mass extinction events Environment Oceanography Paleontology 

The Forgotten Mass Extinction

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) Yes, we are in a mass extinction event Recent research has spotted a new major mass extinction, termed the “end-Guadalupian (259.8 Ma),” according to a scientific paper in the journal Historical Biology. Previously, scientists knew of only five mass extinctions in the history of Earth: the end-Ordovician (443.8 Ma), the Late Devonian (372.2 Ma), the end-Permian (251.9 Ma), the end-Triassic (201.4 Ma), and the end-Cretaceous (66 Ma). Our current biodiversity crisis has been called the sixth mass extinction, but with these new findings it will probably…

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Proof of evolution is in your DNA Anthropology Biology Education Genetics Videos 

Proof of Evolution Is in Your DNA

Another great video from our friend Dr. Joe Hanson and the team at It’s Okay to Be Smart, brought to you by PBS Digital Studios. This time, we’re looking at the proof of evolution that’s embedded right there in our DNA. Humans are special, and we got that way thanks to evolution and natural selection. The proof is right there in our bodies! From anatomy to genes, here are some stories of how you got to be the way you are. Dr. Joe Hanson, It’s Okay to Be Smart References…

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A red crane sits idle at the SWRP mine next to Boulder Ridge. A chain link fence separates the two properties. Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Environment Health 

Researchers, regulators, and residents collaborate to test air quality sensors

This article was originally published by SciStarter on February 4, 2019. By Margaret Hinrichs In early 2018, Scistarter and Arizona State University began the process of collaborating with a local community, Boulder Ridge, to measure the quality of its air. Boulder Ridge is a 55 and older retirement community in Phoenix. Over the past three years, Boulder Ridge residents began to notice increased blasting, crushing, and trucking out of rock and dirt from an open stone mine next door operated by Southwest Rock Products, LLC. On days when there were no…

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smart science project recommendations Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Smart Science Project Recommendations

By Caroline Nickerson (@CHNickerson) Portions of this post are excerpted from the accompanying podcast episode and from notes shared between the SciStarter team and Kobi Gal’s research team. Smart project recommendations on SciStarter With thousands of citizen science projects listed on SciStarter, a main challenge can be finding the right project for you, one that really suits your needs and your interests. After meeting at a workshop on the Open Science of Learning hosting by CRI, Kobi Gal, a leading expert in human-centered artificial intelligence, and Darlene Cavalier, the founder…

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7 Scientific Urban Legends Debunked Education Videos 

7 Scientific Urban Legends Debunked

How reliable is common knowledge? If a large number of people believe something, that doesn’t make it true. Dr. Joe Hanson of the It’s OK to Be Smart series from PBS Digital Studios debunks 7 scientific urban legends. He also makes a compelling argument for why we desperately need open-access science information and effective communication. Sometimes common knowledge is wrong. For common knowledge to be right, then knowledge needs to be, well, common. It sounds like such an incredible fact. “Our own cells are outnumbered by our microbes 10 to…

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Paleontology 

Sphenodontian Fossil from Ancient Gondwana Found in Brazil

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) A new reptile fossil was recently discovered in Brazil, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports and describes the species Clevosaurus hadroprodon, which has turned out to be the oldest fossil of its kind from what was formerly Gondwana—the ancient supercontinent that split up into Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula. The remains of the fossil, consisting mostly of the mandible and skull bones, were found in rocks that…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Citizen Science in Australia: Spotlight on Michelle Neil

By Caroline Nickerson (@CHNickerson) As the interviewer and the author of this Citizen Science Connected Blog post, I’ll reveal my bias now: meeting Michelle Neil, the secretary and social media moderator of the Australian Citizen Science Association, was a highlight of the Citizen Science Association’s conference for me. I’m an unabashed Michelle fan. She sat down with me this past March in Raleigh for a wide-ranging discussion of how she got into citizen science, citizen science in Australia, and her future plans for this work. Michelle wrote about her experience…

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Astronomy Physics Technology Videos 

How to Drink Coffee in Space

Many of us remember being in a school assembly when an astronaut came to speak. The question on every kid’s mind (and teacher’s mind too, let’s be honest) was, “How do you go to the bathroom in space?” But what about other important things involving liquids in space? As it happens, there is a lot of research surrounding the behavior of fluids in zero gravity, such as how to drink coffee in space. In this video, our friend Dr. Joe Hanson from It’s OK to Be Smart explains why this…

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Biology Botany 

Bananas, Panama Disease, and You

By Radhika Desikan Bananas are a ubiquitous fruit that generally appeals to humans of all ages, from infants to older people. But did you know that our consumption of bananas might be reduced in the future, due to a devastating disease that is hitting the crop worldwide? Panama disease of bananas is a hugely devastating plant disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc). It was originally discovered in the late 19th century, but spread globally in the early 20th century, when the disease wiped out a…

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Ecology Science Debate Science Policy 

Could Agriculture Save US Water Supply?

By Mackenzie Myers This article is part of a series about key science policy issues. Please use these articles to become an informed voter, ask political candidates about the issues, and put every candidate on record about science. This time of year in California’s Central Valley, it’s easy to see where the Golden State gets its nickname. Golden sun shines on golden grasses of rolling golden hills, parched after so many months without rain, which is unlikely to return for at least several more weeks. Even so, there are signs…

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