Springing forward
Middle school science adventures
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Life on the Down Low
New Elephant-Shrew
Vampire Bats on the Run
Math is a real brain bender
Island of Hope
Eating Troubles
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
When frog gender flips
Music of the Future
Galaxies on the go
A Light Delay
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The man who rocked biology to its core
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Digging for Ancient DNA
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Challenging the Forces of Nature
Farms sprout in cities
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
A Change in Climate
Indoor ozone stopper
Finding the Past
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Oldest Writing in the New World
Puffer Fish
Flashlight Fishes
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Making good, brown fat
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Who vs. Whom
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exam Preparation
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math and our number sense:
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Vampire Bats
Children and Media
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Speedy stars
One ring around them all
Powering Ball Lightning
Flower family knows its roots
Making the most of a meal
Bright Blooms That Glow
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Crime Lab
Young Scientists Take Flight
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Problems with Prepositions
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Reach for the Sky
Middle school science adventures
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Warmest Year on Record
Arctic Melt
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Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt

It can be hard to resist a bag of salty popcorn at the movies. Scientists may now be one step closer to explaining why. They have discovered several genes in fruit flies that help the insects detect salt. All cells depend on salt to survive, and animals need to make sure they get enough of the nutrient. Previous research revealed tiny pores, known as epithelial sodium channels, on the taste buds of rodents and other mammals that respond to salty foods. These particular sodium channels seem to be so important to mice that the animals die when scientists inactivate the system. Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Iowa wanted to find out if other animals have similar salt-sensing systems. So, they identified genes in fruit flies that they suspected might control sodium channel production. Then, they turned those genes off in a group of the insects. The mutant flies survived. Unlike regular flies, however, they were equally attracted to water with and without salt, and they couldn’t tell the difference between different kinds of salt. If people end up having the same kind of salt-detection system as mice and flies, researchers might be able to figure out why we like salty foods so much. Too much salty food can be bad for your health, so the work could also lead to salt substitutes that taste good but are okay for people with high blood pressure. Even if scientists don't yet know exactly how people detect salt, it's pretty clear that french fries, potato chips, popcorn, and other salty snacks have a natural appeal.—E. Sohn

Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt

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