Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Middle school science adventures
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Frogs and Toads
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Jay Watch
Life on the Down Low
Baby Number Whizzes
Listening to Birdsong
Why Cats Nap and Whales Snooze
Chemistry and Materials
Salt secrets
Silk’s superpowers
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Batteries built by Viruses
Fingerprint Evidence
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Babies
Mini T. rex
Feathered Fossils
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
Flower family knows its roots
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
The Wolf and the Cow
What is groundwater
Power of the Wind
Finding the Past
Chicken of the Sea
Salt and Early Civilization
Your inner Neandertal
Freshwater Fish
Mako Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Chocolate Rules
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Monkeys Count
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Blue Bear
Woolly Mammoths
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Invisibility Ring
Road Bumps
Einstein's Skateboard
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Underwater Jungles
A Giant Flower's New Family
Snapping Turtles
Black Mamba
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
An Icy Blob of Fluff
No Fat Stars
Planning for Mars
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
A Light Delay
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Where rivers run uphill
Middle school science adventures
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Warmest Year on Record
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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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

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