Experiments Demonstrate Magnitude of Crow Intelligence

by Eva Stouffer, age 13

While it has been known for a long time that crows are smart birds, we may have underestimated their brainpower until recently. One example that demonstrates this is that they can tell the difference between friend and foe, and pass that information on to other crows.

Crows learn to associate faces and places with danger or benefits and can communicate this information to other crows. In addition to being extremely observant of humans they are also observant of other crows. This allows for information about friendly or helpful animals, or about dangerous areas such as busy intersections, to be passed down for generations. [Read More]

The Life of Anne Frank Lives On

by Josepha Da Costa, age 13

The heartbreaking story of Anne Frank lives through the diary she kept for two years while hiding from the Nazis.

Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany to an upper-class Jewish family. For the first four years of her life, she lived an ordinary, happy childhood. When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, anti-Semitism encouraged by Nazi policies affected Jewish families such as Anne's. Anne's father, Otto Frank, moved to Amsterdam to escape persecution, and later started a business named the Dutch Opekta Company; his family joined him a year later. [Read More]

Gene Therapy Reverses Childhood Blindness

by Laura A. Rivera Ruiz, age 13

One form of childhood blindness now has a cure called gene therapy. This type of gene therapy injects altered viruses into the patient's eyes. The altered viruses carry healthy genes into the retina, improving their sight.

After treatment, 90 percent of the people had improved vision. Patients described this opportunity as giving them an average life. Misty Lovelace, age 18, said, "I can honestly say my biggest dream came true when I got my sight. I would never give it up for anything. It was truly a miracle." [Read More]

The Biology of Human Eye Color

by Odessa Schwei, age 12

Do you ever wonder why you look the way you do? The answer to your question is DNA, which stands for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid. DNA is what determines your hair color, skin color, and any other physical traits you possess.

Although much of your body is pre-determined by DNA, your eye color is not. The color of your eyes is determined by a self-generating liquid called melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is gray, black, or dark brown. The amount of melanin released into your eye is what controls how light or dark your iris may be. If little to no melanin is released into the iris, the colored part of the eye, then you might have blue or green eyes. If a lot is released, then you might have brown eyes. [Read More]

The Big-Eared Foxes of Africa

by Stephanie Perez, age 11

There are 21 types of foxes around the world. A particularly interesting one is the fennec fox.

Fennec foxes live across desert areas in North and Middle East Africa. They can be found in deserts like the Sahara and the Arabian. These foxes have a distinct diet. They feed on insects, small rodents, birds and their eggs, and plants. [Read More]

Barrier Islands Form Under Specific Conditions

by Destany Jackson, age 13

Coastal sand crumbles at the human touch but is powerful enough to form barrier islands. Have you ever wondered how this is possible?

A barrier island is a long, narrow island that lies parallel and close to a mainland to protect the mainland from erosion and storms. Barrier islands only form from coastal sands under three conditions. First, there needs to be enough sand to form an island—though they also often include rock parties supplied by erosion of nearby land. Second, winds and waves have to have enough energy to shift the sand. These winds and waves pick up and deposit sand on long coastlines. [Read More]

Las serpientes de cascabel son peligrosas cuando están amenazadas

por Azario Garcia, 11 años

La Western Diamondback serpiente de cascabel (crotalus atrox) es la única serpiente que actualmente traquetea. Estas serpientes de cascabel son “generalistas,” que significa que no son tan delicadas respecto a su hábitat. Se pueden encontrar en el suroeste de los Estados Unidos y México en los desiertos, llanuras, bosques, laderas rocosas y áreas a lo largo de la costa.

Los Diamondbacks se parecen a los lagartos, pero no tienen piernas ni brazos. Tienen cuerpos y cabezas triangulares hechos de un proteína que se llama bordillo, la misma proteína que forma nuestras uñas. Sus colas tienen rayas negras y blancas arriba de los traqueteos. [Read More]