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Seeds of the Future
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Awake at Night
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Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
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Screaming for Ice Cream
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These gems make their own way
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Earth from the inside out
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Meet your mysterious relative
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Deep Drilling at Sea
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Rodent Rubbish as an Ice-Age Thermometer
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The Wolf and the Cow
Finding the Past
Oldest Writing in the New World
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Fish
Trout
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A Jellyfish's Blurry View
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The mercury in that tuna
The Essence of Celery
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
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Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
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Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Scholarship
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Prime Time for Cicadas
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Teen Brains, Under Construction
Taste Messenger
Invertebrates
Lobsters
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Raccoons
Woolly Mammoths
Sloth Bears
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The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
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Extra Strings for New Sounds
Invisibility Ring
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Plants Travel Wind Highways
Sweet, Sticky Science
A Change in Leaf Color
Reptiles
Asp
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Space and Astronomy
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Sounds of Titan
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Technology and Engineering
Machine Copy
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Where rivers run uphill
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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Pencil Thin

Imagine a shaving of pencil lead, the kind that might fall on your desk after you use a hand-held sharpener. Now try to imagine a pencil flake that's only one atom thickóless than 1-millionth the thickness of the shaving! Scientists have created just such a thin flake, and they're already thinking about how they can use this incredibly wispy material. Pencil lead isn't really made out of lead. Instead, it's mostly a material called graphite, which consists of many layers of carbon stacked on top of each other. By rubbing pieces of graphite against a hard surface, scientists in England and Russia have broken apart these layers and isolated super-thin sheets of carbon. They call this nanomaterial "few-layer graphene." A second group of researchers created graphene in a different way. They started with a flat, fingernail-size fleck of a hard compound containing silicon and carbon. They then heated the fleck. Silicon evaporated from the top layers of the fleck's surface. This heating left only carbon in these upper layers, and the carbon atoms rearranged themselves to form graphene. Some scientists had predicted that, if such sheets were ever made, they would naturally curl upólike a poster that won't flatten after being rolled up in a tube for a long time. Instead, it turns out the graphene can lie flat. Scientists have been creating and experimenting with nanomaterials made out of carbon for nearly 20 years now. They've created buckyballs, in which carbon atoms are arranged in a pattern like that on a soccer ball. And they've created carbon nanotubes, which are shaped like drinking straws. Graphene is the newcomer. You can think of these new graphene sheets as starting materials that can be bent and molded into structures like those of the buckyball and carbon nanotube. Researchers have already put graphene to work. They've fashioned it into a wire and found that the material can conduct electricity. In fact, scientists expect graphene to produce less heat than normal materials do when they conduct electricity. This property may prove useful for making ultrasmall electronic gadgets that don't burn themselves up. Like ants, carbon nanomaterials are amazingly strong for their tiny size. And because graphene is naturally flat, researchers propose that the sheets would be a great material to use as a tough protective coating on devices. The material could also go into sensitive sensors that would vibrate at different rates in response to different chemicals. So the next time you're using a pencil to scribble notes in class, think of the incredible possibilities of the material you're leaving behind on your sheet of paper.óK. Ramsayer

Pencil Thin
Pencil Thin








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