Archives of Ask A Scientist!
About "Ask A Scientist!"
On September 17th, 1998 the Ithaca Journal ran its first "Ask A Scientist!" article in which Professor Neil Ashcroft , who was then the director of CCMR, answered the question "What is Jupiter made of?" Since then, we have received over 1,000 questions from students and adults from all over the world. Select questions are answered weekly and published in the Ithaca Journal and on our web site. "Ask A Scientist!" reaches more than 21,000 Central New York residents through the Ithaca Journal and countless others around the world throught the "Ask a Scientist!" web site.
Across disciplines and across the state, from Nobel Prize winning scientist David Lee to notable science education advocate Bill Nye, researchers and scientists have been called on to respond to these questions. For more than seven years, kids - and a few adults - have been submitting their queries to find out the answer to life's everyday questions.
Many of the red, orange, and yellow pigments in colorful foods act in similar ways to carotene. Another example is the red color in ketchup, called lycopene. Some deeply green foods, like spinach and broccoli, have several colors including carotene. People who consume colorful foods, which are rich in these compounds, tend to have skin that is slightly less sensitive to the sun, though no one should stay in the sun too long just because they ate a big bag of fries with ketchup.
- When a hermit crab leaves its shell that is too small, does it wander around without a shell until it finds another one, or does it go around with its shell till it finds a bigger empty one?
- How many different kinds of dinosaurs are there?
- Why do cats' eyes glow in the dark?
- Why does my milkshake stay thick even when it warms up? Shouldn't it get thinner as it melts?
- Why does skin wrinkle and what causes it as you get older?
- Have you or will you ever try to weigh a red blood cell? If so, how would you?
- Why do crickets make noise at night?
- I would like to know why is it that most people like to finish off a meal with something sweet? Or is it just natural to balance savory and sweet? If so, why not the other way around? Is it purely from the gastronomic angle or that's the way our senses and palate are built?
- Why do chameleons change color?
- Why is it that when fruit ripens, it gets sweeter than when it's picked? Is there more sugar in it?