SciNews May 25

Warm-blooded fish, morphine from yeast, mosquito bite chemistry and Arctic warming.  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

Scientists Identify the World’s First Warm-Blooded Fish. Discover

All fish are cold-blooded.

Just a week ago, that statement would have been true. But on Thursday, scientists announced they discovered the world’s first warm-blooded fish, the opah, forcing us to rethink some of the most basic biological concepts we learned back in elementary school. Read More…


Rising temperatures may cause problems for cold-blooded critters. Science News

Last year in the pages of Science News, I tried to answer a question: Will the world’s plants, animals and other organisms be able to adapt to climate change? There wasn’t an easy answer to that question, in part because the effects of climate change are varied (they include rising air temperatures and acidifying oceans) and also because there are several ways for organisms to “adapt.” Read More…



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Genetically Modified Yeast Can ‘Home-Brew’ Morphine. Discover

In the near future, amateur basement brewers mulling over their next batch may struggle to choose between concocting an IPA or an opioid.

Scientists have recently announced that they’ve genetically engineered brewer’s yeast to convert common sugars into pain-killing opioids like codeine and morphine. The process is simple enough that hobbyists could easily brew morphine with a run-of-the-mill brewing kit — if they get their hands on yeast with the right genetic tweaks. Read More…


Mosquito Bite Home Remedies. About Chemistry

While you can buy treatments for mosquito bites, there are a lot of home remedies that can relieve the itching and sting without the expense. Here are common household items you can try as mosquito bite home remedies. I’ve included notes about the safety and effectiveness of the various treatments, too. Read More…


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Like a balloon, peculiar magnet grows and shrinks. Science News

An unusual magnet expands and contracts when exposed to a magnetic field. While scientists have long known that fields can subtly change magnets’ shape, the alloy described in the May 21 Nature is a rare specimen that experiences significant changes in volume. This material or similar ones could be used to produce actuators that push in all directions or pressure sensors whose magnetism changes as they get compressed. Read More…


Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Severe weather may be linked to Arctic warming. Science Daily

New evidence has linked Arctic warming with severe weather in countries including the UK and US. The studies are adding to the growing weight of evidence linking increased Arctic temperatures with changes in mid-latitude weather patterns. Read More…