Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Watering the Air
Fast-flying fungal spores
Poison Dart Frogs
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
Fishy Cleaners
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
Mind-reading Machine
Fish needs see-through head
Longer lives for wild elephants
Chemistry and Materials
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Silk’s superpowers
Undercover Detectives
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
A Classroom of the Mind
Music of the Future
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino-Dining Dinosaurs
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth's Poles in Peril
Island of Hope
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Flu river
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Finding the Past
An Ancient Childhood
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
A Plankhouse Past
Tiger Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
The Color of Health
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Prime Time for Cicadas
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Surviving Olympic Heat
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Daddy Long Legs
Giant Clam
St. Bernards
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Gaining a Swift Lift
Electric Backpack
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Getting the dirt on carbon
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Space and Astronomy
Dark Galaxy
Catching a Comet's Tail
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
A Clean Getaway
Toy Challenge
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
How to Fly Like a Bat
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Arctic Melt
Catching Some Rays
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Stalking Plants by Scent

Dodder is a wiry, orange vine that steals water and nutrients from other plants. Scientists have now found that this vine chooses its victim by smell, growing its shoots in the direction of a plant's natural perfume. When a dodder seed sprouts, it doesn't grow roots to seek its own food. Instead, it grows a shoot that reaches out to other plants, tapping them for food. The baby vine needs to find a host within a week to survive. It then grows into a spaghetti tangle that can even ensnare more than one plant. Also known as strangleweed and witches' shoelaces, dodders are listed among the 10 worst weeds in the United States. They can cost farmers millions of dollars by stunting their crops. To figure out how a type of dodder vine known to prefer tomato plants finds a victim, scientists placed dodder sprouts near several possible targets. These targets included pots of moist soil, little jars of dyed water that created colored lights, young tomato plants, and even a cup of perfume made from chemicals that tomato plants give off. Seedlings grew toward the tomato plant. They also reached out toward the cup of tomato perfume. They tended not to grow toward the moist soil or colored water. The scientists then used a different setup, hiding the targets in chambers connected to dodder sprouts only by curving pipes, so the vine could find them only by smell. Dodder sprouts still grew toward their favored targets. By placing dodder sprouts near different plants, the scientists found that the type of dodder that they were studying prefers tomatoes and a flower called impatiens. And when given a choice between tomato and wheat, vine seedlings grow toward tomato. The researchers then tested seven of the ingredients that make up tomato perfume separately. Dodder sprouts were attracted to three of them. One of these ingredients turns up in wheat perfume, but the wheat perfume also contains a substance that repels dodder sprouts. This chemical could offer farmers one way to fight the vine and save their crops.—C. Gramling

Stalking Plants by Scent
Stalking Plants by Scent

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