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Science News For Students

Curated science news for students

Stay updated with the latest scientific discoveries from around the world with the science news for students page. Written by scientific experts our articles are written with young readers in mind. The articles are appropriate for students in upper elementary, gifted and talented programs, middle school, and high school.

Year 2022

Crater on Mars captured by HiRISE
Crater on Mars captured by HiRISE,Credit: Wikimedia/Kevin Gill

Martian meteoroid causes massive marsquake |Oct 2022|

On Christmas Eve last year, NASA’s InSight lander recorded a marsquake (same as an earthquake, but on Mars, hence marsquake) of magnitude 4, which is the biggest ever detected by NASA. The cause was later discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which found a new crater from a relatively fresh meteoroid impact. The meteoroid is estimated to have been 16 to 39 feet (5 to 12 meters) wide. On Earth, this meteor would have burned to dust before impact due to friction in the atmosphere. On Mars, the atmosphere is thinner, and so the impact was unimpeded. The crater had exposed subsurface ice, scattering some of it around. The images were recorded by the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Experiment) camera on the MRO. This finding can be of huge importance if humans choose to colonize Mars, as the ice will be a source of water. Read more.

crops
Crops, Credit: Wikimedia/Tomasz Sienicki

Fungus removes mercury from soil|Nov 2022|

Mercury has always played a part in the contamination of soil and water. From Minamata disease in Japan to loss of marine life, the toxic effects of mercury are plain to be seen. Scientists at the University of Maryland have devised a new method to remove mercury from the soil around plant roots and water. They employed a fungus called Metarhizium robertsii in their attempt. The fungus is easy to acquire, cheap, and efficient. The main aim of the experiment was to stop plants from taking up mercury present in the soil. When a crop is planted in polluted soil, it can take up toxic substances from the soil. If it is a food crop, eating parts of the contaminated plant would pass on the toxic chemicals to human bodies. With the help of this fungus, a plant can grow normally in polluted soil without taking up any mercury. The genetic make-up of the fungus, along with the observation that it survives in mercury mines, is proof that it can detoxify mercury. The fungus can also guard plant roots against herbivorous insects. Read more.

Neutron star mergers are sites where heavy metals, like gold, are synthesized
Neutron star mergers are sites where heavy metals, like gold, are synthesized, Credit: Wikimedia/University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

Research unveils birthplace of gold-rich stars |Nov 2022|

All that glitters is not gold, but some that twinkle are! Some stars contain heavy metals like gold and platinum. Hundreds of these stars are present in the Milky Way. However, questions about where, when, and how these stars were formed always boggled scientists. The answers to these questions have been recently found in a computer simulation. The simulation was produced using the ATERUI II supercomputer in the Center for Computational Science at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Tohoku University interpreted the data from these simulations to shed light on how these stars were formed. According to the simulation, small progenitor galaxies merged to form the Milky Way as it is today. In these progenitor galaxies, neutron stars fused. Gold and platinum are almost always formed during a merger between neutron stars. This is how “gold-rich” stars formed in the early Milky Way. Read more.

Planetoid crashing into primordial Earth
Planetoid crashing into primordial Earth, Credit: Wikimedia/Donald Davis

DART hits mission bullseye, sends asteroid off track |Oct 2022|

The dinosaurs would have never been extinct if they made it to the 21st century. For the first time in human history, scientists have managed to change the course of a celestial body. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, aptly abbreviated as DART, rammed into a tiny asteroid named Dimorphos at a speed of 22,500 km per hour. This small asteroid orbits around a larger asteroid named Didymos, making up a binary asteroid system. The goal was to nudge the orbiting asteroid closer to the larger asteroid, by bumping DART into it. Neither of the two asteroids brought with it the threat of colliding with Earth, but they were close enough for DART’s first take on deflecting an asteroid. The module was launched in November of 2021 and intercepted Dimorphos on 26th September. The recorded data observed a surreal amount of change in the path. The smaller asteroid orbited Didymos every 11 hours and 55 minutes. The impact cut this time down by 32 minutes, to 11 hrs and 23 minutes. The success of DART is proof of humans having the technology to nudge an asteroid off-route if it is Earth-bound. Even a trivial change in the path of an asteroid can amplify manifolds in outer space. Read more.

Pong
Pong, Credit: Wikimedia/Bumm13

Human brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong in real-time |Oct 2022|

Pong is a simple game with simple goals — players need to hit a ball with a paddle and avoid missing. This game was one of the first in machine learning. At Cortical Labs, Melbourne, Australia, scientists designed a system to test how neurons might be the source of inherent intelligence, using Pong. For this, the researchers connected a computer with human and mouse neurons grown in the lab. The system uses a feedback mechanism to signal the neurons if the ball has hit the paddle or not. If this ‘brain on a plate’ misses hitting the ball, different software analyzes the cause for the miss. This data is then used by the neurons to re-organize and prevent a random response. This would orient the nerve cells to act more efficiently and increase the chances of hitting the ball. Simply put, the brain adapts to its environment by changing either its view of the surroundings or its actions to better fit the world around it. Read more.

Black hole discovered in the astronomical back yard of Earth; scientists dub it Gaia BH1
Black hole discovered in the astronomical back yard of Earth; scientists dub it Gaia BH1, Credit: Wikimedia/XMM-Newton, ESA, NASA

Closest black hole to Earth discovered |Nov 2022|

Within a black hole, the laws of physics cease to hold. Now we humans have one as a neighbor. This black hole was discovered using the Gemini Observatory in Hawai’i. It is the closest black hole ever found, at just 1,600 light years from Earth. Scientists have named this black hole Gaia BH1. However, it is not as large as a supermassive black hole. To put its size into perspective: Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is 2,000 times smaller than the black hole at the center of the galaxy M87*. Gaia BH1 is much smaller than Sagittarius A. In fact, astronomers estimate the presence of over 100 million black holes of this type, called stellar-mass black holes, in our galaxy. A black hole in our astronomical back yard might sound like a sci-fi story plot. In reality, this black hole poses no threat as of now, and is an interesting cosmic discovery. Read more.

The Dugong – A Relative of The Manatee.
The Dugong – A Relative of The Manatee..  Credit: Gejuni

Dugong Declared Extinct in China  |Aug 2022|

The dugong, thought to have inspired many folk stories about mermaids and sirens, is a mammal related to the manatee. It is known as the ocean’s most gentle giant because of its slow and relaxed behavior. However, this same behavior makes the dugong vulnerable to fishing and shipping accidents. Recently, scientists declared the dugong to be extinct in China, as there have been no verified sightings by scientists since 2000. Only three people surveyed from coastal regions in China have seen a dugong in the past five years. Scientists declare that the disappearance of the dugong in China is a devastating loss. Although the dugong is still present outside of China, it may be facing similar threats around the globe.  Read more.

Fluorescent Staining of Cells in the Hippocampus
Fluorescent Staining of Cells in the Hippocampus – A Region of The Brain. Credit: Gerry Shaw

Brain Cells Formed Together Work Together |Aug 2022|

Scientists from NYU Grossman School of Medicine recently found that brain cells that formed together work together! The brain cells, called neurons, form in the brain before an individual’s birth. Neurons formed on the same day are more likely to wire together to create neuronal circuits and store memories. The brain takes advantage of the order of formation of neurons, like Lego pieces, to place one memory on top of another. However, this process makes the developing brain vulnerable to damage from viral infections, toxins, or alcohol on certain days. Furthermore, the neurons might eventually fail together, leading to conditions like autism and Alzheimer’s. Scientists say that this study may change how we approach disorders of the brain, through a lens of development rather than molecular biology or genetics. Read more.

The Smartphone – A Source of Blue Light
The Smartphone – A Source of Blue Light, Credit: TGspot

Blue Light Fuels Faster Aging |Aug 2022|

Humans are exposed to blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, through natural and artificial sources. The sun is the source of natural blue light, while electronic devices and indoor lighting are sources of artificial blue light. A recent study has found that high exposure to blue light may speed up aging, as it observed rapid cell damage in flies. Since the cell signalling in flies and humans is the same, the study suggests that blue light may cause the same harm to humans. However, scientists involved in the study also claim that the possible harm blue light poses to human cells, even if proven, would be minimal compared to that of the flies. Yet, the scientists still advise people to be cautious and limit their exposure to blue light. The less blue light, the better! Read more.

Soybean Plant
Soybean Plant, Credit: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons

Food Crops Could Now Use the Sun’s Energy 20% More Efficiently! |Aug 2022|

Photosynthesis is the natural process used by plants to produce their food using the energy from sunlight. The food, or the sugars, formed in plants fuel their growth. Recently, scientists from the UK and the US found a way to make photosynthesis much more efficient. Their experiments involved genetically modifying soybean plants. The scientists used a genetic approach to increase the time of the plants devote to photosynthesis. They saw an improvement in the ability of food crops to use the energy from sunlight, resulting in a 20% improvement in crop yield. They hope this finding will help solve the global problem of food scarcity. Read more.

Nicole Aunapu Mann
Nicole Aunapu Mann, Credit: NASA/Norah Moran,Flickr

First Native American Woman to Travel to Space |Aug 2022|

Next month, NASA will send a new crew of astronauts to the International Space Station. However, this time, for the first time in history, this team will include a Native American woman aboard. Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes will serve as the mission commander. As the mission commander, Mann will be in charge of all stages of the flight. Originally from California, Mann studied mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Mann plans to carry along a dreamcatcher given to her by her mother. According to the Indigenous Foundation, dreamcatchers symbolize unity and provide protection. Mann and the rest of the team are expected to reach the International Space Station on 29 September. Read more.

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment..
Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances in the environment..  Credit: Jacinta Quesada

Scientists Discover How to Break Down PFAs |Aug 2022|

PFAs, short for polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, have become a big concern for scientists. These substances resist water, oil, and stains, making them useful in objects ranging from frying pans to makeup. However, these same properties make them difficult to destroy. Therefore, PFAs are also known as the ‘forever chemicals.’ PFAs may remain in the environment and enter water or soil, becoming a severe concern at high levels. Exposure to these chemicals may cause cancer or birth defects. Recently, scientists from Northwestern University have found a way to destroy PFAs. The carbon and fluorine bonds found in PFAs can possibly be broken by a common chemical known as sodium hydroxide. Scientists claim that this discovery is “exciting because of how simple—yet unrecognized— our solution is.” Read more.

The piece of space debris from a SpaceX capsule
The piece of space debris from a SpaceX capsule. Image Credit: Dr Brad Tucker, Twitter

Piece of SpaceX capsule crashes in a field in Australia |Aug 2022|

On July 9, 2022, a black object landed on a field in New South Wales, Australia. It wasn’t until several weeks later that Mick Miners, a farmer and the owner of the land, discovered the rather peculiar debris. Initially, Miners thought the black object sticking out of his land was a dead tree. However, after confirming with experts, he soon discovered that the strange black entity was, in fact, space debris. The Australian Space Agency (ASA) later confirmed that it originated from a SpaceX capsule. Experts located two other pieces of similar space debris nearby. The experts state that this discovery is “rare” and “exciting” since most objects from space fall into the oceans and rarely end up on land. Nevertheless, they believe that such events may become more common in the future. Read more.

pig’s organs
Resurrection: Scientists reactivate brain, heart, kidney, and liver function after death in pigs by pumping in a solution called OrganEx. Credit: kallerna

Scientists from Yale revive dead pig’s organs |Aug 2022|

The pigs in the lab lay dead for over an hour. They were neither breathing nor did their hearts beat. That is, until the scientists pumped a solution called OrganEx into each dead pig’s body with a device similar to a heart–lung machine. The events that followed pose the question: How much do the boundaries that science places between life and death hold?
As the solution was pumped into each pig, it began to circulate through the blood vessels. Organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, and brain started to function again. The dead pig was, in a way, revived.
This novel research can be considered one of the cornerstones in producing viable organs for transplants. With increasing demands, the need for a supply of organs for transplants has increased manyfold. This method can keep the organs viable long after death. The technology is new, and still far from human trials, but hopes are high. Read more.

Representation of a GRB
Representation of a GRB. The fusion of a neutron star with another star produced the brightest afterglow ever., Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/ICRAR

Bright blast emitted as neutron star fuses with another star |Aug 2022|

Scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) recorded the first millimeter-wavelength light. To get an idea of what wavelength is, let’s take an example. Have you seen what happens when you throw a stone into a pond? Ripples spread on the surface of the water starting from the point where the stone hit the water surface. The distance between two successive ripples is the wavelength of the ripple. Light travels in the same way in space, and the distance between two successive waves of light is the wavelength of the wave of light. The source in this case is an explosive merger between a neutron star and another star. The scientists also confirmed that this is one of the most energetic gamma-ray bursts (GRB) ever recorded. Gamma-ray bursts can emit more energy in a few seconds than the sun can in its lifetime. Short-duration GRBs last for a few tenths of a second. Scientists look for the afterglow, which is the light emitted by gaseous matter that interacts with GRBs. The afterglow produced in this cosmic event is the brightest on record. Read more.

The robot dog that learns to walk
The robot dog that learns to walk, Credit: Felix Ruppert, Dynamic Locomotion Group at MPI-IS

Dog-like robot learns to walk in an hour |July 2022|

Many animals are born with the muscle coordination needed to walk. However, newborns take time to precisely coordinate these muscles. Scientists at MPI-IS have made a robot with four legs. In its first attempts at walking, the robot stumbles, like a newborn. A computer program acts as its virtual spinal cord. In an hour, the program optimizes the robot’s movements from data received from stumbling. The robot uses this data to correct its gait and learns to walk. This research can decode the journey of an animal from the stumbles to the strolls. Read more.

An image of Jupiter taken by JWST
An image of Jupiter taken by JWST, Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA/B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)

James Webb follows up with a picture from the ‘neighborhood’ |July 2022|

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) stays in the spotlight, as its deep-field images of distant galaxies have been followed up by images of something closer to home. Images of Jupiter that were taken while the instruments were being tested have been released. These images show the Giant Red Spot, a storm the size of two Earths. One of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, is also visible to the left of Jupiter. With such detailed images, JWST will be vital for newer studies in space. Read more.

A miniature frog on top of a coin
A miniature frog on top of a coin. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Six new species of miniature frog discovered in Mexico |Aug 2022|

Scientists have found six new species of miniature frogs in the forests of Mexico. Until recently, scientists couldn’t identify these new species due to their small size, pigmentation, and similarity to other frog species. The newly discovered species are some of the tiniest frogs in the world, growing no bigger than 15 millimeters (0.6 inches). Their miniature size allows them to fit on top of a British 50p coin, which is slightly larger than a US quarter dollar. As of now, scientists know these frogs live in the dark, humid leaf litter of forests and are limited only to the Sierra Madre del Sur region of southern Mexico. However, scientists still need to study their behavior, socialization, and breeding. Read more.

Dr Gabriela Kramer-Marek
Dr Gabriela Kramer-Marek, the leader of the study. Photo Credit John Angerson

Light therapy to target and kill cancer cells |June 2022|

The next generation of cancer treatment might be in sight. Usually cancers in the brain, head, or neck are difficult to operate on. However, in this new therapy, called photoimmunotherapy and developed by researchers at Institute of Cancer Research, London, the researchers used a combination of fluorescent dyes with a cancer-targeting dyes in a light-based therapy. The fluorescent dye forces the cancer cells to glow, making those easier to remove by surgical methods. When hit with near-infrared light, these dyes also produced an anti-tumor effect, effectively curing the cancer. Along with the four pillars of cancer therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiotherapy), photoimmunotherapy might become the fifth alternative to cancer treatment very soon. Read more.

Growing vegetables on moon
Plants grown in soil from the moon

Growing vegetables on moon |May 2022|

The Moon might develop a tint of green in the future, as scientists at the University of Florida successfully grew plants on lunar soil, known as lunar regolith. The scientists moistened the soil with nutrient solution and planted Arabidopsis seeds in that soil. To their amazement, the plants grew, although they were smaller and took longer to develop than plants grown in Earth’s soil. The scientists arrived at the conclusion that lunar soil does not interfere in plant germination, and growing crops in regolith might resolve food- and oxygen-related issues in manned missions to the Moon. The timing of this research could have not been better, since the Artemis Program of NASA is planning to send astronauts to the lunar surface by 2025. Read more.

Blackhole
Image credit EHT Collaboration

Blackhole in backyard? |May 2022|

Event Horizon Telescope(EHT) collaboration does it again! After releasing the first ever image of a blackhole 2019, they have now released a picture of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive blackhole at the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way, 26000 light years away from us, with researchers labelling the region as ‘our backyard’. The image has a central dark region which is a blackhole, surrounded by light coming from super-heated gas accelerated by gravitational forces. The mass of the blackhole is around four million times the mass of sun and is 40 million miles (60 million km) across. Read more.

human genome
Image Credit : James King-Holmes Science Photo Library

Human Genome Fully Decoded |Apr 2022|

Scientists have officially mapped the entire human genome without gaps. The genome includes the entire set of genetic information for an organism. It has been 19 years since the Human Genome Project completed an “essentially finished” version of the genome, but now the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium, a group of about 100 scientists, were able to complete the remaining 8% of “junk DNA.” New technology has allowed for the sequencing of these repetitive DNA areas. These new puzzle pieces could contain important information on what genes contribute to certain disorders, and even how some cells become cancerous. Read more.

ice cores antarctica
Image Credit : Heidi Roop

Ice cores in Antarctica and Greenland reveal giant volcanic eruptions in the last Ice Age |Mar 2022|

Professor Anders Svensson, of the University of Copenhagen, and his fellow researchers compared ice cores drilled in Antarctica and Greenland and were able to estimate the quantity and intensity of volcanic eruptions over the last 60,000 years. When volcanic eruptions occur, sulfuric acid is ejected into the atmosphere and gets distributed all over the world. Based on the amount of sulfuric acid in the ice core samples, they were able to identify eighty five volcanic eruptions that were considered major global eruptions. Read more.

Image Credit : flickr/garethwiscombe

Stonehenge was designed as a Solar Calendar, scientists suggest. |Mar 2022|

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument found on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England believed to have been constructed from 3000 to 2000 B.C. There are no written records of how or why the monument was constructed and scientists have long wondered different possible explanations for the unusual arrangement of sandstone slabs. Some think that it was a place for healing, others think it was used as a place for funeral rituals. Now archaeologists believe that each of the 30 stones in the circle represent each day in a month, which in turn consisted of three weeks of 10 days each, with specific stones marking the start of a new week. Read more.

tyrannosaurus-rex
Image Credit : Wikimedia

Rex is not alone. At least three species of Tyrannosaurus are proposed to have existed |Mar 2022|

A team of researchers, which include the lead dinosaur expert from the movie Jurassic Park, now say it is expected that Tyrannosaurus would have evolved over the millions of years they were on Earth, and that some fossilized bones that had been designated as being from T. Rex vary between different specimens, suggesting that some had one or two pairs of lower incisor-like teeth. They compared specimens from 37 known T. Rex samples, and found that there are significant differences, for example, in the femur (or thigh) bone that would likely be due to being different species of Tyrannosaurus. They propose that there were three different species: Tyrannosaurus imperator (“tyrant lizard emperor”), Tyrannosaurus regina (“tyrant lizard queen”), and the well-known Tyrannosaurus Rex (“tyrant lizard king”). Read more.

honeybee
Image Credit : Wikimedia

Honeybee tongue hairs are stiff and hydrophobic (i.e they repel water) |Mar 2022|

Honeybees have hairs on their tongues which capture liquid. Normally, these kinds of organs are hydrophilic, meaning they love water. However, on honeybees, they are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water. This does give them an advantage because it makes the tongue more flexible and sturdy, which helps when getting water, flower nectar, fruit juice or sap from places with different shapes. Researchers used different types of microscopes, high-speed videography and computational modeling in order to show that honeybee hairs are different and that this feature increases its flexibility and durability over the course of its life. Read more.

Image Credit: Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Researchers use spider silk proteins to help stabilize human proteins to fight cancer |Mar 2022|

Spider silk is very strong and has been used for creating many different items such as bullet-proof clothes and bandages. Now it may even be used to fight cancer. There is an immune system protein in humans called p53 which finds and prevents genetic mutations that cause cancer, but it is easily broken down in cells. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute have found that adding spider silk proteins, called spidroins, to that p53 protein makes it stronger and more stable than ordinary p53, while still being able to attack cancer cells. Read more.

Nasa
Image Credit : NASA-JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Rover finds “corals” on Mars |Mar 2022|

On February 24, 2022, The Mars Curiosity Rover used its Mars Hand Lens Imager magnifying lens to take a picture of flower-like and spherical-shaped rocks in the Gale crater, showing that there was a history of water in the area. According to NASA, these rocks are smaller than a penny, and are estimated to have been created billions of years ago when minerals carried by water cemented the rock, creating this coral-like appearance. Read more.

device safe drinking water
Image Credit :Northwestern University

Using DNA based circuits, scientists develop a low-cost hand-held device to test safe drinking water |Feb 2022|

Synthetic biologists from Northwestern University have developed a low-cost, simple hand-held device that can detect whether water is safe to drink within minutes of testing. They used programmable genetic networks to make quick calculations and process contaminants in the water and generate a digital output, or visual signal to inform the user of the presence of contaminants. Out of eight tubes, if one tube glows green, then there is a small level of contamination, but if all eight tubes glow, then there is a severe contamination. Read more.

Alex Portilla
Image Credit :Alex Portilla

New species of orchid discovered in Ecuador |Feb 2022|

A new species of orchid flower was discovered in the rainforests of Ecuador. The rare species, called Maxillaria anacatalinaportillae, is critically endangered and is native only to the Carchi province. Ecuadorhas one of the highest biodiversity indexes and it’s estimated to have over 25,000 species of plants (about 10% of the world’s species). Read more.

Transplant Pig’s Heart
Image Credit: University of Maryland School of Medicine

US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient |Jan 2022|

Scientists were able to put a pig heart into a human body through a process called xenotransplantation. The researchers got permission from the FDA to give a dying patient a pig heart that was genetically modified so the human body has a better chance of accepting it. Read more.

Tonga Geological Services
Image Credit :Tonga Geological Services

Volcano off the coast of Tonga erupts, causing tsunami |Jan 2022|

The Hunga volcano in the Pacific island nation of Tonga erupted recently, creating tsunamis in Tonga, Fiji, American Samoa, Vanuatu, and parts of New Zealand, Japan, and even the United States. This is considered to be one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the 21st century. Read more.

ichthyosaur
Image Credit : Anglian Water

Prehistoric ‘sea dragon’ Ichthyosaur fossil discovered in the U.K |Jan 2022|

An ichthyosaur fossil was discovered in the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in the U.K. and is now the largest, most complete skeleton found of the ancient ocean-dwelling reptile. The fossil, measuring 32 feet long with a 6-foot skull, and weighing over a ton, is thought to be over 180 million years old. Read more.

Alan Jamieson-Caladan OCeanic
Image Credit: Alan Jamieson-Caladan OCeanic

Scientist find the world’s deepest-dwelling squid, the magnapinnid, or bigfin squid |Jan 2022|

Researchers looking for a missing World War II ship spotted a very rare bigfin squid under the ocean in the Philippine Trench. The squid was seen at a depth of 20,300 feet (6,200m), which is deeper than the previously recorded bigfin squid spotting at 15,400 feet (4,700m). The atmospheric pressure at these depths can be up to 600 times greater than at the surface of the ocean. Read more.

James Webb
Image Credit :NASA GSFC-CIL-Adriana Manrique Gutierrez

James Webb Telescope launches to space and opens “golden eye” |Jan 2022|

The James Webb Telescope, intended to replace the Hubble Space Telescope, was launched on December 25, 2021. It was designed to have much better resolution and sensitivity over the previous telescope and be able to observe some of the oldest, most distant objects in the universe. The main mirror, the Optical Telescope Element, has 18 hexagonal mirror sections made of gold-plated beryllium, which is a lightweight but sturdy and cold-resistant metal. The shape earned it the nickname “Golden Eye.” These segments combined in order to create one giant 21 ft (6.5m) mirror that can be adjusted and directed towards stars and galaxies, allowing it to observe near-infrared light waves that were too old or distant for the Hubble Telescope. Read more.

Gulf_of_Eilat_(Red_Sea)_coral_reefs
Image Credit : Gulf_of_Eilat_(Red_Sea)_coral_reefs

Heat-resistant corals from the Red Sea might help global dying reefs |Jan 2022|

Most corals in the ocean can only survive within a small temperature range. When oceans get warmer, even by one or two degrees Celsius, corals get stressed and start to release their algae and lose their colors. This process is called bleaching. When corals bleach and die, it affects the whole ecosystem around them. Scientists have found a type of coral in the Gulf of Aqaba at the northern tip of the Red Sea that can withstand temperatures above 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). About 20 different species were tested in an aquarium system and they were found to be much more heat-resistant, even at temperatures that were 6 degrees Celsius higher. Scientists hope to cross-breed the heat-resistant corals with coral populations globally to help dying reefs. Read more.

Image Credit: UC Davis

“Jelly Ice Cubes” could be the future of sustainable food cooling |Jan 2022|

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have created a new type of reusable cooling cube to change how food is cooled and shipped fresh without needing ice. These sustainable, moldable and plastic-free “jelly ice cubes” trap water inside and are made of a chemical polymer called hydrogel. These jelly ice cubes are antimicrobial and can be frozen and thawed over and over again without turning into liquid. The scientists hope the cubes will reduce water consumption and reduce food spoilage. Read more.

McAlpine Group, University of Minnesota
Image Credit :McAlpine Group, University of Minnesota

Researchers develop first fully 3D-printed flexible organic light-emitting diode display |Jan 2022|

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created flexible, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays using a table-top customized 3D printer at a much lower cost than the OLED displays usually made in big, expensive facilities. They used two different modes of printing in order to create the layers needed to put together the displays. The researchers hope this technology will allow anyone to create their own displays at home in the future. Read more.

La palma
Image Credit-Eduardo Robaina

La Palma Volcano In Spain Erupts |Dec 2021|

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma erupted on September 17, emitting at least 80 million cubic meters of molten rock. It has caused over 6000 people to evacuate to safety. Scientists have recorded multiple earthquakes, expecting the eruption to last between 24 and 84 days. Read more.

Year 2021

Vaccine
Image Credit: UC Davis

CDC Recommends Pfizer Covid-19 Booster Shots For Immunocompromised |Dec 2021|

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending an additional dose of a Covid-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people, including those who have received cancer treatments, organ transplants, stem cell transplants, or have other medical conditions that weaken their immune systems. Read more.

Phillip Barden-Harvard - NJIT
Image Credit :Phillip Barden-Harvard - NJIT

Researchers Find New Species Of Tardigrade In 16-Million-Year-Old Amber |Oct 2021|

Scientists found the fossil of an ancient never-before-seen tardigrade suspended in 16-million-year-old amber in The Dominican Republic. Tardigrades, commonly called water bears, are eight-legged microanimals that are known to survive in extreme conditions. The new species is called Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus, combining the Greek word for time, “chrono,” and “caribbeus” for the Caribbean region in which it was found. Read more.

Footfrints
Image Credit : National Park Service

Fossilized Footprints Suggest Early Humans Were In North America Earlier Than Previously Thought |Sep 2021|

A team of researchers studied human footprints found in an ancient lakeshore in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park. They figured out that the footprints were made between 21,000 and 23,000 years old, which means humans were in the Americas over 5,000 years before evidence had previously suggested. Scientists were able to trace the footprints to a time point during the Last Glacial Maximum. During this time, there was a warming event called the Dansgaard–Oeschger event which lowered lake levels and allowed humans and animals to walk along newly exposed surfaces, leaving well-preserved tracks. Read more.

Qista
Image Credit: Qista

Mosquito Killer Breathing Machine|Sep 2021|

A company called Qista has made machines that breathe like humans to help trap mosquitos. The machine emits recycled carbon dioxide and a specially formulated fragrance that smells irresistible to the nearby mosquito population. Once the mosquitoes get close to the machine, they get sucked in by a vacuum and trapped in a bag. More than 300 of these mosquito traps were installed in the Southern French town of Hyeres and it is believed to have reduced the mosquito population by around 80%. Read more.

Inspiration4_Launch_(210915-X-YM354-1013)
Image Credit :Inspiration4_Launch_(210915-X-YM354-1013)

Inspiration4 Astronauts Spend 71 Hours In Space And Raise Millions For St. Jude|Sep 2021|

Inspiration4, the first private crewed mission by the company SpaceX, successfully completed a full mission after launching on September 15 from the Kennedy Space Center. The four crewmembers, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Chris Sembroski, spent 3 days orbiting Earth, splashing down in the Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience on September 18 off the coast of Cape Canaveral. The flight was paid for by billionaire Jared Isaacman, the commander, who personally donated $100 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Inspiration4 hopes to raise $200 million for St. Jude by February 2022. Read more.

Roundworm
Image Credit : Roundworm

Earless Roundworms Can “Listen” Through Their Skin|Sep 2021|

Scientists at the Life Sciences Institute discovered that Caenorhabditis elegans, the 1-mm long earless roundworms, can sense sound through their skin. The worms responded to tones and would move away from the source of the sound waves, showing that they not only knew a sound was being played but also could tell what direction it was coming from. These worms have auditory (hearing) sensory neurons connected to their skin. When sound waves bump into the worms’ skin, the skin vibrates. This causes the fluid inside to vibrate and activate the sensory neurons to help the worms “listen”. It is very similar to how our ear works as well. Read more.

Benefits of using science news for student learning

Reading about the advancements in science by scientists around the world helps students understand the core concepts of science as well as the relevance of those concepts in our lives. The news also keeps students interested and informed about what’s going on across different disciplines in science. 

By reading science news, students are also learning to think critically about the topic and understand the process of scientific discovery. It takes them beyond passive reading to become actively involved in thinking about opposing studies and coming to their own conclusions. Reading and discussing science news in the classroom is a great way to foster independent thinking and scientific literacy skills in students.

Smore science news for students is written and verified by science experts for accuracy and relevance. Both teachers and students can be assured they are accessing the latest and most reliable science news available without having to spend time looking all over the internet.

We cover the news from all fields of science including archeology, technology, space, biology, environment and much more. Whether you are looking for topic ideas for science essays, or just want to keep up with the latest scientific breakthroughs, this page is where you will find it all.

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