Scientists Say

A weekly word defined, in a sentence and in context.

  1. Ecosystems

    Scientists Say: Predator and Prey

    Ecological relationships between predators and their prey drive the evolution of plants, animals and microbes.

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  2. Earth

    Scientists Say: Tectonic Plate

    Tectonic plates are giant slabs of rock that make up Earth’s outer layer.

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  3. Animals

    Scientists Say: Coral

    Over 4,000 species of fish make their home among the reefs created by these colony-dwelling marine animals.

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  4. Math

    Scientists Say: Parabola

    A parabola is a U-shaped curve, where every point along that curve is the same distance from another point and a line.

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  5. Math

    Scientists Say: Ellipse

    Ellipse describes the shapes of planetary orbits around their stars and explains the wacky acoustic phenomenon of “whispering chambers.”

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  6. Physics

    Scientists Say: Explosion

    Explosions happen when chemical or nuclear reactions blow out a lot of heat, noise and expanding gas.

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  7. Brain

    Scientists Say: Addiction

    Recovering from addiction is hard but possible. Encouragement of loved ones can improve a person’s chances of overcoming this disease.

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  8. Brain

    Scientists Say: Connectome

    A connectome is a diagram of the cellular highways that carry information in the brain.

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  9. Ecosystems

    Scientists Say: Food web

    All the species in an ecosystem and the feeding relationships between them get summed up with this handy picture.

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  10. Math

    Scientists Say: Möbius strip

    Möbius strips may be easy to make, but they have some pretty mind-bending properties.

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  11. Microbes

    Scientists Say: Virus

    A virus must take over a living cell's machinery to make more viruses.

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  12. Chemistry

    Scientists Say: PFAS

    Non-stick coatings, stain-resistant cloth and other common materials leach long-lived PFAS into soil and water.

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