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  • Eureka! Lab

    Scientists Say: Blood-brain barrier

    Blood-brain barrier (noun, “blood bray-n bare-ee-er”)A layer of cells between the blood vessels and the cells of our brains. The brain is very delicate and can’t be exposed to just anything in the blood. This barrier of cells lets oxygen and nutrients in. But it keeps out foreign substances, such as dangerous bacteria. The barrier is important, but it can also be difficult to deal with. When...
    09:00 AM, March 2, 2015
  • Eyelashes: The ‘sweet’ length

    Cosmetics commercials extoll the virtues of long, luxurious eyelashes. They even sell products to make them longer. But, new research indicates, in terms of eye health, long isn’t always better.There’s a so-called “sweet spot” in the range of lash lengths. It is about one-third the width of the eye. And it’s here that lash length appears most helpful. Eyelashes much longer than that will funnel...
    07:00 AM, March 2, 2015 Physics, Animals
  • Scientists confirm ‘greenhouse’ effect of human’s CO2

    For the first time, scientists have shown a direct link between rising levels of carbon dioxide — or CO2 — in Earth’s atmosphere and an increase in how much solar energy warms the ground. The finding supports a key theory about what’s behind the recent worldwide warming of Earth’s climate. It links a measurable share of that warming to human activities that release CO2. These include the burning...
    07:00 AM, March 1, 2015 Weather & Climate, Light & Radiation
  • Mice can teach us about human disease

    Zorana Berberovic gently lifts a small black mouse by its tail. As its hind legs rise up off the floor of its cage, the research technician slips a tiny vial under the mouse’s bottom. Berberovic lightly strokes her gloved finger against its belly. Within seconds, she is rewarded. A dribble of pee enters the vial."They have small bladders so there's not much," Berberovic says. Luckily, she adds, "...
    07:01 AM, February 27, 2015 Body & Health
  • 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
  • Doing Science

    Student's nanotechnology project wins him trip to LIYSF

    Perry Alagappan from Houston, Texas won a Best of Category award and a trip to the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2014. Below he tells us about his experiences.What was your experience being an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalist like? Most memorable moments?Being an Intel ISEF finalist...
    04:30 AM, September 9, 2014
  • Starchy foods may cut meaty risks

    A diet full of hamburgers, steaks and processed meats isn’t good for you. Worse: It may cause cancer. But a new study suggests that eating certain starchy foods can help offset that threat.Red meat can damage DNA in the cells lining the digestive tract, explains Karen Humphreys. She is a cancer scientist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. She led the new study, which was published...
    08:39 AM, August 29, 2014 Body & Health, Food & Nutrition
  • 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
  • Questions for Saving the banana

    SCIENCEBefore reading1.    What does a banana taste like? Is it sweet or spicy? What about a plantain? How do they differ? (If you’ve never tasted one or the other, ask your classmates or teacher if they have.)2.    Plants can get infected with diseases, just like people. How might a disease affect a plant?During reading1.    Why are diseases that affect banana plants such a big worry?2.    Why...
    08:53 AM, August 28, 2014 Classroom Questions

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