Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Tree Frogs
Poison Dart Frogs
Hot Pepper, Hot Spider
Insects Take a Breather
Insect Stowaways
Ear pain, weight gain
Bringing fish back up to size
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Birds We Eat
Chemistry and Materials
Silk’s superpowers
Lighting goes digital
Heaviest named element is official
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Lighting goes digital
Music of the Future
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Takeout for Mammals
Fingerprinting Fossils
Message in a dinosaur's teeth
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Getting the dirt on carbon
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
The Birds are Falling
A Change in Time
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
Finding the Past
A Plankhouse Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Bull Sharks
Angler Fish
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Prime Time for Broken Bones
A Better Flu Shot
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
African Wild Dog
Spectacled Bear
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Gaining a Swift Lift
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Speedy stars
Sweet, Sticky Science
Getting the dirt on carbon
Nature's Alphabet
Space and Astronomy
A Great Ball of Fire
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Revving Up Green Machines
Robots on the Road, Again
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Watering the Air
Arctic Melt
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

Bionic Bacteria

Sometimes inanimate objects appear to act as if they're alive. Doors suddenly slam shut on their own, lights flicker on and off, or refrigerators gurgle and gasp. It's the spooky stuff of science fiction and horror movies. Get used to the idea. Living gadgets may be on their way. Two chemical engineers from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln have turned simple bacteria into electrical devices that measure humidity. The craziest part of all is that the bacteria must be alive for the gadgets to work at first. After they get going, the sensors work even when the tiny microbes die. To build the devices, the researchers started with a basic electrical device called a silicon chip. The chip contained gold electrodes, which are good at conducting electricity. Next, the engineers grew a coating of a type of bacteria called Bacillus cereus. These microbes grouped together and formed bridges between the electrodes. Finally, the researchers dipped the chips into a solution that contained minuscule gold beads with a coating that made them stick to the bacteria. To test their living sensors, the researchers passed electricity through the gold beads on the backs of the microbes that formed bridges. When humidity drops (which means that moisture levels in the air go down), the bacteria shrink. The distance between beads then decreases, so more electricity flows. This humidity detector is extremely sensitive. Lowering humidity from 20 percent to zero causes 40 times as much electricity to flow across the bridge. Now that researchers have figured out how to make a sensor out of living bacteria, they have set their sights on other devices. In the future, they hope to hitch microbes to electronic devices so that feeding these tiny captives results in a flow of electricity from the critters into the devices. Maybe microbe-powered batteries will someday run the really tiny iPods that your kids will use.—E. Sohn

Bionic Bacteria
Bionic Bacteria

Designed and Powered by™