SciNews Feb 9

Measles, Lung Cancer and Women, Pluto, Climate change, and the not so constant speed of light.  Just some of the fascinating themes featured in this issue of SciNews.  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

10 things to know about measles. Science News for Students

Many people think that measles, a disease that once hit nearly every child, has disappeared — at least in the United States. It hasn’t. And people who were never vaccinated face the primary risk of getting it. Here’s what you should know. Read more…


Lung cancer now leading cause of cancer death in females in developed countries. Science Daily

A new analysis finds lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in females in developed countries. Read more…



Firefighters’ Blood Holds Chemicals Related to Potentially Toxic Compound. Scientific Ame13698187_s from 123rfrican

Perfluorinated compounds, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), help firefighting foams rapidly flow over flaming liquids such as gasoline and jet fuel, cooling and quenching fires. But despite environmental scientists’ concerns about these possibly toxic compounds accumulating in wildlife and lurking in firefighters’ blood, researchers don’t know the identity of many of the chemicals in the mixtures on the market. For the first time, a new study borrows a medical research tool to pinpoint fluorochemicals in the blood of firefighters, identifying novel compounds that have never before been publicly reported (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/es503653n).  Read more…

Penta-graphene, a new structural variant of carbon, discovered. Science Daily

Researchers have discovered a new structural variant of carbon called ‘penta-graphene’ — a very thin sheet of pure carbon that has a unique structure inspired by a pentagonal pattern of tiles found paving the streets of Cairo. Read more…

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Sometimes light is not so fast. Science News for Students

The speed of light is often called a “constant.” New experiments show that may not be true, even within a vacuum. Sometimes, light slows a bit. The new research is “very impressive work,” Robert Boyd told Science News. An optical physicist at the University of Rochester in New York, he did not work on the study. He says of the new finding: “It’s the sort of thing that’s so obvious, you wonder why you didn’t think of it first.” Read more…


Earth and Space Science

Big Gap between What Scientists Say and Americans Think about Climate Change. Scientific American

There is good and bad news for climate scientists. The good news: Most Americans (79 percent) say that science and scientists are invaluable.  The bad news: On controversial topics such as climate change, a significant number of Americans do not use science to inform their views. Instead, they use political orientation and ideology, which are reflected in their level of education, to decide whether humans are driving planetary warming. Read more…

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New Horizons spacecraft snaps new images of Pluto. CBC News

NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft, which will do a close flyby of Pluto and its moons in July, has sent back new images of the dwarf planet and its biggest moon. NASA released the new images on Wednesday, the birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, the American astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930. Read more…


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