Kelp forests -- ecosystems found along the world's coastlines that help produce oxygen and capture carbon -- are sensitive to warm conditions, according to a new study from Simon Fraser University. Climate change has led to warming in the world's oceans, particularly in the upper layers, where kelp grows.
STEM students in a Pennsylvania high school have been studying seismology and spent a month building models of earthquake-resistant structures. Students in the project-based class could use materials such as coffee stirrers and popsicle sticks to build their "Earthquake Shake" structures, which had to withstand testing on an earthquake simulator plate.
Citizen-scientist Shanmuga Subramanian's analysis of an image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera led NASA to confirm the crash site of India's Vikram lunar lander. The Indian Space Research Organization tried to land Vikram on the moon in early September, but the spacecraft crashed after failing to slow down enough.
A Texas school district is working to expand its career and technical programming for students. Some students are enrolled in automotive courses and are completing auto body work for staff, and another school is expanding its offerings to include a new culinary course.
The distance water droplets fall from stalactites may dictate the shape of resulting stalagmites, according to findings published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. Researchers used a physics-based model, finding that while the size of the water droplets themselves were similar, the distance they fell onto the stalagmites would cause them to disperse differently.
Dogs appear to be able to differentiate between words with slightly different vowel sounds, according to findings published in Biology Letters. Dogs of various breeds were played recordings of people saying six words that varied only by their vowels, and a majority reacted when either the voice or word changed, meaning "they [might] comprehend more than we give them credit for," said researcher Holly Root-Gutteridge.
Cardiac progenitor cells or bone marrow cells injected into damaged heart tissue rejuvenate the organ no better than injections of an immune-stimulating chemical or dead cells, and any regenerative effects might be due to the body's wound-healing function, a study in mice suggests. However, more than one mechanism might be at work, and Denis Buxton, associate director of Basic and Early Translational Research at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, says stem cells might secrete factors that work in tandem with an immune response to heal heart tissue.
The future of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which was established in 2010 to further research that thoroughly incorporates patient involvement, depends on which legislative choices prevail after its temporary funding extension ends on Dec. 20. Legislation in the House of Representatives would renew PCORI for up to seven years, while a Senate proposal would extend its authorization for 10 years and make changes such as allowing it to cover treatment costs.
Students in Alabama recently learned about potential careers as first responders during a "Chasing Your Dreams" event. Students heard from speakers that included first responders, such as a 911 dispatcher and an emergency department physician.
A group of high-school students in Massachusetts are the first to graduate from the Pathways to the Trades program -- a collaboration between their school, Greenagers, Construct Inc. and Railroad Street Youth Project. The program includes mentorship and a focus on career pathways.