Agriculture
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Watering the Air
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Salamanders
Poison Dart Frogs
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A Jellyfish's Blurry View
From Chimps to People
Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
Behavior
The case of the headless ant
Primate Memory Showdown
Brainy bees know two from three
Birds
Swans
A Meal Plan for Birds
Kiwis
Chemistry and Materials
Revving Up Green Machines
Popping to Perfection
Screaming for Ice Cream
Computers
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Galaxies on the go
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Mammals in the Shadow of Dinosaurs
Dinosaur Dig
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Earth
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Hot Summers, Wild Fires
Environment
A Change in Leaf Color
Fungus Hunt
Nanosponges Soak Up Pollutants
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
Watching deep-space fireworks
Fakes in the museum
Fish
Codfish
Electric Catfish
Tuna
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Chew for Health
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Pronouns
Whoever vs. Whomever
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Prime Time for Broken Bones
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Sun Screen
Invertebrates
Horseshoe Crabs
Centipedes
Invertebrates
Mammals
Sloth Bears
Seal
Dolphins
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Dreams of Floating in Space
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Flower family knows its roots
Fungus Hunt
Fast-flying fungal spores
Reptiles
Alligators
Snapping Turtles
Caimans
Space and Astronomy
Baby Star
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Dark Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Riding Sunlight
Toy Challenge
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
How to Fly Like a Bat
Reach for the Sky
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Watering the Air
Arctic Melt
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Beyond Bar Codes

In the future, your refrigerator might alert you when the milk has gone sour. At the grocery store, cashiers won't need to scan bar codes because products will provide the data on their own. And packages and letters will carry electronic tags that send messages about where they are. To make such a world possible, scientists are working on a technology called radiofrequency identification (RFID). An RFID tag is an electronic device that can be glued to cereal boxes, milk cartons, envelopes, and other objects. The tags store information and use radio signals to communicate with computers or sensors. RFID tags already exist in the form of "smart cards" that store dollar amounts for riders of some public transportation systems. RFID chips have also been implanted in animals to identify them and allow owners to find them if the animals get lost. In these cases, the tags are made of silicon, the material from which most computer chips are made. However, silicon electronic tags are too expensive to be used as widely as printed bar codes are. Now, scientists from two companies in Europe have independently taken steps toward speeding up the spread of RFID technology. They have created tags completely out of plastic materials with the right kinds of electronic properties to transmit radio signals efficiently. The methods for making plastic tags are much cheaper than those for making silicon tags. The tags produced by scientists from Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven in the Netherlands are made from a type of plastic called pentacene and transmit radio waves at a frequency of 13.56 megahertz. The tags produced by PolyIC in Erlangen, Germany, use a different type of plastic. Neither type of tag is perfect yet. The plastic tags are still expensive and tricky to manufacture, and their radio signals don't travel very far. It may be a few years yet before plastic RFIDs make their way into nearly all of our everyday objects. But when they do, there will be an amazing amount of information zooming invisibly around us.E. Sohn

Beyond Bar Codes
Beyond Bar Codes








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