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Citizen Science Salon

12 Days of Christmasy Citizen Science

By admin | December 17, 2018 9:26 pm

Our editors found 12 projects related to the 12 Days of Christmas jingle. Ok, some are a stretch, but we hope you enjoy our holiday edition!

We have some exciting developments on the horizon. Will you please take a moment to update your dashboard settings so you can really make the most of the new features in the new year? Thank you.

The SciStarter Team

On the 1st Day of Christmas, Trees Please gave to me:
A partridge in a pear tree when measuring air quality and tre …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Newsletter


A Second X Chromosome Could Explain Why Women Live Longer Than Men

By Megan Schmidt | December 17, 2018 9:00 pm

Women have an average life expectancy that’s about 4 years longer than men’s – regardless of culture or geography. Even among animal species, females outlive males.

Why females have an advantage in the longevity department hadn’t been well understood. In the past, some had assumed it had to do with lifestyle. But scientists say there may be a genetic mechanism underlying this age-old phenomenon. In a new study, researchers found that mice with two X chromosomes lived longer, regardl …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts


Stroking a Baby During Medical Procedures Really Can Reduce an Infant's Pain

By Roni Dengler | December 17, 2018 5:44 pm

Protecting an infant from pain may be a matter of instinct. In a new study, researchers show that gently stroking babies during medical procedures, as parents intuitively do, reduces infants’ feelings of pain about as well as applying a topical anesthetic. The discovery suggests touch and tactile stimulation are effective means to mollify pain in newborns and an alternative to using drugs.

“Touch seems to have analgesic potential without the risk of side effects,” Rebeccah Slater, a p …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts


Astronomers Have Found the Most Distant Dwarf Planet in the Solar System to Date

By Chelsea Gohd | December 17, 2018 5:03 pm

A Far-Out Planet
An ambitious team of astronomers has discovered the most “far out” object ever observed in our Solar System. The object, a pink dwarf planet called 2018 VG18 and nicknamed “Farout,” lies more than 100 times further from the sun than the Earth is.

This discovery, made by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard, the University of Hawaii’s David Tholen and Northern Arizona University’s Chad Trujillo, was formally announced today (Dec. 17) by the International Astronomical  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts


SNAPSHOT: This Startup Says They've Made The First Lab-Grown Steak

By Alison Mackey | December 17, 2018 5:00 pm

This image captures the world’s first lab-grown steak, created by Aleph Farms, an Israeli based startup. It’s different than standard vegetarian mock meats that attempt to mimic the flavor and texture of the real thing. Instead, lab-grown meat, or “clean meat,” uses actual animal cells.

To grow the meat, Aleph sampled cow fat, blood vessel, muscle and support cells and cultured them in the lab. A three-week process of 3-D tissue formation then brought it all together in a slaughter …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World, top posts


Cassini Catches Two of Saturn's Moons Building a Cosmic Snowman

By Chelsea Gohd | December 17, 2018 4:46 pm

Floating out in the solar system, the Cassini spacecraft captured a curious image of two moons that seem to be stuck together.The image actually shows Saturn’s moons Dione and Rhea, but because of the angle that the image was taken at, they appear to be conjoined. Cassini snapped the image before NASA crashed the ship into Saturn last year.

The spacecraft took this image 683,508 miles (1.1 million km) away from Dione (top) and 994,193 miles (1.6 million km) away from Rhea (bottom). So, …



Planets? Who Needs ‘Em! A Massive Star Forms a Companion Instead

By Amber Jorgenson | December 17, 2018 4:39 pm

The universe is full of surprises, and a colossal young star has been hiding a stellar one.

While observing infant star MM 1a, astronomers found that its massive disk was actually forming another star instead of planets. The much smaller companion, dubbed MM 1b, was detected just outside the behemoth star’s dusty disk, and could actually house a planet-forming disk of its own. The discovery of the new star, published on December 14 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, marks one of the  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

The Crux

Despite Concerns, Space Junk Continues to Clutter Earth Orbit

By Korey Haynes | December 17, 2018 4:32 pm

Humans have a tendency to litter wherever we go. Whether it’s the local park, a music festival, or Mt. Everest, we’re just not good at cleaning up after ourselves. And space is no exception.

Space is pretty big. Infinite, in fact. But the same can’t be said of low-Earth orbit (LEO) and, in particular, the most popular orbital lanes used by Earth-sensing and communications satellites. We’re launching more objects skyward every year and not, in many cases, cleaning up when we’re done with t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
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The Crux

It's Probably OK to Eat Raw Cookie Dough — As Long As You're Smart About It

By Brian Zikmund-Fisher, University of Michigan | December 17, 2018 2:21 pm

For many people, the holiday ritual of baking cookies isn’t complete without also eating some of the raw dough. In my family, questions like “Who gets to lick the beaters?” and “Can I grab a piece of dough?” were always part of the cookie-making experience.

Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly issued warnings about the dangers of consuming raw dough. Specific statements have included: “The bottom line for you and your kids is don’t eat raw dough,” “D …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts

Dead Things

Pterosaur Feathers Deepen Debate Over Their Evolution

By Gemma Tarlach | December 17, 2018 10:00 am

The discovery of novel filaments on two species of pterosaur suggests that the extinct flying reptiles had complex coats of “feathers” and fuzz, say the authors of a new study. The presence of these apparent pterosaur feathers may indicate that the ancestor of both pterosaurs and their cousins, dinosaurs, sported similar coverings — but that’s not the only hypothesis.

Like dinosaurs, pterosaurs are archosaurs. This group of reptiles, which also includes crocodilians, likely emerged …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

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