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30-Oct-2014 10:24
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Kid-Friendly Feature Stories

Orbital sciences' third mission to Space Station ready to educate and inspire
On the next Orbital Sciences Corporation's commercial resupply trip to the space station, students and space go together like the Cygnus spacecraft's docking to the orbiting laboratory.

Contact: Laura Niles
NASA/Johnson Space Center

When lizards invade, it's time to evolve -- quick!
You might think of evolution as something that takes millions and millions of years to happen -- and yes, sometimes it does take that long for an animal or plant species to change. But scientists watching two species of lizards got a chance to see one of those lizard species evolve in just 10 years -- a biological blink of an eye.

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

Interstellar snowball fight seen for the first time!
For 30 years astronomers have been watching with fascination at the strange, flickering light of a young nearby star. We now know that this strange twinkling effect is caused by hundreds of comets passing in front of the star!

Contact: Sarah Eve Roberts
Leiden University

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

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News for and About Kids

Public Release: 29-Oct-2014
Journal of American Chemical Society
Why plants don't get sunburn
Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do. Recently, scientists discovered a group of molecules in plants that shields them from sun damage. Now, in an article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, one team reports on the mechanics of how these natural plant sunscreens work.

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 29-Oct-2014
New frog discovered inhabiting I-95 corridor from Connecticut to North Carolina
More than a half century after claims that a new frog species existed in New York and New Jersey were dismissed, a Rutgers researcher and team of scientists have proven that the frog is living in wetlands from Connecticut to North Carolina and are naming it after the ecologist who first noticed it.

Contact: Robin Lally
Rutgers University

Public Release: 28-Oct-2014
Giant tortoises gain a foothold on a Galapagos Island
A population of endangered giant tortoises, which once dwindled to just over a dozen, has recovered on the Galapagos island of Espanola, a finding described as 'a true story of success and hope in conservation' by the lead author of a study published today (Oct. 28).

Contact: Claire Dunn
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Public Release: 27-Oct-2014
The chemistry of death (video)
It's a spooky question, but it doesn't have to be: What happens when you die? Even after you depart, there's a lot of chemistry that still goes on inside you. Reactions teamed up with mortician Caitlin Doughty, author of the new book 'Smoke Gets in your Eyes, and Other Lessons from the Crematory' to demystify death and talk about exactly what happens to the body postmortem. Check out the new episode here:

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 24-Oct-2014
Nature Geoscience
Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot
New research from University of California Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark shows that high mantle temperatures miles beneath the Earth's surface are essential for generating large amounts of magma. In fact, the scientists found that Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano lies directly above the hottest portion of the North Atlantic mantle plume.
National Science Foundation, Danish National Research Foundation

Contact: Charles Lesher
University of California - Davis

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