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This Week In Science

Why did President Obama reject the Keystone Oil Pipeline?

posted Nov 22, 2015, 2:04 PM by Maria Clausen

Here's what President Obama said about why he said NO to the Keystone Oil Pipeline. 

Super blood moon makes an appearance

posted Sep 28, 2015, 10:57 AM by Maria Clausen   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 10:59 AM ]

The photos are in! In case you missed it last night, here are the photos. 

Click the link above to find out when the last supermoon total lunar eclipse was for an extra bathroom pass. Offer expires on 10/2/2015.

Why did the Panda cub die?

posted Sep 15, 2015, 7:59 PM by Maria Clausen   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 10:59 AM ]

BONUS: First five students to tell either Melissa or Maria why the baby panda died gets an extra bathroom pass. Thanks everyone! Only one lucky student won! 

Last week we learned about the new baby panda cubs that were born. When we read the article, scientists did not know why one baby cub died. Now they think they know. Read here to find out. 

Water: A valuable and very limited resource

posted May 8, 2012, 8:08 PM by Maria Clausen   [ updated Sep 15, 2015, 8:00 PM ]


posted Jan 2, 2012, 2:06 PM by Maria Clausen   [ updated Jan 2, 2012, 3:30 PM ]

This is a fascinating article in the current issue of National Geographic. And timely for our 10th grade classes!

If you just finished our 10th grade "twins" project, be sure to check out the photo gallery as there is a photo of two identical male twins who mated with two identical female twins. Each couple had a child. See what their children look like!

Giant unicellular organisms found in the Marina Trench!

posted Oct 22, 2011, 11:33 AM by Maria Clausen   [ updated Jan 12, 2012, 9:44 AM by davidrothauser@newdesignhigh.com ]

Gigantic amoebas have been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest region on Earth.

What's going on in this picture?

National Geographic Society Remote Imaging engineers Eric Berkenpas (bottom) and Graham Wilhelm prepare to deploy Dropcam. Credit: Shelbi Randenburg

During a July 2011 voyage to the Pacific Ocean chasm, researchers with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and National Geographic engineers deployed untethered landers, called dropcams, equipped with digital video and lights to explore the largely mysterious region of the deep sea.

The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled animals exclusively found in deep-sea environments. Xenophyophores are noteworthy for their size, with individual cells often exceeding 4 inches (10 centimeters), their extreme abundance on the seafloor and their role as hosts for a variety of organisms.

Extreme environment, extreme creature

The researchers spotted the life forms at depths up to 6.6 miles (10,641 meters) within the Sirena Deep of the Mariana Trench. The previous depth record for xenophyophores was approximately 4.7 miles (7,500 m) in the New Hebrides Trench, although sightings in the deepest portion of the Mariana Trench have been reported. [Infographic: Tallest Mountain to Deepest Ocean Trench]

Scientists say xenophyophores are the largest individual cells in existence. Recent studies indicate that by trapping particles from the water, xenophyophores can concentrate high levels of lead, uranium and mercury and are thus likely resistant to large doses of heavy metals. They also are well suited to a life of darkness, low temperature and high pressure in the deep sea.

"The identification of these gigantic cells in one of the deepest marine environments on the planet opens up a whole new habitat for further study of biodiversity, biotechnological potential and extreme environment adaptation," said Doug Bartlett, the Scripps marine microbiologist who organized the expedition.

Tip of the iceberg

The xenophyophores are just the tip of the deep-sea ecosystem iceberg. The expedition also found the deepest jellyfish observed to date, as well as other mysterious animals.

"As one of very few taxa found exclusively in the deep sea, the xenophyophores are emblematic of what the deep sea offers. They are fascinating giants that are highly adapted to extreme conditions but at the same time are very fragile and poorly studied," Levin said. "These and many other structurally important organisms in the deep sea need our stewardship as human activities move to deeper waters."

The dropcams used to observe the creatures contained an HD camera and lighting inside a glass bubble that can withstand the extreme pressures encountered at these depths.

"Seafloor animals are lured to the camera with bait, a technique first developed by Scripps professor John Isaacs in the 1960s," said Kevin Hardy, a Scripps ocean engineer and cruise participant. Hardy advanced the ultra-deep glass sphere design used on 'dropcams' more than a decade ago. "Scripps researchers hope to one day capture and return novel living animals to the laboratory for study in high-pressure aquariums that replicate the trench environment."

This article is brought to you directly from Our Amazing Planet.

Seeds are Sprouting... in Space!

posted Sep 26, 2011, 9:37 PM by davidrothauser@newdesignhigh.com   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 9:42 PM ]


The Plants in Space investigation on the International Space Station is off to a great start. Roots are clearly visible and stems and leaves are heading toward the light. 

Over the next several weeks, more groups of seeds will be started. Student investigators in schools across the country and around the world already are comparing their ground control plants with the experimental plants in microgravity. 

“Space plants” will be an important part of NASA’s extended manned missions in the solar system. Plants will provide a food source and help to refresh onboard oxygen and water supplies. Students participating in the Plants in Space study are contributing to the knowledge of how best to grow plants in microgravity. 

There is still time to join the investigation. Registration is free and all the information you need is contained in the downloadable guides and videos on this site. What are you waiting for? 

Digital Microscopy at NDHS!

posted Sep 20, 2011, 10:12 AM by davidrothauser@newdesignhigh.com

Here's an image from our new digital microscope camera! So cool. 

Can you guess what it is? Extra credit if you email nik@newdesignhigh.com with the best guess!

Mandrill Baboon at the Bronx Zoo

posted Sep 8, 2011, 7:59 PM by davidrothauser@newdesignhigh.com

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