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.
An important issue is whether cracking injures joints. The energy released when joints crack is very small. Too small, in the opinion of experts, to directly damage joint structures. Studies of people who repeatedly crack their knuckles have not shown an increase in arthritis later in life, although this fact has not been established with certainty, and people have injured their joints while attempting to crack them. Your joints need to function trouble-free for many years, so this practice, which serves no good purpose (and which many find annoying), is best avoided. As with anything involving your body, your doctor is the best source of advice for concerns you have about unusual sounds or other changes in your body.
- 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.
- Why are eyeballs wet?
- Why does squinting help people with vision problems see better?
- Why do they say there are two sides of your brain?
- Why are humans born with eyes open and puppies are born with eyes closed?
- Why is it normal to move your arms when you walk or run?
- Why can't we swallow our food whole like snakes?
- Can animals get a sunburn?
- Can humans ever see in the dark with no night vision glasses or other aids?
- Is AIDS the only incurable disease?