Fast-flying fungal spores
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Living in the Desert
Red Apes in Danger
Making light of sleep
Night of the living ants
Making Sense of Scents
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
A Framework for Growing Bone
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Fingerprint Evidence
Galaxies far, far, far away
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Battling Mastodons
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
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Shrinking Glaciers
Unnatural Disasters
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Catching Some Rays
Bald Eagles Forever
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
An Ancient Childhood
A Long Haul
Puffer Fish
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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GSAT Mathematics
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Math and our number sense:
Human Body
Dreaming makes perfect
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Foul Play?
African Gorillas
Cornish Rex
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Einstein's Skateboard
Road Bumps
IceCube Science
Nature's Alphabet
Flower family knows its roots
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Space and Astronomy
Sounds of Titan
A Moon's Icy Spray
A Planet from the Early Universe
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Searching for Alien Life
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
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Ready, unplug, drive
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Robots on the Road, Again
Arctic Melt
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Where rivers run uphill
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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.óC. Gramling

Stalking Plants by Scent
Stalking Plants by Scent

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