Science Headlines – July 5

A tangle of magnetic fields rising from a sunspot region
A tangle of magnetic fields rising from a sunspot region – Yuhong Fan, Matthias Rempel, NCAR; visualization by AVL

Data visualization brings science to the big screen in an incredible way in a new documentary.

A U-M Health System study shows that obese teens are less likely to use contraception than teens falling in a more healthy weight category.

Michigan State University finds a fascinating, unusual and complex molecule and MSU Extension helps kids participating in 4-H programs learn about plant science with soybeans, and more.

Computational science and data visualization take the spotlight in new documentary

A 24-minute, high-resolution science documentary about the dynamics of the sun that features data-driven visualizations produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign debuts tonight at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge before rolling out to more than a dozen planetariums and science centers around the world…. (NSF)

MSU Scientists Uncover a ‘Funk Cofactor’

While examining the chemical reactions of bacterial cells in a lab at Michigan State University, researchers found an unusually complex molecule in a protein that completes a simple process. “We thought – what the heck is going on here?” said Bob Hausinger, a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics and of biochemistry and molecular biology, and director of the lab at MSU where the research was conducted….. (MSU Today)

Obese teens in study less likely to use contraception

A study of nearly 1,000 teens found that sexually active obese adolescents were significantly less likely to use contraception than normal weight peers, putting them at higher risk of unintended pregnancy…. (EurekAlert!)

Sleeping on the job? Actually, that’s a good thing

Employees seeking to boost their productivity at work should take a nap–yes, sleeping on the job can be a good thing. A new University of Michigan study finds that taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration. Napping, the researchers say, can be a cost-efficient and easy strategy to increase workplace safety…. (EurekAlert!)

Soybeans: What can youth learn from them?

Soybean fields are everywhere in Michigan, and so many scientific questions can be asked by youth in experiential learning, such as how do they grow? Why do farmers rotate their fields? Can I eat them and are they good for me? Are soybeans a grain or a vegetable? What other use do soybeans provide? How do they make tofu from soybeans? These questions can be answered by researching on the Internet, contacting a Michigan State University Extension field crop educator, contacting a local farmer or locating a soybean expert….. (MSU Extension)

MSU College of Natural Science Dean R. James Kirkpatrick Honored

R. James Kirkpatrick, MSU professor of geological sciences and chemistry, and College of Natural Science dean, has received the 2015 Marilyn and Sturges W. Bailey Award, the highest honor of The Clay Minerals Society. Kirkpatrick is being recognized for outstanding original scientific research and the impact of this research on the clay sciences….. (MSU Today)

We’re not alone — but the universe may be less crowded than we think

There may be far fewer galaxies further out in the universe then might be expected, according to a new study led by Michigan State University. Over the years, the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe. The long view stirred theories of untold thousands of distant, faint galaxies. The new research, appearing in the current issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters, however, offers a theory that reduces the estimated number of the most distant galaxies by 10 to 100 times….. (EurekAlert!)

 

 

 

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