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20-Oct-2014 07:24
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Funding provided by the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation at AAAS


Kid-Friendly Feature Stories

Carnegie Mellon to host second annual nationwide high school computer security contest
Carnegie Mellon University professor David Brumley and two student-run teams will host the second annual PicoCTF competition, a nation-wide computer security contest aimed to help high school students learn the basics of hacking in the context of a story-driven game. Nearly 2,000 teams from 1,000 schools participated in last year's event. This year's competition will be held Oct. 27-Nov. 7 at

Contact: Daniel Tkacik
Carnegie Mellon University

When herbivore numbers drop, plants ditch thorny defenses
Plants can persist in landscapes full of hungry plant eaters, or herbivores, either by shielding themselves with special defenses like thorns, or by putting down roots in risky regions where carnivores -- who hunt the herbivores -- roam.

Contact: Science Press Package
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Baby stars caught in a galactic spider web
Galaxy clusters are the largest groups in the entire Universe, containing hundreds or even thousands of gigantic star-filled galaxies. This week astronomers have been looking at the Spiderweb Galaxy forming at the center of a galaxy cluster. The Spiderweb Galaxy is one of the oldest galaxies ever discovered, and it's made up of dozens of smaller galaxies all merging together!

Contact: Sarah Eve Roberts
Leiden University

Prosthetic hands and arms that 'belong'
Scientists are getting closer to making prosthetic hands and arms look and act like real hands and arms. Dustin Tyler at Case Western Reserve University and colleagues show that two adult male amputees can perform everyday tasks for over a year (including strenuous outdoor activities such as chopping wood) without problems.

Contact: Science Press Package Team
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Cheetahs and pumas balance their needs to be effective hunters
It's not easy being a predator. Finding, chasing and killing your prey is hard work, and it requires a lot of energy. That's why researchers have been studying medium-sized predators (mesopredators) like cheetahs and pumas so much: they want to know how these wild cats are able to hunt so effectively without exhausting themselves.

Contact: Science Press Package
American Association for the Advancement of Science

More Feature Stories >>

News for and About Kids

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
These roos were 'made' for walking, study suggests of extinct enigmas
Based on a rigorous comparative analysis of kangaroo anatomy, researchers posit that the ancient family of sthenurine kangaroos that lived until 30,000 years ago likely preferred walking to hopping.
Bushnell Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
Brown University

Public Release: 13-Oct-2014
The chemistry of pizza (video)
Whether it's a plain cheese, a deep-dish stacked with meats or a thin-crust veggie delight, there's just something about pizza that makes it delicious. There's a lot of chemistry that goes into everything from dough to sauce to toppings to, of course, cheese. There's also a very specific chemical reaction at work on every single slice, no matter what toppings you choose. Check out the latest episode here:

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 9-Oct-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Migrating animals' pee affects ocean chemistry
Tiny animals migrating from the ocean's surface to the sunless depths release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Hannah Hickey
University of Washington

Public Release: 8-Oct-2014
Hungry black hole eats faster than thought possible
Astronomers have discovered a black hole that is consuming gas from a nearby star 10 times faster than previously thought possible. The black hole -- known as P13 -- lies on the outskirts of the galaxy NGC7793 about 12 million light years from Earth and is ingesting a weight equivalent to 100 billion billion hot dogs every minute.
Australian Research Council/Discovery Projects

Contact: Kirsten Gottschalk
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Public Release: 6-Oct-2014
Why does toothpaste make orange juice taste awful? (video)
This week, Reactions explains why toothpaste and orange juice don't mix. Learn all about it at

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

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