Elephants in Africa have been dying by the thousands. Poachers kill the animals for the ivory in their tusks. That ivory is then smuggled around the world. Tracing the origin of the illegal ivory has been hard — until now.A new study reveals the slaughter of elephants is concentrated in just two regions: central and southeastern Africa. The evidence comes from DNA extracted from the elephants’...
07:20 AM, July 2, 2015
Readability Score: 8.0
It’s no stretch to say that batteries won’t continue to be rigid and blocky forever. Engineers inspired by Japanese paper craft have designed a battery that can expand to 150 percent of its original length. The battery can power a computerized watch known as a smart watch even as it flexes.“Any kind of portable or wearable system would benefit” from such a stretchable battery, says John Rogers....
07:00 AM, July 1, 2015
Technology & Engineering
Readability Score: 7.8
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Most summer cookouts probably don’t lead to a science project. But for Courtney Stump, 17, a little grilled chicken turned into a lot of time in the lab.“I was at a friend’s house in Montana over the summer,” recalls the teen, a rising senior at Columbia River High School in Vancouver, Wash. “I was grilling chicken for about 20 people, and I remembered my freshman-year biology...
07:00 AM, July 1, 2015
Readability Score: 7.4
Around the world, large reservoirs of fresh water lie hidden underground. These groundwater basins are like banks. Water can be deposited, stored or withdrawn.Now, changes in climate and human water usage are emptying those reservoirs, a new study finds. And it's happening at an alarming rate. Of Earth’s 37 largest groundwater basins, 21 lose more water each year than they gain. Details appear in...
07:00 AM, June 30, 2015
Readability Score: 8.1
Unsuprisingly, our alumni take on the world. Sometimes, they're invited to take part in the World Science Festival as well. On May 31, 2015, four SSP alumni presented their research at the Ultimate Science Street Fair in New York City. The Intel ISEF and Intel STS alumni who participated were Harry Paul (Intel ISEF 2014, Intel STS 2014 semifinalist), Eswar Anandapadmanaban (Intel ISEF 2015, Intel...
04:30 AM, June 30, 2015
Carcinogen (noun, “car-SIN-oh-gen”)This is any agent that can cause cancer. This disease involves the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. Carcinogens can be chemicals such as benzene, which is found in cigarette smoke. They can also be radioactive elements, such as plutonium. Even some electromagnetic waves, such as X-rays, can cause cancer. These agents can damage DNA — the instruction...
07:30 AM, June 29, 2015
Readability Score: 7.0
A student in England may be the youngest person ever to find a planet.Tom Wagg discovered the planet orbiting a star far beyond our solar system. He was just starting a weeklong internship at a local university. “I got trained on the first day and found it on the second,” he tells Science News for Students.Wagg’s planet is for now named WASP-142b. It is an extrasolar planet, or exoplanet. These...
07:00 AM, June 29, 2015
Space, Planets, Young Scientists, Astronomy
Readability Score: 7.5
You go to bed feeling fine. The next morning you’re sick with a fever, exhaustion, headache, body aches and more.You may have influenza, better known as the flu. It’s caused by a virus, a tiny bit of genetic material surrounded by a protein. Flu viruses infect the nose, throat and lungs. (If people claim to have “stomach flu,” they are mistaken. They really have some other infection.)Every year,...
07:15 AM, June 26, 2015
Body & Health, Microbes, Fungi & Algae, Genetics
Readability Score: 6.6
To accompany feature: New ways to flight the fluSCIENCEBefore reading:1. Have you ever had the flu? Describe your symptoms. How did you treat your illness?2. Have you ever gotten a flu shot? How do you think it works to protect people?During reading:1. What numbers does the story provide to suggest influenza is a serious disease?2. Explain the difference between an epidemic and a...
07:00 AM, June 26, 2015
In tropical regions around the world, huge storms form over warm ocean waters. These swirling monstrosities have different names. In the Atlantic, they’re known as hurricanes. In the Pacific, they’re called typhoons or tropical cyclones. These storms can cause massive damage when they travel over land. New research now predicts that typhoons in the Pacific will become even more destructive. That...
07:00 AM, June 25, 2015
Weather & Climate, Oceans
Readability Score: 7.5