Anne Merrill, 17, has always liked earthworms. “When I was a little kid,” she explains, “I was always stuffing worms in my pockets. My mom learned to be very careful washing my clothes.” Now, the senior at Greenwich High School in Connecticut is taking worm research to the big time at the Intel Science Talent Search.Her youthful love of worms has grown into a passion for environmental science....
18:47 PM, March 7, 2014
Dinosaurs have been extinct for more than 65 million years. That’s long before any humans were around to observe their behaviors. Yet these ancient creatures live, breathe and rampage across the screen in movies like Jurassic Park and TV series like BBC’s Primeval. But unlike in your parents’ day, these dinos aren’t depicted cartoonishly. They’re portrayed realistically, informed by science.First...
11:36 AM, March 4, 2014
Dinosaurs & Fossils
CHICAGO — The deepest parts of the ocean are one of the planet’s last frontiers. Its ecosystem is Earth’s largest — and one of the least studied. Despite its many unknowns, the seafloor holds incredible promise as a source of many natural resources, including valuable metals. As the scramble for those resources speeds up, scientists are helping to create guidelines and laws that will allow this...
09:00 AM, February 21, 2014
Earth, Environment & Pollution, Technology & Engineering
Maxwell Joseph wiped the sweat off his brow as he walked through a grassy field on a hot morning last July. Quiet as a mime, he was scouting for northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Suddenly, an electronic chirping broke the silence. The radio receiver in his hands had picked up a signal from one of his subjects. “That’s 480,” Joseph whispered with a smile. “I’m calling her ‘Wily’ 480...
15:07 PM, February 19, 2014
Animals, Technology & Engineering
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. Imagine someone tracked and recorded your every movement over the course of a week. Describe at least three types of information these data would reveal about your habits and routines.2. Many birds migrate with the seasons. How could you learn more about where they travel and when?During reading:1. Define telemetry.2. Telemetry involves transmitting and...
15:04 PM, February 19, 2014
CHICAGO — In recent years, the Arctic has been warming at an unexpected rate — faster than anywhere else on the planet. This has boosted the melting of ice on land and covering much of the Arctic Ocean. The extra melt water has begun eroding natural barriers that once separated parasites from potential hosts, new data show. The result: Animals are becoming infected with new diseases.That erosion...
10:57 AM, February 15, 2014
Microbes, Fungi & Algae, Weather & Climate
Writing about science for young people is hard. There are many rules, and even more little tricks. Don’t swear (of course). No passive voice. Stay away from commas, and never use a semicolon. Avoid words with more than three syllables. Keep sentences short. Define everything. Don’t condescend. The minds may be young but they aren’t stupid.But even if you follow all of these guidelines, you can’t...
11:00 AM, February 4, 2014
There’s no doubt that ice can reshape mountains. Researchers in South Africa now suggest adding another major player: lightning.They argue that the intense, momentary heat that lightning produces can crack apart mountain surfaces. This can slowly sculpt peaks, leaving rubble behind. Some critics, however, challenge whether lightning is really more than a bit player.Jasper Knight and Stefan Grab...
08:30 AM, February 4, 2014
Environment & Pollution, Weather & Climate, Earth
Your neighborhood bumblebee is in trouble. Now, a new website aims to get citizen scientists involved in the effort to help these fuzzy pollinators out.Since the 1990s, scientists have recorded decreasing bumblebee populations in many areas of North America. These insects play important roles in the ecosystem. Bumblebees pollinate many of the fruit and vegetable plants we eat and flowers we love...
08:00 AM, January 31, 2014
Blue eyes may have evolved before blond hair and pale skin. That’s the conclusion of a new study. It analyzed genes from a 7,000-year-old Spanish skeleton.That skeleton came from a Stone Age man. Scientists discovered the hunter-gatherer’s remains in 2006. They found it in a cave in northwestern Spain. The site is known as La Braña-Arintero, so scientists refer to the man as La Braña 1. DNA from...
08:45 AM, January 28, 2014