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Science News for Students offers explainers on many topics, from areas of the brain to the greenhouse effect to plate tectonics. Each is designed to help readers dive a little deeper into the concepts that underlie the science and research we cover. The list below is a selection of some of the most popular explainers on our site. You can find the full list in our explainers collection. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, or have an idea for a new explainer, reach out to us at

Life sciences

What are antibodies?

What is anxiety?

How CRISPR works

What is dopamine?

What are genes?

Insects, arachnids and other arthropods

What is a hormone?

What is neuron?

How photosynthesis works

What is a vaccine?

What is a virus?

Earth sciences

What are aerosols?

Our atmosphere — layer by layer

Earth – layer by layer

Earth’s water is all connected in one vast cycle

How a fossil forms

Where fossil fuels come from

Understanding geologic time

Rainbows, fogbows and their eerie cousins

Understanding plate tectonics

Seismic waves come in different ‘flavors’

The volcano basics

Physical sciences

What are acids and bases?

How batteries and capacitors differ

What is a catalyst? 

How and why fires burn

How heat moves

What are polymers?

Quantum is the world of the super small

Stars and their families

Understanding waves and wavelengths


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