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Tree Frogs
G-Tunes with a Message
Eyes on the Depths
A Tongue and a Half
Brain cells take a break
Mice sense each other's fear
Taking a Spill for Science
Backyard Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Fog Buster
Supergoo to the rescue
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Getting in Touch with Touch
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
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Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Message in a dinosaur's teeth
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
Watering the Air
Earth Rocks On
Ready, unplug, drive
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
A Stormy History
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Nurse Sharks
Sting Ray
Food and Nutrition
Making good, brown fat
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Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Problems with Prepositions
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GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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A Long Trek to Asia
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Electric Backpack
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Powering Ball Lightning
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Seeds of the Future
Flower family knows its roots
Box Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
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Reach for the Sky
Middle school science adventures
Troubles with Hubble
Watering the Air
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
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Life on the Down Low

There are few places that scientists haven't explored. In their searches for exotic life on Earth, researchers have ventured into even the driest deserts and the steamiest jungles. But conditions in the deep ocean are so extreme that very little is known about life at the bottom of the sea. The deep sea is one of Earth's last frontiers. Now, a team of scientists from eight countries has completed the first survey of life in the deep waters off Antarctica. The team worked aboard a German icebreaker called Polarstern. An icebreaker is a special ship that can withstand strong storms and push through ice on the water's surface. To catch deep-sea creatures, the team lowered a scoop to the ocean floor. It took 6 to 8 hours to lower and raise the scoop just once. The sampling sites were up to 4 miles below the ocean's surface. The effort was worthwhile. Before this expedition, researchers had thought that few creatures would be able to live in the harsh Antarctic ocean conditions. They thought deep-sea life would be less diverse than life in warmer waters. But the scientists were in for a surprise. They found unexpected diversity among deep-sea creatures. What's more, many of these creatures had never before been seen. For example, of the 674 species of isopods picked up by the team, 585 were new to science. (Isopods are a type of crustacean that includes pill bugs, little grey bugs found in many gardens.) That's more new isopod species than have been found in shallower Antarctic waters in the entire past century. Researchers also found other surprises, including carnivorous (meat-eating) sponges. The sponges and most of the other bottom dwellers that the researchers found were largely white. No light reaches such depths, so most are blind. How do these organisms survive in the frigid, inky-black waters? First of all, their bodies are specially adapted to the cold. And when it comes to food, many are scavengers. Their diets consist mainly of debris (little pieces of carcasses and food excreted by other animals) that drifts down from above. Scientists call this debris "marine snow." By the time some of this debris gets to these deep-water creatures, it's already made its way through the bodies of two or three other sea creatures, the researchers say. Many questions remain about how the creatures can survive in such harsh conditions. The deep-sea dwellers collected by the team may provide answers. The data will also help scientists figure out how ocean species migrate and how their ecosystems develop. There's a lot of ocean left to explore!—J.L. Pegg

Life on the Down Low
Life on the Down Low

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