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Silk’s superpowers
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
Monkeys Count
Chicken Talk
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Supersonic Splash
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Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
Sticking Around with Gecko Tape
Makeup Science
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Computers with Attitude
Games with a Purpose
Supersonic Splash
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Hall of Dinos
The man who rocked biology to its core
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E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Challenging the Forces of Nature
Seabirds Deliver Arctic Pollutants
Alien Invasions
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Finding the Past
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Chicken of the Sea
Salt and Early Civilization
Hammerhead Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
Yummy bugs
Symbols from the Stone Age
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
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Detecting True Art
Human Body
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Cell Phone Tattlers
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Blue Whales
Siamese Cats
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
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Speedy stars
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
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Springing forward
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Black Mamba
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
A Family in Space
Intruder Alert: Sweeping Space for Dust
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
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Earth's Poles in Peril
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Nonstop Robot

In some of the scariest science fiction scenarios, evil robots refuse to die, no matter how fiercely people fight back. Now, science fiction has edged into science fact. For the first time, researchers have created a robotic machine that can take a beating and keep on trucking. Developed by scientists from Cornell University and the University of Vermont, the new robot looks like a spider with four legs. Until now, even the most advanced robot was almost certain to break down when damaged. That's because its internal computer simply doesn't know how to operate the machine after its shape has changed. To get around this problem, the spidery robot's developers equipped their invention with eight motors and two sensors that read how the machine is tilting. The motors and sensors all provide electrical signals to the machine's software. Using this information, the system follows a new procedure to figure out the machine's shape at any given moment. The program chooses from among 100,000 possible arrangements of parts. From there, the computer considers a wide variety of possible next steps, and it calculates how best to move the robot forward the longest possible distance, before trying to move again. The new strategy is a major advance in robotics, scientists say, and it's far from scary. The technology may someday help researchers create better artificial limbs that give new freedom to people who lack arms and legs. The new knowledge might also help scientists understand how people and animals figure out their own sense of place in space. "Designing robots that can adapt to changing environments and can compensate for damage has been a difficult problem," says neuroscientist Olaf Sporns of Indiana University in Bloomington. "This work provides a new way toward solving this important problem."—E. Sohn

Nonstop Robot
Nonstop Robot

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