11 April, 2013 – This Week in Science

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Transparent Brains, Lasers And Cocaine, Monkey In The Middle, Interview W/ Mark McCaffrey from the NCSE, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer!!!

Transparent brains
Stanford researchers have successfully turned a brain transparent. This could allow for amazing real time observations and breakthroughs relating to how the brain and it’s neurons work.

Lasers and Cocaine
Laser light therapy in rats has appeared to cure them of cocaine addiction. Interestingly though, when they treated non-addicted rats, they became addicted. Stay away from lasers, folks, it could turn you into a coke addict!

It’s tough to be in the middle
By testing the stress hormone levels in Barbary Macaque’s waste, it appears that those in the middle of the social structure are the most stressed out. The intermediate females are more in the thick of conflict, as they challenge to climb the social ladder and are challenged by others often. No wonder you have so much stress, you’re an ambitious primate!

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Interview with NCSE‘s Mark McCaffrey!

TALKING POINTS: NGSS

* Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core:
similarities and differences?

Both were developed by a consortium of states. Both are models for
shared state standards.

Common Core covers English and Math, and was ultimately adopted by
45 states. NGSS covers science and was developed by 26 states, with
many more states “closely watching”.

Common Core had backing from the Feds and tie-ins to “Race to the
Top”. NGSS does not. (So far.)

* NGSS isn’t just about evolution or climate change. It covers all
the sciences. The evolution standards (based on our look at the last
NGSS draft) are in line with what’s currently taught in many states.

* The advantages of states adopting NGSS?
Shared standards and shared assessments. NGSS would provide
continuity across states (useful, given our mobile population), and
coverage at all levels (K-12).

Another good reason for states to adopt NGSS: it saves money. States
won’t have to write their own standards or update existing aged
standards.

* The Process
Adopting NGSS won’t magically transform science education overnight.
From adoption to classroom could easily take a year or more. The
likely steps:

State adopts NGSS
Develop/update textbooks
Develop curriculum
Train teachers how to teach climate change
Classroom instruction

* Where will climate change likely get covered?
The basic science will likely be taught in middle school earth
sciences classes. The impacts of climate change will likely be
explore in high school life sciences classes.

Headline from Justin
Ionic wind!

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