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All About Science

208 Posts

International Ozone Day

Posted by SIngraffea Sep 4, 2013

ozone_225.jpgJoin the United Nations' call for "A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want" during the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer or “Ozone Day.” Celebrated on September 16, it marks the anniversary of the 1987 signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This event highlights issues facing the ozone layer and its role in climate change. It is also a call to action for industries and individuals to participate in protecting our atmosphere from future damage.

Learn about the atmosphere's relationship with climate patterns and weather conditions through Air Masses. Explore the Properties of Air and think about how air pushes on all the surfaces it touches. In the lesson, How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate, students are introduced to scientific research on climate change and the role of citizen science in finding solutions. Find out about the environemtal impacts of reactive nitrogen, how humans have been polluting the air with lead since ancient times, and the brown cloud over Asia. Did you know that if earth continues to warm,  massive amounts of carbon could be released when permafrost melts?

To combat these problems, hear how countries are phasing out the use of chemicals to give the ozone hole a chance to heal itself in Ozone Fill-up. Discuss how initiatives like Urban Greening, including Green Roof Designs, are used to improve air quality. Another way to remove ozone from air is through dead skin flakes in dust! The Science Update Ozone-Scrubbing Skin explores how. Find out about Your Carbon Diet and help make changes to be more environmentally and energy friendly. Consider the choices people have to make using Power Up! which examins the trade-offs between different types of power and their enviromental impact.

lit day.jpgLiteracy is the foundation of education and UNESCO sets aside September 8 to promote it as a human right. This year, International Literacy Day focuses on "Literacies for the 21st Century" to highlight the need for basic literacy skills and the importance of advanced skills to help navigate our modern world. Help develop your students' reading skills and their interest in lifelong learning using our collection of resources based on award-winning books. We have lessons that bring books into your science classroom and interviews with the authors.

Check out SB&F's Recommended Books for the Science Classroom and its FREE special issue of best books from 2012. Looking for more? Thinkfinity has reading suggestions for high-school students, science ebook recommendations, and ideas on ways to partner with your school's librarians. Join these discussions to get advice and share your ideas.


Check out the current Science NetLinks Mystery Image Contest and be sure to submit your guess for a chance to win this month's prize, a AAAS Digital Membership.  AAAS Membership includes online access to all new and archived Science magazine articles, full access to AAAS Member Central (great videos, podcasts and blogs) and full access to SB&F Online (our incredible critical review journal of the latest science trade books.)




Next month we'll encourage you to use the Mystery Image Contest (MIC) with your students and submit a class guess.  We'll create a blog post for people to share ideas on how they are using MIC in their class, so keep an eye out for next month's contest.






For more science posts and discussions, visit and join the All About Science group.





Project Director

AAAS Science NetLinks

eyeball.jpgYour eyes are incredible tools that help you explore the world. This month, help raise awareness about the importance of preventing eye injuries, recognizing vision loss, and general eye health for kids. Want to know how your eye works? Take a tour of its anatomy, explore how it takes in light, and how it perceives color. Learn what it means to be nearsighted, how glasses help correct vision, and if reading in the dark leads to problems. Discuss how we use our eyes as measurement tools, test your visual reaction time, and learn how your eyes can be fooled by optical illusions. Ever dealt with red-eye in photos? Learn why that happens and how a flash helps. Did you know that scientists are exploring how we process language by studying people's eye movements? Researchers are also looking at the eye's unique immune response to increase organ transplant tolerance.



A new antibiotic that is effective at killing anthrax and superbug MRSA bacteria could be a weapon in the fight against antibiotic resistance – and terrorism.


Anthracimycin, a chemical compound derived from the Steptomyces bacteria, was discovered in the ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara in California. Its unique chemical structure makes it a new addition to the antibiotic family that could pave the way for new drugs.


Most new antibiotics are derivatives of existing compounds. The last new naturally-derived antibiotic that entered the market was Daptomycin, a soil-derived compound from Streptomyces roseosporus, approved a decade ago in 2003. It was originally discovered in 1986.


"The discovery of truly new antibiotic compounds is quite rare," said William Fenical, Professor of Oceanography and Pharmaceutical Science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who led the research team.


"It's not just one discovery," he said. "It opens up the opportunity to develop analogues – potentially hundreds. Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin in the 1928 and from that more than 25 drugs were developed. When you find a new antibiotic structure, it goes beyond just one."


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MRSA and anthrax


Initial tests suggest that Anthracimycin is particularly potent against MRSA and anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, a lethal bacterial infection that is commonly associated today with outbreaks in livestock and its threat as a biological weapon – particularly after it was deliberately spread in the US mail following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.


The team tested the compound on lab mice infected with MRSA – which would have killed within five days. At at 1mg dose per 1Kg of a mouse's weight, it proved effective in eradicating the infection in about 85% of mice.


MRSA (meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) can cause life-threatening infections and has been a scourge in hospitals because it is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics.


Antibiotics are highly effective in treating anthrax but it would also possible for terrorists to manufacture a drug resistant strain from known antibiotics, Fenical said. The new discovery could be used by a government to develop an antibiotic that was withheld from public consumption for emergency use.


The team has openly published their findings in the German applied chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie for pharmaceutical companies and governments that may be interested in starting research and development (RND) programmes.


Get in Touch


http://sciencenetlinks.com/media/filer_thumbnails/2012/07/11/snl-ipad.jpg__250x204_q85_crop_upscale.jpgScience NetLinks has some new social media pages: check out our YouTube channel and Tumblr blog for more science education content. Be sure to subscribe and follow so you don't miss any updates!


Our YouTube channel will feature videos from Science NetLinks in a more accessible format for our users who are used to YouTube's functionality. Tumblr, meanwhile, is a short-form blogging platform where we'll be posting Science NetLinks resources as well as original STEM- and education-related content.


As always, be sure to follow and like us on Twitter and Facebook!


Mystery Image Contest

Posted by SIngraffea Jul 19, 2013



In case you haven't heard, our first Science NetLinks Mystery Image Contest is open for entries! You have a chance to win this cool AAAS science shirt (Science Update's Bob Hirshon models his own). Don't wait too long because the deadline is Monday, July 22nd. Check out this blog post in the Community Hub for more details.


Enter the contest here. Good luck!

Science NetLinks is excited to unveil our new Mystery Image Contest! Can you will guess the identity of a science-related image based on a close-up section of the picture? (See example below.)

mystery image.png

The contest will be open for about two weeks and we will randomly select one winner from all the correct entries to win a prize! Then, the answer will be revealed along with the science behind the photograph.

Our first contest is now open for entries! The prize is this "I [heart] Science" t-shirt from AAAS:


Take your best guess and good luck!

For more science posts and discussions, visit and join the All About Science group.



Posted by cbeyerle Jul 6, 2013

I created a list of my favorite STEM apps, feel free to check out and share. If you have some favorite you think I should include please let me know!




I also created a list via @edshelf http://edshelf.com/profile/cbeyerle/must-have-stem-tools


Summer of Science

Posted by SIngraffea Jun 18, 2013

summer.jpgHurray for summer! School may be out but that doesn't mean learning stops. This is a great time to keep kids active with Summer Science Fun. Engage in hands-on science experiments using items that can be found around the house. Investigate how sound travels, build a geyser, play with bubbles, or track the phases of the moon.

Discover computer games and apps that entertain and educate. Engineer a mission to Mercury, test your knowledge of plants and animals, and see how well you know human antamony. Looking for a citizen science project or a handy guide when exploring the great outdoors? Help is at your fingertips with apps like Meteor Counter, Project Noah, iNaturalist, Project BudBurst, GoSkyWatch Planetarium, and Leafsnap.

What books are on your summer reading list? We have suggestions and you can check out SB&F's Summer Reading guide and their pick of Best Books of 2012 for addtional ideas. Thinkfinity has a lot of great reading recommendations too. Get advice on books for high-school students, science ebook recommendations, and favorite summer reading lists.

Thinkfinity's Summer Learning Explorations has resources from all our partners on how to keep kids busy on long, hot days. You'll also find tips on inspiring kids to learn over the summer, ideas for learning from nature, and more creative ways to stop summer brain drain.

We're always creating new content so keep in touch with us over the break:


Enjoy your summer!



Exploring Careers in Space Science

Posted by ric Jun 13, 2013


Space science is more than being stationed on the International Space Station, we know that but too often focus on that as the penultimate goal.  Don't get me wrong, I think the experience would be very cool, and well worth the work it takes to get there.


There are so many ways in which one can be active in "space science" - ways that can link ones personal/professional interests to the larger space exploration project.  I recently had a conversation with a nutrition researcher who told me of the amazing research underway to explore the means of feeding humans during extended space flights (like to Mars and beyond).  Of course it makes sense, but too often we forget about these ways in which one becomes part of the space exploration community.


A few weeks ago, AAAS sponsored an event that brought some space scientists together for conversations with middle schoolers.  The group included folks who work to share space science stories and discoveries with larger audiences - and in doing so helping others share in the excitement.  These folks also help more lay persons like me to understand the challenges more clearly and, as a result of crowd sourcing like methods, seek out creative solutions to vexing questions.  The panel also included a scientist who is using satellite images from space to document human rights abuses here on earth.  And let's not forget the electrical engineer who works to be sure that all those monitoring stations around the world and in space orbit can talk to one another and to mission control personnel.


Each of these folks, and my nutritionist friend, are making contributions that build and strengthen what we know to make space exploration possible and even more exciting.  What a cool life!


You can learn more about the AAAS event here: AAAS - No Space Flight Required: Panel Describes Broad Spectrum of Space Careers to Middle-Schoolers


jellyfish.jpgWhat do submarines, blood flow, and wind farms have in common? They’ve all benefitted from scientific research by Dr. John Dabiri, who studies jellyfish, of all things! Dr. Dabiri, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, studies the way jellyfish move through the water. His findings in fluid dynamics and propulsion help design more streamlined submarines for the Navy, more efficient windmills for renewable energy, and solve problems to do with the human cardiovascular system. Watch the video about Dr. Dabiri’s research here, part of a new series by Science NetLinks called Conversations with a Scientist.


Another Conversations with a Scientist video features Dr. Michael Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, who helped discover notable, planet-like objects in our solar system beyond Pluto. One of these objects—named Eris, after the Greek goddess of chaos and discord—is larger than Pluto, which sparked the heated scientific debate about whether Pluto should in fact be considered a planet, despite there being potentially many undiscovered, larger objects orbiting the sun. As a result of Dr. Brown’s discovery, Pluto was famously demoted to “dwarf planet” status in the scientific community.

To learn more about professional scientists and their careers, check out our What Do Scientists Do? lesson (grades 6–8) and the Secret Life of Engineers and Scientists tool (grades 6–12). Then learn about women scientists in medicine (lesson for grades 9–12) and biology (tool for grades 6–12), African American scientists (lesson for grades 6–8), and Latino/a scientists as well (featuring links to external resources).

If you enjoy Conversations with a Scientist, keep an eye out for lessons and other educational resources relating to these videos, coming soon!


[Image credit: Clipart.com]


Originally posted on AAAS Science NetLinks Educator Blog.


Hurricane Season

Posted by SIngraffea Jun 10, 2013

hurricanerita_225.jpgDid you know that a hurricane (also known as a cyclone or typhoon in other parts of the world) can dump more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain in a single day? These severe tropical storms form over ocean waters that are warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, usually 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator.

The Pacific hurricane season began May 15, while the hurricane season in the Atlantic began June 1 and continues through November. Explore our collection of resources to help your class learn more about the science behind hurricanes, wind, and other weather. Students can investigate the anatomy of a hurricane, discuss how forces change the speed and direction of motion, and look at how technology is used in tracking these types of storms.

Check out Thinkfinity's collection on hurricanes and join the discussion to share what resources you use to explain these forces of nature with your students.

I just posted in the Community Hub about tomorrow's AAAS ScienceLive Chat: Mission to Mars--With Special Guest Buzz Aldrin. We just wanted to make sure that everyone in the All About Science group knew about this event.



June 6th, 3:00pm EDT

Visit chat page here.


You can join the chat live or leave a question for the experts to answer.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to Mars? The President wants astronauts headed to the red planet by 2035.  How will they get there and back? How much will a trip like this cost?  What new technologies will be developed to make this voyage a reality?


This week's ScienceLive Chat guests, Buzz Aldrin, Leonard David, and James Gavin will help answer these questions.


While this live chat may be taking place after students have left for the day, you can submit questions early and an archive podcast and transcript of the show will be available on the show page.


ScienceLive Chat starts at 3pm EDT on Thursday, June 6th on this page.




Science NetLinks and AAAS have a number of resources that focus on space and technology:


Learn more about NASA and discover the history and future of space travel.

            Podcasts offering students the opportunity to hear from NASA and its partners as they explore worlds both near and far.

Photographer Michael Benson discusses the Planetfall art exhibition at AAAS and its depiction of the intersection of art and science.

Planetary scientist Dr. Nancy Chabot and artist Michael Benson discuss their work.

          Book recommendations from SB&F's editors and reviewers to inform, motivate, and inspire young people to purse careers in space science.


Pilot a rocket to its destination and learn how gravity can affect objects.


Join in the discussion: Are Your Children Fascinated with Outer Space?


For more science posts and discussions, visit and join the All About Science group.

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