Sea Turtle Tapes Himself: By Kara F

•June 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A Dutch navy sailor was diving off the coast of Aruba, when he happened to lose his waterproof video camera, safely in a protective case. The camera was pushed through tough waves and caught in the Loop Current, heading through Central America, Belize, the Yucatan Peninsula, towards the western coast of Cuba, and finally into the Florida Keys. It traveled approximately 1,100 miles to reach the Florida Keys. There, a curious sea turtle happened to stumble upon it. Amazingly, he was able to activate it and began recording. He swam all around the great big blue, video taping himself. Again the video camera was lost, but this time US Coast Guard agent Paul Schultz located it back in the underwater case. He downloaded the memory chip onto the Internet to see if he could find the owner. Amused with the video of the turtle, he posted it on youtube to show everyone all over the world how intelligent the sea turtle is. However, the turtle was not the best videographer and has difficulty keeping the camera steady. Nowadays, it is an extremely popular youtube sensation. Finally, Schultz located the owner and the camera was returned to him in one piece. To watch the video, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43sg-Ytt58

Link :http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100616/od_afp/usanimalturtleoffbeat_20100616195310

Discussion Questions:

1) What was your reaction to the sea turtle being able to activate the video camera?

2) Would you have posted the video on the Internet? Why or why not?

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H1N1 Swine Flu By: Alice Z.

•June 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As many of you know, the H1N1 swine flu has been the cause of many deaths around the world. Recently, scientists have researched this swine flu, and conclude that this virus has a killer combination. This combination is made of surface proteins called Neuraminidase and Hemagglutinin. There was also another protein in it called PB1-F2. These three proteins combined have made this swine flu a million times more virulent than an average virus.

Scientists have also discovered that these proteins prevent the human body from making an important antiviral compound called interferon. Interferon helps the body fight viruses, and could quickly cure the infection within three days after being infected. Therefore, the body isn’t able to fight this virus. In conclusion, this H1N1 swine flu is a deadly virus. That’s why we should anything we can to prevent from getting this flu.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think this swine flu is dangerous? Why or why not?

2. How do you think people can prevent from getting the H1N1 swine flu?

Link: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/60268/title/H1N1_virus_lacks__Spanish_flu%E2%80%99s_killer_protein

BP Funding By: Ally F.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

BP

What is happening to BP now? Did the method work? Is all the confusion of the oil spill almost over? Well, as of today $500 million was given to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Today, BP announced significant progress in the funding toward the research companies. Also, 3 other research institutions will receive a total of $25 million in fast-track funding so they are able to start the priority studies. The $500 million BP gave is going toward the study of the Deepwater Horizon incident which involves the environment and public health in the Gulf of Mexico. Out of the $500 million, $5 million will go to the Louisiana State University because part of BP’s commitment is to provide $10 million over the next 10 years. $10 million will go to the Florida Institute of Oceanography because the Florida Institute of Oceanography has 2o different institutions focusing on marine biology. Another $10 million will go to the Northern Gulf Institute because they have advanced scientific understanding of the Gulf region and its climate, natural resources, and habitat. Let’s hope BP stays on a good track.

Link:

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062936

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think that furthering their research in the Gulf of Mexico is going to help the oil spill? Why or why not?

2. Do you think BP gave out to much money to fund research? Should they have given less to the research and more to cleaning up the Gulf? Why or why not?

World’s Largest Spacecraft–By: Zach C.

•June 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

NASA’s international space station received the 2009 Robert J Collier trophy for having the worlds largest spacecraft.  This is an orbiting spacecraft in which people live for an amount of time.  The (ISS) collects scientific data, new discoveries and sets new standards for the (ISS)  This award was presented to NASA on Thursday May 13 in Arlington, Virginia.  NASA chairman Walter Boyne stated, “We are just trying to make NASA’s technology and space crafts bigger and better.”  Bill Gerstemaier stated, “We are honored to receive this prestigious award.  We are just trying to do our best to collect the most recent and true data.”  This award was between ten other space agencies.  This space station was designed in 2005 by the congress.  It is just about 5 years old.

Discussion Questions:

1) How long do you think it took to build this International Space Station?
2) How much do you think the procedure cost?

Link:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Are Airplanes Creating Rain and Snow?– By: Carly Z.

•June 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Recent studies show that Airplanes may be the cause of some odd looking clouds.This happens because there are water droplets in the air. If an airplane were to fly by, the wind from it’s propellers would freeze these water droplets. Then, the water would fall down to Earth creating precipitation in the area below!  In the process, it’s changing the form of the cloud. It’s making holes and channel type forms in the cloud. It sounds crazy, but if the water droplets up in the air are just cold enough and an airplane happens to fly by the people beneath it are going to get wet from either rain or snow!  Many people world-wide have reported that they’ve seen these mysterious looking clouds. This mostly occurs around the Northwest and Eastern Europe because of the frequent occurrence of cloud layers and freezing water droplets. So next time your outside look up at the sky, if you see any unusual clouds…you know how they were formed!

Discussion Questions

1.) Do you think it’s really possible that Airplanes are the ones that are making these mysterious clouds?

2.) Do you think you have ever seen something like this in the sky??

Manmade Gemstones– By: Rebecca M.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Many people think that the best gemstones to wear are genuine, that come from the ground.  But who would have known that there are ways to make your own gemstones that can be just as valuable or even more valuable than regular gemstones? When I first read the article, “These Gems Make Their Own Way” by Roberta Kwok, I was shocked to find out that a man named Tom Chatham was the owner of Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds, a company that makes their own valuable gems that can be as big as a golf ball.  He realized that in order to make these gems, they need to create the same processes that happen on Earth in their own laboratories.

These gemstones that are created contain the same appearance and chemical structure as regular gemstones, but the benefit is that they can be produced in very few months, weeks, or days.  Researchers can control the growth of gemstones very carefully so that they can continue to be produced. Some lab-grown gems are even more pure and tougher than natural gems!

Though most people think of gems on fancy rings and necklaces, diamonds and other gems appear in different places in everyday life.  At grocery stores, cash registers usually use sapphire to scan products because sapphire is a very tough material that isn’t easily scratched.  Rubies are also special because they create laser beams.  Red lasers can help remove tattoos because red light breaks down certain colors of tattoo dye in a person’s skin. Little, tiny, diamonds are sometimes used at the tip or sharp materials, like dentist drills.  If you’ve ever gotten a cavity filled, they mat have used a diamond tip because it is super strong and hard.

Diamond is a super stiff material that is hard to bend.  Heat passes through diamond, so heat could not melt a diamond.  Because they are so stiff, diamonds can vibrate super fast.  Cell phones need acoustic filters that vibrate incredibly fast to be able to do all the things that a cell phone can do.  Currently, scientists are working to try to make diamond filters as small as a strand of hair so that they can use less power in the phone.

Another way to use diamonds for good uses is to catch nasty bacteria.  Researchers and scientists are working to make a censor that has many small diamond parts shaped like diving boards coated in molecules that make bacteria stick to them.  These censors can help detect if water is safe to drink.  Diamonds can also be used devices to help blind people see, radar equipment for military uses, and in advanced computers that send secret information that can’t be decoded.  There are so many uses of diamonds that can be helpful, and man-made diamonds are even better because they can be easily made to proper sizes and shapes.  It’s amazing how helpful gemstones can be in life!

Discussion Questions

1) Do you think that these Gems are useful? Why do you think this?

2) What is the benefit of making your own gems instead of obtaining them from nature?

Web Link: http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100526/Feature1.asp

Hayabusa: A Japanese Spacecraft~By: Kelly M.

•June 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

On Sunday June 13, 2010, the  seven-year trip  of the Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa, ended. The spacecraft was sent into space in 2003, and the capsule was just found in  the Australian outback, on the morning of Monday June 14, 2010 . The space craft was sent up to space on a mission to study the asteroid Itokawa. Scientists are hoping that pieces of dust from the asteroid are located inside the capsule so that they can get a better look at Itokawa. If the capsule does contain some of the 1,640 foot-long, potato shaped asteroid’s dust, then scientists will be able to see clues about the origins of rocky planets such as Earth and Mars. They will also be able to see the composition of solar winds. The dust sample can also pave the way for missions in the future.

The spacecraft landed on Itokawa twice in November,2005, but scientists were unsure about whether the metal bullet designed to catch samples fired. The spacecraft was supposed to land back on Earth in 2007, but there were many setbacks, including broken wheels, and a lot of other minor difficulties which caused it to miss the window back to Earth in the orbit until this year.

The spacecraft is going to be sent by plane back to Japan tomorrow, June 15th. When it arrives in Japan, scientists will thoroughly clean it and do testing before identifying any particles.  If it succeeded, it will be the fourth sample to EVER return.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/hayabusa-returns/

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.) Do you think that the spacecraft has any information at all in it considering how long it was in space?

2.) Why do you think the spacecraft never came down to Earth until now?