Monthly Archives: September 2014

Thursday Science News Update

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted here, due in large part to a hectic work week as I still settle into the new school year. In words from my 12-year-old son describing the start of his year, “When you get hit by a train, it’s not the caboose that kills you.” I’m sure he got that from a book somewhere, but I don’t which one.

Today is just a quick update on some of the news stories I’ve been following this week, a few of which I’ve tweeted out @bradleymkremer.

“The history of life on Earth is a history of extinction.” These are the words that summarized Discovery’s article asking “How Advanced Are We Earthlings?” It examines the interaction of how civilizations need time to develop and evolve, much like living organisms.

We haven’t seen any Ebola here in Tanzania, but this is a story I’ve been following with some interest for the past few weeks. I’ve had a bad feeling for a while now that this outbreak seems to be bubbling and simmering long enough that it will elude containment efforts, and it seems that there are a number of public health officials who feel the same way. Here’s the story from National Geographic.

A paper was just published in Nature Communications (subscription required, or pay-per-read), outlining how some researchers have developed bacteria to synthesize propane, essentially creating the possibility of renewable petroleum product. It sounds like a paradox, but is worth investigating further.

So that’s my news summary of the day. I’ll try to get back with some more video resources in my next post.

Happy learning!

Mixed News Monday

Good morning! Well, it’s Monday, so how about just a “morning” until my coffee kicks in? Speaking of coffee, ASAP Science released the video below over the weekend. It’s not particularly relevant to anything we’re studying right now, but it is educational and scientific.

And now for the less good news: Global warming is likely to continue unabated, at least for the foreseeable future of our lifetimes. Researchers have published papers in Nature Climate Change and Geophysical Research Letters claiming that natural variations in planetary warming are being overwhelmed by human-induced carbon emissions. Prepare for more extreme weather events for the next 100 years or so! 

Some good news now: Nature magazine reports that a new test for malaria, if proven effective in the field, could bring testing and treatment to millions of rural people who currently don’t have access to these potentially-lifesaving interventions. Science at its best – improving the world around us!