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The latest stories from Science News for Students

Science News for Students is an award-winning, free online magazine that reports daily on research and new developments across scientific disciplines for inquiring minds of every age — from middle school on up.

disappearing ink

This rewritable paper depends on disappearing ink

Have you ever made a mistake on something you printed from a computer? That paper probably went right into the recycling bin. Now you can erase your mistake and reuse that first sheet of paper. Scientists at Fujian Normal University in Fuzhou, China, coated one side of a regular sheet of printer paper with a heat-sensitive ink. A heated pen or printer makes the ink’s blue color disappear, revealing the white paper below. To fix any errors, put the paper in the freezer and the ink will turn blue again. Words and pictures can remain visible on the paper for at least six months. — Alexandra Taylor

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Welcome to the Arctic’s all-night undersea party

Light feeds life. To scientists, the high Arctic’s months-long darkness would seem like a prescription for ecosystem hibernation. New data instead show that Arctic sea life, such as plankton, whales and fish, remains surprisingly active and mobile during this time, with some creatures timing their movements and eating cycles to the rising and setting of the moon or the northern lights. The challenge: figuring out how to study these creatures without turning on lights. — Bethany Brookshire

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Bacteria and bugs will save us from the zombie apocalypse

Don’t fear the walking dead. An entomologist and forensic archaeologist explain why people have little to fear from zombies. After death, electrical impulses from the brain stop and muscle cells don’t get oxygen, which causes the body to stiffen. No muscle movement, no shambling zombie hordes. As the body breaks down, enzymes that are normally stored in cells to process waste start to destroy organ tissue. Bacteria and maggots join the party, slurping up the remaining cells except hair, tendons, skin and bones. So no need to break out the machete or chainsaw. — Bethany Brookshire

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