Early on in the school year, our students learned about some of the fastest animals on Earth, including the mantis shrimp. This tiny crustacean packs quite the punch, able to reach speeds of 110 kilometers per hour. Scientists recently took their first peek inside to see how this works.

When our students separated the DNA in strawberries earlier this year, we talked about the four letters scientists use to talk about the building blocks (A, C, T and G). With all the studies of viruses this year, scientists have discovered some viruses replace the A with what they are referring to as Z. This variation allows for a third hydrogen bond in these virus’s bond with T. There’s not a lot known about the whys behind this change, but its interesting and a lot to consider in the search for life on other planets.

Scientists have also been studying waves in Saturn’s rings, treating them like seismologists studying earthquakes on Earth. Through these studies and information from the retired Cassini spacecraft, scientists feel like they have a better grasp of what Saturn’s core looks like. Hydrogen and helium seem to make up a lot of the core, along with rock and ice, creating a core that is 55 Earth masses.