Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Little Beetle, Big Horns
New Elephant-Shrew
Firefly Delight
A Recipe for Happiness
Baby Talk
From dipping to fishing
Carnivorous Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Heaviest named element is official
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The memory of a material
Programming with Alice
Troubles with Hubble
The Shape of the Internet
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Feathered Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
South America's sticky tar pits
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Greener Diet
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Springing forward
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Eating Up Foul Sewage Smells
Bald Eagles Forever
Finding the Past
Ancient Art on the Rocks
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Stone Age Sole Survivors
Flashlight Fishes
Sting Ray
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
The Color of Health
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Capitalization Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Prime Time for Cicadas
Math Naturals
Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
A Long Trek to Asia
Horseshoe Crabs
Hoofed Mammals
German Shepherds
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Children and Media
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Echoes of a Stretched Egg
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Black Hole Journey
Seeds of the Future
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Komodo Dragons
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Sounds of Titan
An Earthlike Planet
World of Three Suns
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Shape Shifting
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Revving Up Green Machines
Charged cars that would charge
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Where rivers run uphill
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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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