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  • Plants “listen” for danger

    Check out this video to learn how researchers determined that plants “hear” and respond to insect pests.It’s hard to tell if plants grow faster with classic rock or prefer Haydn to hip hop. But what is clear: Plants can “hear” their predators. Tiny mustard plants react to the sounds of leaf-munching caterpillars by making defense chemicals. And a new study shows that this makes the foliage a...
    09:00 AM, September 3, 2014 Technology & Engineering, Plants
  • Eureka! Lab

    Cookie Science 4: Cookie ethics

    A scientific experiment can be as close as your kitchen. But when doing science that will involve people, you’ll need to be careful about how you test your tasty creations in ways that protect those volunteers.Welcome back to Cookie Science! In a series of blog posts, I am demonstrating how to design an experiment and carry it out. We’ll go over how to collect and analyze data and much more. My...
    09:00 AM, September 2, 2014
  • Saving the banana

    Meet the world’s most popular fruit. Snack-size, portable and each with its own wrapper — it’s the banana! Diners consume billions each year throughout the world. Americans eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. And in banana-producing countries, more than 400 million people rely on bananas in order to survive.The big, bright-yellow banana most commonly found in American and European...
    08:53 AM, August 28, 2014 Plants, Microbes, Fungi & Algae, Agriculture
  • Germs explain some animal behaviors

    The way hyenas smell is no laughing matter. Kevin Theis has been known to empty a laboratory of fellow scientists just by opening a bottle of what he calls “hyena butter.”Hyenas secrete the pasty substance from a pouch tucked under their tails. This so-called butter is seriously stinky. It’s also crucial to how these African mammals communicate, explains Theis. An ecologist, he studies animal...
    09:14 AM, August 19, 2014 Animals, Microbes, Fungi & Algae
  • Questions for Germs explain some animal behaviors

    SCIENCEBefore reading1.    Describe three ways that non-human animals might communicate with each other.2.    People have lots to say to each other. What might one animal want to communicate to another? Describe three things an animal might want to tell another member of its own or a different species.During reading1.    What is “hyena butter”?2.    What produces the odor in a hyena’s paste?3...
    09:14 AM, August 19, 2014 Classroom Questions
  • Wind farms: Restaurants for seals?

    In many places around the world, modern windmills harness the power of the wind for energy. These wind turbines can be found even offshore, along the coasts of Europe and Asia. Mussels, crabs and other aquatic life treat the underwater parts of those turbines as artificial reefs. And they, in turn, are drawing in something even bigger. A handful of harbor seals have been spotted hunting at wind...
    09:08 AM, August 18, 2014 Animals, Environment & Pollution
  • Watering plants with wastewater can spread germs

    Sprinkling thirsty city parks with recycled water may create a breeding ground for hard-to-treat germs. That’s the finding of a survey of parks in seven Chinese cities. Parks that water their plants with treated wastewater were awash in signs of drug-resistant bacteria.Sewage-treatment plants attempt to clean up the water that has gone down the drain in homes, businesses and hospitals. Yet even...
    09:00 AM, August 14, 2014 Environment & Pollution
  • Eureka! Lab

    Find floating forests for science

    Kelp is a type of seaweed that can grow 30 centimeters (about a foot) per day. Some large species can grow more than 60 meters (200 feet) long. In oceans around the world fish, mammals, reptiles and even birds dart in and out of huge forests full of this kelp. But the ocean is vast, and nobody knows just how many kelp forests exist or how big they get. Now, citizen scientists can find out, with a...
    09:00 AM, August 14, 2014
  • Record Ebola epidemic strikes

    Ebola, a deadly viral infection, has been circulating throughout three West African nations since last December. Its formal name, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, says it all. The disease triggers high fevers, listlessness and widespread, uncontrolled bleeding that can occur seemingly anywhere and everywhere. The virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids, especially blood. By August 6, 2014,...
    09:00 AM, August 8, 2014 Microbes, Fungi & Algae, Body & Health
  • Clay: A new way to fight germs?

    Increasingly, doctors are finding that antibiotic drugs are not killing the infections they were meant to target. But a team of American geologists think a solution may be right under our feet: clay.Many bacteria that make us sick are becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs. The germs’ genes have changed over several generations. And some of those changes have made the microbes immune to the...
    08:55 AM, August 4, 2014 Body & Health

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