Discovered: Kids brains look different than adults brains when exercising, how to make schools healthier and how thunderclouds are contributing to climate change. 

  • This is your child's brain on exercise. It looks different than your adult brain, finds research. When kids exercise they change the way their brains work. "In the last several years there have been data suggesting that neurobiological changes are happening -- [there are] very brain-specific mechanisms at work here," explains researcher David Bucci. And it's therefore maybe more important for kids to do physical fitness. "The implication is that exercising during development, as your brain is growing, is changing the brain in concert with normal developmental changes, resulting in your having more permanent wiring of the brain in support of things like learning and memory," continues Bucci. "It seems important to [exercise] early in life," he says. But, also, outside is fun. It's fun and now important, too. So, kids, go outside right this instant.  [Dartmouth College]
  • How about that: Not having sweets in schools works. Schools that outlaw vending machines have healthier students than schools that don't. (Duh?) But now science has some numbers to prove that conventional knowledge. "These laws were specifically designed to improve students' intake at school, and that is exactly what the evidence suggests they achieved," explains researcher Daniel Taber. The research found that kids ate 158 fewer calories and 17 fewer grams of sugar a day if they had no access to snacks during the school day. [Reuters]
  • How clouds contribute to climate change. Clouds, with their fluffy exteriors and white facades look so unassuming. But thunderclouds, it turns out, are more nefarious than we thought. When mixed with pollution thunder clouds warm the atmosphere. "The large amount of heat trapped by the pollution-enhanced clouds could potentially impact regional circulation and modify weather systems," explains researcher Jiwen Fan. The bigger the clouds, the higher the warming. [Geophysical Research Letters]