Seeds of the Future
Springing forward
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Frogs and Toads
Lucky Survival for Black Cats
Not Slippery When Wet
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
Mice sense each other's fear
Between a rock and a wet place
Island of Hope
A Meal Plan for Birds
Tropical Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Screaming for Ice Cream
Popping to Perfection
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
The man who rocked biology to its core
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Shrinking Glaciers
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Alien Invasions
Shrimpy Invaders
Where rivers run uphill
Finding the Past
Your inner Neandertal
Meet your mysterious relative
An Ancient Childhood
Manta Rays
Megamouth Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
Mastering The GSAT Exam
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Detecting True Art
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Spit Power
Heart Revival
Bumblebee Bats
Tasmanian Devil
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Road Bumps
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Seeds of the Future
A Giant Flower's New Family
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Return to Space
A Moon's Icy Spray
Technology and Engineering
Weaving with Light
Dancing with Robots
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
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Where rivers run uphill
Troubles with Hubble
Robots on a Rocky Road
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Arctic Melt
Watering the Air
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Atom Hauler

Atoms are everywhere, but you'd never know it. Even though these tiny building blocks of matter make up everything—from chairs to air—they're far too tiny to see with your own eyes. When scientists want to study atoms one at a time, however, they can use special, highly sensitive microscopes to see them. Using these tools, called scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs), researchers can also move individual atoms around. Now, researchers in France and Germany have taken the technology one step further. They have found a way to gather up and move around atoms in bunches. Their work may help them eventually make and operate tiny, nanoscale machines.The key part of a scanning tunneling microscope is an extremely sharp needle that rides over the surface being examined. This sharp tip can even nudge a single atom from one place to another. But maneuvering more than one atom at a time is a difficult juggling act. To make the task easier, the researchers created a new, six-legged molecule. They called it hexa-t-butyl-hexaphenylbenzene (HB-HBP). The molecule is shaped like a hexagon (having six sides) and contains rings of carbon atoms. Six tripodlike feet support the structure. Like a minuscule vacuum cleaner, it can easily slide over a copper surface, sucking up loose copper atoms. Experiments performed at very low temperatures and in practically airless conditions showed that an STM tip can move an HB-HBP molecule that holds as many as five copper atoms that the molecule has picked up. Scientists can then use the STM tip to lift the carrier molecule, leaving the clump of atoms behind. The development is a major step toward making molecule-sized machines, scientists say. Someday, tiny sweepers might gather atoms together to form wires. Or they might pile atoms into regularly spaced mounds that, together, affect light or magnetic fields in useful ways.—E. Sohn

Atom Hauler
Atom Hauler

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