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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: Ask Dr. Universe

Ask Dr. Universe: Why are dogs important to humans?

Dogs are important to humans in all kinds of ways. The connection between the two goes back thousands of years.

Ask Dr. Universe: How do bags form under your eyes?

While we don’t know all the details when it comes to exactly how these bags form the way they do, it’s likely that sleeping poorly has the ability to change …

Ask Dr. Universe: What makes up shooting stars?

If you are anything like me, you probably like watching for shooting stars in the night sky. A shooting star, or a meteor, is usually a small rock that falls …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why can’t sea turtles pull back into their shell?

Why can’t sea turtles pull back into their shell? I was at the St. Louis Zoo, and they said tortoises and other turtles can pull back into their shells.

Ask Dr. Universe: What’s the best story ever made in the world?

Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years. At first, they told these stories out loud, then they started to write.

Ask Dr. Universe: Before cellphones, how did you make calls across the ocean?

Even though a lot of people now use wireless phones rather than landlines to connect with each other, we still depend on those wires under the ocean for long-distance phone …

Ask Dr. Universe: How do you make mummies?

Ancient Egyptians had mummy-making down to a science. And in the right conditions, mummies can be made naturally, too.

Ask Dr. Universe: Are whales smart?

Whales and some other animals can learn and show emotional intelligence.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why does it hurt when we pull a muscle?

Muscles help you run and play, but stretching them too far hurts.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do you get dizzy when you read on the road?

Without even thinking about it, humans can use their eyes, ears, sense of touch, and brain to keep their balance. But sometimes these senses get a little mixed up.

Ask Dr. Universe: Keeping trash out of ocean is easier than removing it

If this plastic bag gets into the ocean, an animal like a turtle or shark might mistake it for a jellyfish they want to eat and the bag will get …

Ask Dr. Universe: It takes imagination and planning to build a home

Humans have built all kinds of houses throughout history. During the Ice Age, humans made their homes in big caves. A few thousand years later, people figured out how to …

UPDATED: Fri., April 12, 2019, 10:55 a.m.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do flowers smell so nice?

Flowers use scent to attract pollinators, which help the flowers reproduce.

Ask Dr. Universe: How many peas would fit in the sun?

Our sun is so massive, you could fit more than 1 million earths inside of it. To find out how many peas would fit inside the biggest object in our …

Ask Dr. Universe: How many different types of plankton are there?

We can find millions and millions of plankton in bodies of water all over the world – from oceans, rivers, and lakes to ponds and mud puddles.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do gadgets need batteries? How do they work?

To find out how batteries work, I decided to visit my friend and materials engineer Min-Kyu Song. He makes batteries in his lab at Washington State University.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do we get phobias?

A phobia is an intense fear of an object or situation, often one that you actually don’t need to fear. It can create a lot of anxiety. It can cause …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do we get morning breath?

The microbes feed on leftover bits of food in your mouth. They not only help break down your food, but they also get energy from it. As they eat, grow, …

Ask Dr. Universe: What’s inside a sheep’s brain?

Like a lot of mammal brains, a sheep brain is made up of gray and white matter. It has folds and grooves, but not quite as many as a human …

Ask Dr. Universe: How many bones did dinosaurs have?

“There might be a different number of bones even between a T-rex, stegosaurus, triceratops,” said Cynthia Faux, veterinarian at Washington State University. “It may have depended on their species.”

Ask Dr. Universe: Do fish pee?

Not only do fish pee, but their pee gives other animals in the ocean what they need to survive.

Ask Dr. Universe: What are molecules?

A glass of water has more molecules than there are stars in the night sky. That’s what I found out from my friend Jack (Qiang) Zhang, an assistant professor of …

Ask Dr. Universe: What do clouds do?

There are white and puffy cumulus clouds, thin and wispy cirrus clouds, and tall nimbostratus clouds that stretch high up in to the sky. Believe it or not, when you …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do we have a belly button?

A small part of the cord will stay attached to the baby’s belly for a couple of days before it falls off. What’s left is a brand new belly button. …

Ask Dr. Universe: What is the smelliest fruit in the world?

The first stinky fruit she thought of was the durian, a large, round fruit that grows mostly in Southeast Asia. The fruit is about a foot wide with a greenish-brown …

Ask Dr. Universe: What are the lives of bunnies like?

Bunnies are hopping all over our planet. Some hop through snow and deserts while others hop through wetlands and woods. There are lots of different kinds of rabbits, and they …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do we have five fingers and five toes?

Humans are part of the primate family, which also includes monkeys, apes, and even lemurs. As a member of the family, you also have fingernails instead of claws and pads …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do owls rotate their heads?

While owls might not be able to move their eyeballs around like you can, they more than make up for this by turning their heads, which gives them a really …

Ask Dr. Universe: Chocolate bars a British innovation

In 1847, Joseph Fry figured out how to use these different ingredients to create a chocolate paste that he could mold into a rectangle. He produced the world’s first chocolate …

Ask Dr. Universe: Why, and how, do we grow new taste buds?

Taste buds can have a lifespan of anywhere from one to two weeks. That’s what I found out from my friend Charles Diako, a food science researcher at Washington State …