Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Newts
Animals
New Mammals
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
G-Tunes with a Message
Behavior
Bringing fish back up to size
Reading Body Language
Copycat Monkeys
Birds
Vultures
Condors
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
The hottest soup in New York
Revving Up Green Machines
A Light Delay
Computers
Programming with Alice
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
New eyes to scan the skies
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
Downsized Dinosaurs
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
What is groundwater
Riding to Earth's Core
Ancient Heights
Environment
Saving Wetlands
Power of the Wind
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Finding the Past
Stone Age Sole Survivors
A Long Haul
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Fish
Bull Sharks
Great White Shark
Goldfish
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
The Essence of Celery
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
It's a Math World for Animals
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Dreaming makes perfect
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Invertebrates
Praying Mantis
Centipedes
Arachnids
Mammals
African Hyenas
Jaguars
Flying Foxes
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
Physics
The Particle Zoo
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Project Music
Plants
Plants Travel Wind Highways
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Nature's Alphabet
Reptiles
Snapping Turtles
Lizards
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
A Dusty Birthplace
Cousin Earth
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
A Clean Getaway
Shape Shifting
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Robots on the Road, Again
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
A Dire Shortage of Water
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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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