SciNews Feb 26

Stem cells, 3d printers, hadrons I have known, and Mars science mysteries – cool stories to share with your science students.  This eclectic collection of current science news stories is brought to you by STAOBlog.

SciNews is published every Monday and Thursday. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s  from 123rfBiology

Fairly bad pitcher traps triumph in the end.  Science News

Incompetent, says who? Carnivorous pitcher plant traps rarely catch much, but their lackadaisical hunting turns out not to be so lame after all. Ask the ecologist who set up hospital IV drips to test Nepenthes rafflesiana traps in the shrubbery of Brunei. Read more…


Observing stem cells maturing into blood cells in living mouse. Science Daily

In the bone marrow, blood stem cells give rise to a large variety of mature blood cells via progenitor cells at various stages of maturation. Scientists have developed a way to equip mouse blood stem cells with a fluorescent marker that can be switched on from the outside. Using this tool, they were able to observe, for the first time, how stem cells mature into blood cells under normal conditions in a living organism. Read more…




World’s Oceans Clogged by Millions of Tons of Plastic Trash.  Scientific American13698187_s from 123rf

The world’s oceans are clogged with plastic debris, but how much of it finds its way into the seas annually? Enough to place the equivalent of five grocery bags full of plastic trash on every foot (30 cm) of every nation’s coastline around the globe. Read more…



Will 3D printers, bioprinters change the future of surgery? CBC News

When an MRI revealed a golf ball-sized tumour growing in Pamela Shavaun Scott’s skull, the California psychotherapist turned to a 3D printer to help find the least invasive and risky way for doctors to extract it. Her husband, Michael Balzer, the founder of a 3D printing service company, used her medical records to create a three-dimensional image of her brain on his computer and print a 3D model of it. Read more…

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New Particles Found at Large Hadron Collider. Scientific American

Two new particles made of exotic types of quarks have appeared inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland. The particles are never-before-seen species of baryons—a category of particles that also includes the familiar protons and neutrons inside atoms. The new baryons had been long predicted to exist, but their specific characteristics, such as their mass, were unknown until they were discovered in the flesh. The new measurements serve to confirm and refine the existing theory of subatomic particles and help pave the way for a deeper theory that could include even more exotic particles. Read more…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Mars mysteries: Giant plumes, the jelly doughnut and more. CBC News

Huge cloud-like plumes are just the latest red-planet mystery to captivate our attention. Scientists still do not know what to make of the plumes, which were spotted almost three years ago. Read more…

Mars exploration: NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft completes first deep dip campaign. Science Daily

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution has completed the first of five deep-dip maneuvers designed to gather measurements closer to the lower end of the Martian upper atmosphere. Read more…


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