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Collection of Resources for Today's Science Teachers
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Int'l chemistry Olympiad to take place in Vietnam's capital this month - Tuoitrenews

Int'l chemistry Olympiad to take place in Vietnam's capital this month - Tuoitrenews | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Int'l chemistry Olympiad to take place in Vietnam's capital this month
Tuoitrenews
Vietnam will organize the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad in the capital city of Hanoi later this month.
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How existing cropland could feed billions more - Science Daily (2014)

How existing cropland could feed billions more - Science Daily (2014) | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

Feeding a growing human population without increasing stresses on Earth's strained land and water resources may seem like an impossible challenge. But... focusing efforts to improve food systems on a few specific regions, crops and actions could make it possible to both meet the basic needs of 3 billion more people and decrease agriculture's environmental footprint. 

 

The report... focuses on 17 key crops that produce 86 percent of the world's crop calories and account for most irrigation and fertilizer consumption on a global scale. It proposes a set of key actions in three broad areas that that have the greatest potential for reducing the adverse environmental impacts of agriculture and boosting our ability meet global food needs. For each, it identifies specific "leverage points" where nongovernmental organizations, foundations, governments, businesses and citizens can target food-security efforts for the greatest impact. The biggest opportunities cluster in six countries -- China, India, U.S., Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan -- along with Europe... 

 

The major areas of opportunity and key leverage points for improving the efficiency and sustainability of global food production are:

 

1. Produce more food on existing land. Previous research has detected the presence of a dramatic agricultural "yield gap" -- difference between potential and actual crop yield -- in many parts of the world. This study found that closing even 50 percent of the gap in regions with the widest gaps could provide enough calories to feed 850 million people. Nearly half of the potential gains are in Africa, with most of the rest represented by Asia and Eastern Europe.

 

2. Grow crops more efficiently. The study identified where major opportunities exist to reduce climate impacts and improve the efficiency with which we use nutrients and water to grow crops. 

 

Agriculture is responsible for 20 to 35 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, largely in the form of carbon dioxide from tropical deforestation, methane from livestock and rice growing, and nitrous oxide from crop fertilization. The... biggest opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas production are in Brazil and Indonesia for deforestation; China and India for rice production; and China, India and the United States for crop fertilization. 

 

With respect to nutrient use, ... worldwide, 60 percent of nitrogen and nearly 50 percent of phosphorus applications exceed what crops need to grow. China, India and the U.S. -- and three crops, rice, wheat and corn -- are the biggest sources of excess nutrient use worldwide, so offer the greatest opportunity for improvement.

 

With respect to water, rice and wheat are the crops that create the most demand for irrigation worldwide, and India, Pakistan, China and the U.S. account for the bulk of irrigation water use in water-limited areas. Boosting crop water use efficiency... could reduce water demand 8 to 15 percent...

 

3. Use crops more efficiently... making more crop calories available for human consumption by shifting crops from livestock to humans and reducing food waste. 

 

The crop calories we currently feed to animals are sufficient to meet the calorie needs of 4 billion people. The... U.S., China and Western Europe account for the bulk of this "diet gap," with corn the main crop being diverted to animal feed. Although cultural preferences and politics limit the ability to change this picture, ... shifting crops from animal feed to human food could serve as a "safety net" when weather or pests create shortages. 

 

In addition, some 30 to 50 percent of food is wasted worldwide. Particularly significant is the impact of animal products: The loss of 1 kilogram of boneless beef has the same effect as wasting 24 kilograms of wheat due to inefficiencies in converting grain to meat... U.S., China and India... reducing waste in these three countries alone could yield food for more than 400 million people.

 

"Sustainably feeding people today and in the future is one of humanity's grand challenges. Agriculture is the main source of water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and habitat loss, yet we need to grow more food... Fortunately, the opportunities to have a global impact and move in the right direction are clustered. By focusing on areas, crops and practices with the most to be gained, companies, governments, NGOs and others can ensure that their efforts are being targeted in a way that best accomplishes the common and critically important goal of feeding the world while protecting the environment." ... 

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717141957.htm

 

Original article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1246067

 


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Organic Chemistry App for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Web

Organic Chemistry App for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Web | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
We are producing an Organic Chemistry Tutor app for iOS, Android and Blackberry. Online Organic Chemistry Knowledge Database (Read about cause that will help change higher education?
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New drug active against most aggressive type of lung cancer cells ...

source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710081308.htm.
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Science

Science | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Homeschool Connections: High School Physics: Online Classes (Homeschool Connections: High School Physics: Online Classes http://t.co/at3j9RD8Xe)
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What a star: Asteroid named after Country Day boy - The Detroit News

What a star: Asteroid named after Country Day boy - The Detroit News | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
What a star: Asteroid named after Country Day boy
The Detroit News
Shao last month left for the Research Science Institute hosted at MIT, a competitive summer research program that selects international high school students.
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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 set for fourth attempt to launch Orbcomm OG2 mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 set for fourth attempt to launch Orbcomm OG2 mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

SpaceX is making a fourth attempt to launch its Falcon 9 v1.1 – tasked with orbiting six OG2 satellites for Orbcomm’s second generation constellation – on Monday. The latest attempt – from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral – is targeting a T-0 of 9:21am local time, with the window ranging out to 11:54am, should SpaceX require it.

 


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Golden Spike and Honeybee Robotics Announce Preliminary Design for Unmanned Lunar Rover | Honeybee Robotics

Golden Spike and Honeybee Robotics Announce Preliminary Design for Unmanned Lunar Rover | Honeybee Robotics | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

The Golden Spike Company, the world’s first enterprise planning to undertake human lunar expeditions for countries, corporations and individuals, and Honeybee Robotics, a premier developer of advanced robotic systems, today announced they have completed a preliminary design study for unmanned rovers capable of enhancing the next human missions to the Moon.

In partnership with technical staff at Golden Spike, Honeybee engineers conducted trade studies of both flight-proven and promising technologies to design configurable robotic rovers that can collect and store several kilograms of scientific samples from the Moon’s surface in advance of or in conjunction with Golden Spike’s human expeditions.


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Simulated root section including all cell types using RootSlice - YouTube

 video created by Jouke Postma and Jie Wu property of Penn State

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Mary Williams's curator insight, July 4, 2014 1:38 AM

Jonathan Lynch at Penn State's lab makes amazing videos (credit to Jouke Postma also on many of them). Check out more ontheir youtube page https://www.youtube.com/user/RootsLabPSU/videos

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Physicist suggests speed of light might be slower than thought

Physicist suggests speed of light might be slower than thought | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

Physicist James Franson of the University of Maryland has captured the attention of the physics community by posting an article to the peer-reviewed New Journal of Physics in which he claims to have found evidence that suggests the speed of light as described by the theory of general relativity, is actually slower than has been thought.


Via Michele Diodati, Margarida Sá Costa
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E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation announces release of complete free Biology iBooks Textbook and course.

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation announces release of complete free Biology iBooks Textbook and course. | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Connecting to the iTunes Store.

Via elisabetta serrao, Marco Pozzi
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elisabetta serrao's curator insight, June 30, 2014 2:28 PM

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation announces release of complete free Biology iBooks Textbook and course.

 

You may access both the iBooks Textbook and iTunes U course, as well as see a trailer for the book, at: iTunes.com/lifeonearth This is available in all 155 countries that have either a free or paid iBooks Store.

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Fossilized nuclei and chromosomes of 180 million-year-old fern nearly identical to modern relative

Fossilized nuclei and chromosomes of 180 million-year-old fern nearly identical to modern relative | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

A trio of researchers in Sweden has unearthed a fossilized fern that has been dated to 180 million years ago, that remarkably, is in near pristine condition. Benjamin Bomfleur and Stephen McLoughlin, of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and Vivi Vajda of Lund University, report in their paper published in the journal Science that they discovered the fossil in a bed of volcanic rock near Korsaröd in Sweden, and found it so well preserved that microscopic analysis revealed that they could make out its DNA structure.

 

The calcified stem of a royal fern dating back to the early Jurassic period was apparently preserved by mineral precipitation from hydrothermal brines as they rapidly crystalized, trapping the fern, which was clearly alive at the time, encasing it in an airtight environment. Although very small (just 5.8 x 4.1 cm) the fossil was so well preserved that the researchers were still able to make out cell cytoplasm, nuclei and even chromosomes.

 

Curious, the team measured the sub-cellular parts of the fossilized plant and compared them to those of a modern relative, the cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), which has already earned the title of a "living fossil" due to prior research that revealed its origins could be dated back to 75 million years ago. In so doing they discovered that the number of chromosomes and indeed the DNA content itself was a very close match—so close that the team dubbed them a "paramount example of evolutionary stasis." Remarkably, the plant hasn't changed much at all over a period of 180 million years. When it lived, it likely looked much like the bright green cinnamon fern (though they turn to cinnamon color later in life) of today, growing to a height of one to five feet with spreading fronds reaching six to eight inches. The team suggests the specimen provides exceptional insight into how life can evolve over geologic time.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy

A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

Turning the "hydrogen economy" concept into a reality, even on a small scale, has been a bumpy road, but scientists are developing a novel way to store hydrogen to smooth out the long-awaited transition away from fossil fuels. Their report on a new solid, stable material that can pack in a large amount of hydrogen that can be used as a fuel appears in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials.

Umit B. Demirci and colleagues explain that storing hydrogen in solids is a recent development and a promising step toward building a hydrogen economy. That's the idea originated in the 1970s and promoted by former President George W. Bush that we replace fossil fuels with hydrogen, which can serve as a clean fuel. Although a promising alternative to conventional energy sources, hydrogen has posed a number of technological challenges that scientists are still overcoming. One of those issues has to do with storage

 

Previously, researchers were focused on developing hydrogen-containing liquids or compressing it in gas form. Now, solid storage is showing potential for holding hydrogen in a safe, stable and efficient way. In the latest development on this front, Demirci's team looked to a new kind of material.

 

They figured out a way to make a novel crystal phase of a material containing lithium, boron and the key ingredient, hydrogen. To check how they could get the hydrogen back out of the material, the scientists heated it and found that it released hydrogen easily, quickly and only traces of unwanted by-products.

 

More information: "Lithium Hydrazinidoborane: A Polymorphic Material with Potential for Chemical Hydrogen Storage" Chem. Mater., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/cm500980b


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Chemistry puzzler Sokobond hits Steam on July 21 | Joystiq

Chemistry puzzler Sokobond hits Steam on July 21 | Joystiq | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
The developers behind the critically-lauded Sokobond have revealed a Steam launch date for the chemistry-focused puzzle game: July. ... Chemistry puzzler Sokobond hits Steam on July 21 ...
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Camp at OSU gives high school students a chance to explore engineering - Corvallis Gazette Times

Camp at OSU gives high school students a chance to explore engineering - Corvallis Gazette Times | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Camp at OSU gives high school students a chance to explore engineering Corvallis Gazette Times As part of the camp, which is intended to help inspire minority and female students to enter science, technology engineering and math fields, the...
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How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) - PJ Media

How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) - PJ Media | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
PJ Media
How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
PJ Media
I was actually pretty decent at math as my father was a mathematician and I grew up learning to love numbers.
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46th International Chemistry Olympiad will be held 20th, 29 July 2014 in Hanoi,Vietnam

46th International Chemistry Olympiad will be held 20th, 29 July 2014 in Hanoi,Vietnam | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
This year, the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad will be held on July 20-29, 2014 in Hanoi, Vietnam is a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry

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Officials work to broaden 'STEM' training access, reduce gender gap ...

Officials work to broaden 'STEM' training access, reduce gender gap ... | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
"If you want to improve the economy in Arkansas and get students interested in math and science and produce jobs with a better way of life and wealth, you have to have good STEM education and have choices." ...
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Deep within spinach leaves, vibrations enhance efficiency of photosynthesis

Deep within spinach leaves, vibrations enhance efficiency of photosynthesis | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Biophysics researchers have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet.
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HD Universe Channel - YouTube

HD Universe Channel - YouTube | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Welcome to the Official HD Universe Channel! The BEST channel for all your Space & Universe, Science, Technology and Nature documentaries, all in HD! Weekly ...

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Gust MEES's curator insight, July 13, 2014 8:52 AM

Welcome to the Official HD Universe Channel! The BEST channel for all your Space & Universe, Science, Technology and Nature documentaries, all in HD! Weekly ...

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My Incredible Body – An App That Teaches Kids How the Human Body Works

My Incredible Body – An App That Teaches Kids How the Human Body Works | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Share My Incredible Body is a free Android app that is designed to help students learn how the human body works. The app features eight sections. Those sections are circulation, muscles, senses (vi...

Via Rhondda Powling
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Rhondda Powling's curator insight, July 11, 2014 7:29 AM

From Richard Byrne's "android4schools" site.  A free Android app that is designed to help younger students learn how the human body works. The app features eight sections: circulation, muscles, the senses, kidneys & urine, skeleton, respiration, digestion, and brain & nerves. Each section contains short animated videos that explain the functions of each system and how it works. 

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Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away

Gliese 832c: Potentially Habitable Super-Earth Discovered 16 Light-Years Away | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

A team of astronomers led by Dr Robert Wittenmyer of the University of New South Wales has discovered a super-Earth orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of Gliese 832 (GJ 832), a red-dwarf star previously known to host a cold Jupiter-like exoplanet.


Via Michele Diodati, Margarida Sá Costa
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Earth may have underground 'ocean' three times that on surface

Earth may have underground 'ocean' three times that on surface | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it

... a vast reservoir of water, enough to fill the Earth’s oceans three times over, may be trapped hundreds of miles beneath the surface, potentially transforming our understanding of how the planet was formed.The water is thought to be locked up in a mineral called ringwoodite about 660km (400 miles) beneath the crust of the Earth. Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen from Northwestern University in the US co-authored the study published in the journal Science and said the discovery suggested Earth’s water may have come from within, driven to the surface by geological activity, rather than being deposited by icy comets hitting the forming planet as held by the prevailing theories.


Via Sepp Hasslberger, Margarida Sá Costa
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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, June 15, 2014 4:24 AM

NASA's New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt probe observed that Charon, Pluto's moon may have underground oceans beneath its icy surface. This could suggest the presence of extraterrestrial life. Read the Scoop here: http://sco.lt/8o1ElV

 

This new finding may also cause climate change models to revise their predictions of sea level rise. Read related Scoops below:

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Climate+Change

John Myers's comment, July 18, 2014 5:08 PM
Not hollow as the water is contained within a mineral. Funny how this makes the global flood stories possible..."the well springs of the deep broke forth". Don't shoot me...just an observation! Maybe ancient people weren't so ignorant.
Sepp Hasslberger's comment, July 22, 2014 11:24 AM
"the water is contained within a mineral" - that's conjecture. They know there's water, but no one could go down there to see, so whether it's an ocean or is in a mineral we don't really know.
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Engineers envision an electronic switch just three atoms thick

Engineers envision an electronic switch just three atoms thick | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. Those instructions were once printed on punch cards that fed data to mainframe computers. Today's smart phones process more data, but they still weren't built for being shoved into back pockets.

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Official AndreasCY's curator insight, July 1, 2014 5:29 AM

But you need 10 Gigajoules to flip it on..

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Cool Tool | YouScience

Cool Tool | YouScience | iScience Teacher | Scoop.it
Using 90 years of research-backed science to help students successfully transition from high school to post-secondary education opportunities to their career, the YouScience College Success Profile combines aptitude and interest assessments with a...

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