The DNA in each of us hosts about 21,000 genes. Their blueprints are coded in the roughly 3 billion rungs of our DNA’s ladder-like structure. The Human Genome Project finished decoding all of those genes in 2003. That task took hundreds of scientists more than 12 years.Scientists are now working fast and furiously to learn what each identified gene does. Their answers will help science better...
07:15 AM, March 27, 2015
Body & Health
SCIENCEBefore reading1. Everybody has the same number and the same types of genes. But each of those genes can vary somewhat. List some ways those variations can show up in the differing appearances of you and your friends.During reading1. How many genes do we have?2. What does RNAi turn off?3. What do A, T, C and G stand for?4. Where might you find uracil?5. What does “express...
07:00 AM, March 27, 2015
Near the edge of continents, seafloor sediments teem with oxygen-breathing microbes. They live large on the feast of nutrients that wash off the land. They live so well, in fact, that they sometimes use up all the oxygen in the sediment. But what about places that are far from continents? With no source of nutrients, these distant, deep sea zones were largely dead. Or at least that's what...
07:15 AM, March 26, 2015
Microbes, Fungi & Algae, Earth
For billions of years, Earth has been remodeling itself. Huge masses of molten rock rise from deep inside Earth, cool into a solid, travel along our planet’s surface and then sink back down. The process is known as plate tectonics.The term tectonics comes from a Greek word meaning “to build.” Tectonic plates are huge moving slabs that together make up Earth’s outer layer. Some span thousands of...
07:00 AM, March 26, 2015
Sweltering summer heat waves are on the rise across the Northern Hemisphere. The rise is being driven by changes in the atmosphere spurred by a warming Arctic, new research shows.Scientists came to that conclusion after examining 35 years of weather data. They spotted a decline in the strength of summer storms. These storms bring welcome relief to northern continents in the form of cool, moist...
07:00 AM, March 25, 2015
Environment & Pollution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Farming is a risky business. Every year, farmers lose some of their crops to chewing insects, invading fungi or hungry worms. Plants often are helpless to fight back. And if the crops die, it’s a big loss for the farmer and for the people who want healthy, affordable foods. Now, a teen has studied ways to use an invading worm’s own weapons against it, giving crops a chance to...
08:00 AM, March 24, 2015
You’ll get a charge out of the clothes of the future. Scientists in South Korea have developed a flexible, foldable and wearable fabric that generates electricity as it bends and flexes. A person wearing a shirt tailored from the material only has to move around to power a small screen or other electronic devices.The advance represents an important step toward making wearable power sources a...
07:00 AM, March 23, 2015
Technology & Engineering, Physics
Tiny grit making up much of one of Saturn’s rings may have come from the planet’s moon Enceladus (En-SELL-ah-dus). These mineral particles likely formed in scalding water bubbling from rock below the moon’s ice-capped ocean, new lab studies suggest.In Earth’s oceans, that sort of heating shows up at sites known as hydrothermal vents. There, openings in hot rock release plumes of scalding water....
07:00 AM, March 22, 2015
Even breeding like bunnies can’t save some mammals in Florida's Everglades National Park from the invading Burmese pythons.When summer heats up, these snakes become more active. And in a new study, they started eating marsh rabbits in alarming numbers. Each week, the snakes there were gobbling up to one in every five bunnies in some test areas, scientists now report. Over the long term, losing...
13:00 PM, March 20, 2015
A pounding heart. Tense muscles. Sweat-beaded forehead. The sight of a coiled snake or a deep chasm might trigger such stress responses. These physical reactions signal that the body is prepared to deal with a life-threatening situation.Many people, however, respond this way to things that cannot actually hurt them. Sitting down to take a test, for example, or walking into a party won’t kill you...
07:15 AM, March 20, 2015
Brain & Behavior