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How Much Babies Know
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Shrinking Fish
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Finding the Past
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The Taming of the Cat
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
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Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
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Prime Time for Cicadas
Play for Science
Human Body
A Long Trek to Asia
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Taste Messenger
African Camels
Humpback Whales
How children learn
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What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
The Particle Zoo
Electric Backpack
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Seeds of the Future
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Copperhead Snakes
Black Mamba
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A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
Technology and Engineering
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Flying the Hyper Skies
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Revving Up Green Machines
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Either Martians or Mars has gas
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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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