Science in the News

Need some fun, real world science to share with your classroom? From Physics to Geology to Biology and everywhere inbetween.

Self-Healing Plastics

What if there was a material that could stick almost anything together? What if that material could also ‘self-heal’ when damaged? Saltwater mussels can do just that. They stick to almost any surface while underwater and can stay attached even though crashing waves. So, of course, scientists decided to study the material to see if they could reproduce it. Check it out here:
Material inspired by ocean mussels could lead to self-healing plastics

Beetles and Wildfires

Wildfires are a part of nature. Unfortunately, we have seen a large number of unnatural fires recently. Some areas conduct a ‘controlled burn’ since many of the organisms have evolved to thrive with occasional fires. In a study from Florida State University, scientists studied the tortoise beetle population that is regularly affected by controlled burns. Check it out here:
How beetles bounce back from forest fires

Killing Cancer Cells

Scientists have studied cancer for many years and will continue to search for a cure. Scientists at Northwestern University found that RNA molecules, that were created to help study genes, triggers a mechanism in all cells causing them to die. If this works, it will be a major breakthrough in cancer research. Check it out here:
Suicide molecules kill any cancer cell

Protecting Threatened Animals

Over 1000 animals are currently threatened. Many scientists are working on ways to protect these species and their habitats. A study led by Australian National University mapped the areas that would protect animals around the world by looking at the habitats that provide the best benefit to the organisms. They are looking to protect all land mammals, but priority is given to the organisms with no close relatives. Check it out here:
New study maps priority areas around world to protect mammals

New Aquatic Species

Live specimens of aquatic organisms were collected over 300ft beneath the surface in the Philippine's Verde Island Passage and were then transported over 7000 miles to San Fransisco. A newly described butterflyfish made this journey without being noticed until biologists saw a single black fin spine that tipped them off. Check it out here:
Surprise new butterflyfish from the Philippine 'twilight zone'