STEM Careers
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/21/2018

New college students were more likely to be enrolled in credit-bearing courses when several factors were considered, according to a study of thousands of students enrolled in seven New York community colleges. Colleges that participated in the study considered traditional placement exams, as well as grade point average, the time elapsed between the student's graduation and college enrollment and, in some cases, state test scores.

9/21/2018

Typically antisocial octopuses become more friendly with other octopuses when under the influence of MDMA, the active ingredient in the drug ecstasy, according to findings published in Current Biology. The octopuses' response is similar to that of humans, suggesting the basis for the behavior may have evolved in a shared ancestor over 500 million years ago.

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MDMA
9/21/2018

The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing is upgrading its simulation labs and creating high-fidelity simulation spaces, including a birthing suite, operating room and a home health setting. Researcher Kelly Rossler has been testing a virtual-reality system to allow nurses to realistically work with patients and equipment.

9/21/2018

Researchers have determined that the fossil of an oval-shaped animal called Dickinsonia is the earliest creature yet found in the geological record, having lived 558 million years ago. "The fossil fat molecules that we've found prove that animals were large and abundant ... millions of years earlier than previously thought," said Jochen Brocks, co-author of the study published in Science.

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BBC
9/21/2018

Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe snapped multiple photos of the asteroid Ryugu as it prepared to deploy two hopping rovers. The photos are displayed on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency website.

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Space, Space
9/21/2018

An environmental research collaboration between three universities in Idaho has been awarded a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Boise State University, the University of Idaho and Idaho State University researchers will study how changing environments affect rainbow trout and sagebrush.

9/21/2018

Oceanographer Maria-Luiza Pedrotti and her research team are studying the plastisphere -- plastic waste and its byproducts -- in the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to identify the microbes that populate plastic and determine their biological activities to understand how they affect the food web and human health. Pedrotti has already found large amounts of Vibrio and other pathogens, and what she and other researchers learn from studying the plastisphere could help people develop ways to mitigate plastics' harm.

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Quanta Magazine
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Pacific Ocean
9/21/2018

Self-renewing and multipotent skeletal stem cells have been found in humans, and they could one day be used to replace damaged bone and cartilage, according to findings published in Cell. "In plastic surgery, we want to replace like with like, so if you have the skeletal stem cell or the bone-forming progenitor, use that for bone and cartilage for cartilage," said study co-author Michael Longaker.

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The Scientist online
9/21/2018

A large praying mantis has been spotted hunting and eating guppies at a pond in India, a behavior not previously seen in that insect. Researchers observed the mantis' unusual eating habits over five nights, saying it showed how adaptable its vision and hunting abilities can be, according to findings published online in the Journal of Orthoptera Research.

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LiveScience
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Mantis
9/20/2018

Jen Schneider, a middle-school language arts teacher in Nebraska, uses a "genius hour" to help students find the connection between academic lessons and their prospective career paths. In this commentary, she shares how this strategy is helping students explore possible careers and gain experience, including one student who learned more about photography and eventually started her own business.

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EdSurge
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Jen Schneider