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.
Suppose we decide we decide to a read a book while riding in the car. Our inner ear still feels motion, but our eyes tell us that we are not moving because the words on the page don't appear to move. This conflict between our eyes and our inner ear that tells our brain that something is wrong. We feel dizzy because our brain does not have a clear signal of what is moving. Our brain translates this confusion into a command to stop eating or perhaps to spit out whatever we ate because we may be upset because of something we ate.
One of the best things we can do when we begin to feel motion sickness is to look out the window at a distant object. That will coordinate the movement signals from your eyes with your inner ear. Distract yourself by using a fan or listen to music. Several medications such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or scopolamine patches may also be helpful in relieving the problem.
- How do we get cavities from candy and why do our teeth turn gray/blackish?
- Why can't we swallow our food whole like snakes?
- Why is it normal to move your arms when you walk or run?
- What is the most common type of blood?
- Can one of the professors write about some of the bacteria that are becoming immune to antibiotics? We are concerned when they are putting antibiotics in some meats now, and talking about antibacterial soaps having an effect on the immunity.
- How did animals get to have rabies?
- What are the effects of sleep deprivation on the human body?
- Can the human eye be compared to a computer monitor? Does the view we see refresh itself or is it more like live feed? If something was moving too quickly, would it appear jumpy like a low frames/second?
- Why can't we hold our breath like the whales?
- What is it about the human eye that limits the types of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum that can be seen as visible light? Why are other animals capable of interpreting infrared waves as well?