories of a large rock that was lying on the edge of the Ontonagon River. It was said that the boulder weighed five tons, was as big as a house, and was made of solid copper. [read more...]
Going to the dentist has traditionally been a dreaded activity for adults and kids alike. But until recently, we weren’t aware of just how long people have been practicing dentistry, nor their strange methods of care. [read more...]
It was an agonizing 6.5 seconds. The members of the InSight lander mission team and NASA officials waited with bated breaths as the $850 million lander shot through Mars’ atmosphere at 12,300 mph, entering at precisely 12 degrees. InSight’s heat shields endured temperatures of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Atmospheric forces managed to decelerate the lander before it parachuted down, towards the surface of the Red Planet. [read more...]