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.
- Why are humans born with eyes open and puppies are born with eyes closed?
- Why does squinting help people with vision problems see better?
- Can animals get a sunburn?
- Why do your cheeks turn red when you get embarrassed? How come when we get nervous our heart feels like it's beating faster?
- Why do we have fingernails?
- What if you had no white blood cells?
- Why do people get seasick or carsick?
- Is AIDS the only incurable disease?
- Does sugar make you hyper if you eat a lot of it?
- 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?