Month: January 2018
Dr. Universe: Why do we get a fever when we are sick? – Marcelina, 11, Ovid, N.Y.
Lots of warm-blooded animals get sick, including cats. I’ve had a fever before, but I wasn’t entirely sure why we warm up when we get sick. I decided to ask my friend and professor Phil Mixter at Washington State University.
Mixter is curious about the germs, or microbes, that we all carry around with us. In fact, scientists estimate that humans carry more than 100 trillion of these tiny microbes with them wherever they go. Not all of these microbes are bad, but some of … » More …
Dear Dr. Universe: How does a light bulb work? When one bulb in a string of lights goes out, why do they all go out? – Molly, 8
Just the other day I was taking down a string of lights from my lab, when I discovered the bulbs were burnt out. I visited my friend Aaron Crandall, an engineer at Washington State University, to see if I might get them working again.
Crandall explained when you plug in a string of lights to a power source, like an outlet, an electrical charge flows into the wires. A lightbulb works when an electrical current … » More …
While chocolate is not technically chocolate. It has cocoa butter, sugar and milk but no cocoa solids (aka cocoa powder). Feel free to share this bit of knowledge to annoy your friends… I definitely have. White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting don’t need cocoa solids. Clocking in with a whopping 3 […]
Dr. Universe: Why do some animals live in groups?
– Mrs. Rubert’s students, Foothill Knolls STEM Academy of Innovation, Upland, Calif.
Dear Mrs. Rubert and Students,
Fish swim in big schools. Baby ducks waddle in a straight line. Ants and bees divide up labor. The world is full of animals that live in groups and they do it for a few different reasons.
For one, living in groups helps some animals avoid getting eaten by predators. Some even join forces to take down … » More …
Dr. Universe: How is glass made? And, what is it made out of? What about thick glass like they are putting up on the Space Needle? – Tali, almost 8 years old, Seattle, Wash.
We can make glass in factories and we can find it in nature. Some volcanoes make glass. When they spew out lava, it often cools into obsidian, a black glass. Glass can also form on sandy beaches. Small tubes with smooth glass on the inside may appear after super-hot lightning strikes the sand.
In fact, sand is one of the most important ingredients we use to make glass. We … » More …
I got a Twinkie pan for Christmas! Technically, it’s a “cream canoe pan,” although I have no idea what cream canoes are exactly. This recipe can be made as cupcakes but it’s much more fun to create Twinkie look-alike treats. Be sure to read about whipping egg whites if you’re new to the kitchen, stiff peaks are […]
Dr. Universe: Do all animals pass gas? Do cats fart?
Hasandi, 11, Jeddah; Harrison, 10, Albany, Ore.
Dear Hasandi and Harrison,
If you’ve ever been near a cat or dog when they tooted, the smell might have sent you running right out of the room. A lot of animals pass gas. But believe it or not, some animals do not.
First, let’s talk about the gassy ones. When us cats and humans eat food, we are also swallowing air, or gas. It’s made up of elements like nitrogen and oxygen. The gas travels down into our digestive system and can take up space in … » More …
Lemon Cheesecake Bites are perfect miniature treats. With a lemony crust, sweet cheesecake filling and tart lemon topping, these little beauties will impress anyone. Need extras? (Hint… you’ll need extras). The recipe doubles easily. Lemon Cheesecake Bites Makes 24 miniature cupcakes Ingredients: Crust 3 oz cream cheese, softened 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened 1 […]