Susan Gaidos' Articles
- Scientists have begun dissecting what it means to be in love. They are finding that much of what we feel can be explained by the effects of a few key chemicals — and not just on our hearts and brains, but on our whole bodies.
- Humans suffer many physical problems that other primates don’t, from sprained ankles to hip fractures. Scientists now say you can blame these on evolution.
Coming up with a cool science fair project takes effort. You have to work hard at finding a topic you like and a question you want to explore.
Science fair projects also take time. Many kids easily can spend weeks following an organized set of steps in answering a question — an approach called the scientific method. Other kids can spend even longer perfecting their projects. They may pursue a project for years.
This is one in a series on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics made possible by support from the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
Can you uncover the secret message?
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There you are on the operating table. A doctor is yanking away at your tonsils with a sharp, pointy object, but you don’t feel a thing. After the surgery, you’re rewarded with a heaping bowel of ice cream, but you can’t recall any details of the procedure.
In fact, the last thing you remember is the doctor giving you medicine and telling you that it would make you “sleep.” But did you really snooze through the surgery?
Here’s the clue: It is quick on the buzzer and stuffed with the equivalent of one million books, and it can beat you at Jeopardy!
The answer: What is Watson?
Watson is the IBM supercomputer that became a whiz at Jeopardy!, the long-running television quiz show. In a February 2011 showdown, the brainy machine beat out the two best-ever human Jeopardy! champs.
Maybe this has happened to you: In the middle of class, while you pretended to be paying attention to the teacher’s lecture, your eyelids started to droop. You began having second thoughts about staying up late on Facebook the night before.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your computer screen may be to blame. And your clock may be too. Not the clock on your nightstand, but the one in your head. All mammals have a clock located inside their brains. Similar to your bedside alarm clock, your internal clock runs on a 24-hour cycle. This cycle, called a circadian rhythm, helps regulate when you wake, when you eat and when you sleep.
- Explore the sensory explosion experienced by people with this unusual, but not that uncommon nor unwelcome, condition.
As part of the carbon cycle, leaves decompose and the carbon in their bodies is broken down and recycled. Some of it is released into the air as carbon dioxide, or CO2. The rest moves into the soil.