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A Tongue and a Half
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How Much Babies Know
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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What is groundwater
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Electric Ray
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Marlin
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Eat Out, Eat Smart
Strong Bones for Life
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GSAT English Rules
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Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Dreaming makes perfect
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
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Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Physics
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Black Hole Journey
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When Fungi and Algae Marry
A Giant Flower's New Family
Assembling the Tree of Life
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Asp
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Ringing Saturn
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
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A Clean Getaway
A Light Delay
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Catching Some Rays
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Dire Shortage of Water
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Machine Copy

It would be a perfect theme for a horror movie: People build robots that can make copies of themselves. Robots reproduce like crazy. Robots take over the world. Ridiculous? In fact, only part of the story is fiction. Robots haven't yet taken over the world, but scientists from Cornell University have created simple machines that can make more of their own kind. The process is called self-replication. Far from being nightmarish, the researchers say, self-replicating robots could revolutionize space exploration. And they'd be perfect for clearing minefields and doing other risky tasks. Best of all, they'd be able to repair themselves. The new robots are made of stacks of blocks called "molecubes." Each cube is about the size of an adult's fist. Inside, there's a motor, electromagnets, and a tiny computer processor. The cubes are divided diagonally into plastic halves that can swivel back and forth. As a robot copies itself, computer programs tell the cube halves how to rotate. Electromagnets, meanwhile, let go of some cubes and pick up others that have been placed nearby. During the process, the stack of cubes twists and bends into various shapes, such as L's or upside-down U's. In the end, there are two identical objects, where once there was just one. This may not sound very impressive—yet. But it's a step on the path toward complex machines that can make copies of themselves.—E. Sohn

Machine Copy
Machine Copy








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