Gas stoves can spew lots of pollution, even when they’re turned off
Science News for Students
by Laura Allen
9h ago
Drip, drip, drip. Most of us can see and hear a leaky faucet. But gas leaks can go undetected. In fact, they often do in the homes of people with gas stoves. And a new study found that gas can reach unhealthy levels indoors, even when the stoves are turned off. Natural gas is a fossil fuel that develops in deposits deep within the Earth. Drilling companies often collect it through a technique known as fracking. Straight from the ground, natural gas will be mostly methane (CH4), along with a mix of other hydrocarbons and gases. Before it’s piped to homes and businesses, gas companies will remov ..read more
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Mouth-crawling superbugs cause severe cavities in kids
Science News for Students
by Alison Pearce Stevens
3d ago
You know eating sweets can lead to cavities, but there’s more to the story. Tooth decay is an infectious disease caused by sugar-loving microbes that live in the mouth. That’s why brushing to remove those microbes is important to keeping teeth healthy. A new study might make you want to brush even more. Researchers have found that those tiny mouth microbes can team up. The resulting superbugs crawl across your teeth to cause widespread damage. The team reported its findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 3. Cool Jobs: Drilling into the secrets of teeth Damage fro ..read more
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For a better brick, just add poop
Science News for Students
by Laura Allen
4d ago
Remember the story of the three little pigs? Only the brick house was strong enough to resist the big bad wolf’s huffs and puffs. Bricks and cement are strong and popular building materials used the world over. Unfortunately, the process to make them spews out lots of pollution. Now, scientists are learning how to make these construction materials more Earth-friendly with a surprising ingredient: poop.   In some cases, those feces come from grazing animals such as cows. Their manure is full of plant fibers. Recycling sludge — the material from sewage-treatment plants — also works. Sludge ..read more
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Analyze This: Salt may quash lightning over the sea
Science News for Students
by Carolyn Wilke
5d ago
Lightning may be lacking over the ocean. And sea salt — a seasoning that’s no stranger at the dinner table — may explain why. Explainer: What are aerosols? “Most of the lightning occurs over land — the vast majority, more than 90 percent,” says Daniel Rosenfeld. A cloud physicist, Rosenfeld works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. He and his team wondered why lightning was scarcer at sea even though more precipitation falls over the ocean. One factor that could affect lightning is aerosols. Aerosols are small particles that waft in the air. They provide landing pads for water to ..read more
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How salty does the sea have to be for an egg to float?
Science News for Students
by Science Buddies
6d ago
Summary Objective: Determine what salt concentration will float an egg Areas of science: Ocean sciences Difficulty: Intermediate/Easy Time required: ≤ 1 day Prerequisites: None Material availability: Readily available Cost: Very low (under $20) Safety: Always wash your hands after handling uncooked eggs because they may carry Salmonella. Credits: Andrew Olson, PhD, Science Buddies; Sandra Slutz, PhD, Science Buddies Did you know that if you put an egg in a cup of tap water, it will sink to the bottom? But, if you add enough salt, the egg will float back up to the surface! Why? Because th ..read more
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Scientists Say: Fusion
Science News for Students
by Maria Temming
1w ago
Fusion (noun, “FYEW-zhun”) Fusion occurs when pairs of atomic nuclei slam into each other and meld, or fuse, together. This process leads to new atoms of a different element and releases lots of energy. Fusion is the physical reaction that powers the sun and other stars. Fusing atoms requires squeezing them together under immense heat and pressure. Inside stars, these conditions fuse hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. The mass of each newborn helium atom is less than the total mass of the hydrogen atoms that formed it. The remaining mass transforms into energy, making stars shine. Scientists a ..read more
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Insect-inspired drones work together to 3-D print structures
Science News for Students
by Kathryn Hulick
1w ago
Drones already fly and spy. Now, they can build too. For the first time, free-flying robots have 3-D printed structures. A pair of drones working together made a tower taller than a person. Engineers demonstrated this new method of 3-D printing in the lab. They shared their success in Nature on September 22. Mirko Kovac, who co-led the research, says that animal builders inspired him. “Wasps are amazing,” he says. “Bees are incredible.” These insects work together in swarms to make nests much larger than themselves. Kovac is a roboticist at Imperial College London in England. He also works at ..read more
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Explainer: All about carbon dioxide
Science News for Students
by Trisha Muro
1w ago
Carbon dioxide, also known as CO2,is a simple molecule that makes life on Earth possible. CO2 is called a trace gas because it makes up less than 1 percent of the atmosphere. Even that small amount, however, plays a big role in shaping Earth’s climate. Without it warming Earth’s atmosphere, our planet would be too cold for most organisms to survive. But lately, this beneficial triplet of atoms has taken a lot of heat for making the atmosphere a bit too toasty. This illustration of a molecule of carbon dioxide shows a central carbon atom (black) linked to oxygen atoms (red) at either end. The g ..read more
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Explainer: What is decarbonization?
Science News for Students
by Laura Allen
1w ago
Spew too much carbon-based gas into the atmosphere and what do you get? Global warming and climate change. The solution being recommended by governments across the globe is to remove that carbon — or better yet, keep it from entering the atmosphere in the first place. Decarbonization is the six-syllable term that sums up what’s needed to put the brakes on human-induced climate change.  Carbon dioxide, or CO2, and methane (CH4) are two carbon-based gases that warm the planet. They are called greenhouse gases, or GHGs. Scientists have determined that a stable climate requires CO2 level ..read more
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Green energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, a new study finds
Science News for Students
by Laura Allen
1w ago
On September 15, there was a giant ka-BOOM! And with that, Portland General Electric dynamited Oregon’s last coal-fired power plant into rubble. The company also opened a new power plant on September 28 — what it’s calling the nation’s first large-scale wind and solar generating facility. (Batteries nearby will store the electricity until it’s needed).  Both the old plant and the new one were tasked with generating electricity. But the coal-powered one relied on burning fossil fuels. That spewed carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. For years, e ..read more
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