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Stem cells, genetic modification and natural selection are all GCSE biology topics that feature in this week’s Science in the News-letter. Students can also read about an evacuation caused by warning signs of a volcanic eruption in South America and a new theory as to why Neanderthals became extinct.
I come across a lot of science news stories (as you can imagine) and have noticed that journalists are attracted to certain topics – ones that they think have a certain ‘sexy’ appeal to their readers I imagine. Bionic body parts seems to be one of them – conjuring imagery of a future where we are all enhanced by ultra-efficient prosthetic body parts like RoboCop.
One of these stories that hit the press recently was the news that researchers in Princeton have created a ‘bionic’ ear. More
Last week saw the 60 year anniversary of the famous discovery by Watson and Crick which heralded the start of the modern era of biology. Also in the news last week: a possible cure for HIV begins human trials, the Earth’s core is 1 000 degrees Celsius than previously thought and why we urgently need to remove space debris.
In the news last week: scientists have DNA evidence that bacteria living underneath the ice in Lake Vostok are a new species. In a similarly hostile environment, on Jupiter’s moon Europa, scientists have gathered evidence that salty water exists there which may be a source of chemical energy for life.
Other stories from last week reported in the newsletter include camels that once lived in the Arctic, a possible cure for lung cancer using gene therapy and the chance of seeing a comet this Friday.
In this week’s newsletter your students can find out about how we may soon reach the tipping point when it comes to climate change as it looks likely that there will be a major release of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere from melting permafrost. Also, how sailors are helping scientists to measure plankton population in the oceans, a world record for the discovery of the deepest hydrothermal vent, good news in the fight against the ‘flu virus and how a woman in Texas beat odds of 1 in 70 million to give birth to two sets of identical twins on the same day.