Agriculture
Springing forward
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Getting the dirt on carbon
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Toads
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Clone Wars
Deep Krill
A Meal Plan for Birds
Behavior
Calculating crime
Body clocks
Honeybees do the wave
Birds
Tropical Birds
Woodpecker
Rheas
Chemistry and Materials
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
A Butterfly's Electric Glow
The science of disappearing
Computers
Small but WISE
The Book of Life
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Supersight for a Dino King
Downsized Dinosaurs
Dino-bite!
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
Earth
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Bugs with Gas
Petrified Lightning
Environment
The Oily Gulf
To Catch a Dragonfly
Acid Snails
Finding the Past
Meet your mysterious relative
Decoding a Beverage Jar
If Only Bones Could Speak
Fish
Lungfish
Lampreys
White Tip Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Sponges' secret weapon
A Taste for Cheese
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Scholarship
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math Naturals
Math of the World
Human Body
What the appendix is good for
Flu Patrol
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Invertebrates
Sea Anemones
Millipedes
Sea Urchin
Mammals
Wolves
Pomeranians
African Gorillas
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
How children learn
Physics
IceCube Science
Project Music
Einstein's Skateboard
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Surprise Visitor
A Change in Leaf Color
Reptiles
Snakes
Rattlesnakes
Asp
Space and Astronomy
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Roving the Red Planet
Catching a Comet's Tail
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Troubles with Hubble
Ready, unplug, drive
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
Watering the Air
Recipe for a Hurricane
Catching Some Rays
Add your Article

Sugary Survival Skill

Dehydration dooms most animals. Humans, for example, die if their bodies lose about 12 percent of their water. But some tough little critters can get through long periods of drought. One bug survives dry times by entering a dehydrated state. Now, scientists have discovered the sugary secret behind this feat. The larvae of an African fly known as Polypedilum vanderplanki live in the bottom of rain puddles in the African desert. When the dry season hits, and their habitats dry up, they can endure an almost complete loss of body water. They can persist in this dormant state, which is similar to a very deep sleep, for up to 17 years. Just add water, and before long the dead-looking critters are moving and feeding again. Most other animals that have been known to freeze-dry—sea monkeys (brine shrimp) and water bears (tardigrades), for example—are microscopic. Biologists have known for years that a sugar called trehalose plays a role in the drought-survival tactics of these species. In water bears and sea monkeys, small command centers of cells remain hydrated during dormancy. In cells throughout the rest of the body, however, water is replaced with the sugar trehalose. How does this special sugar allow cells, let alone small creatures, to survive? Scientists have long thought trehalose keeps the cells from falling apart by turning into a glassy state. This state is much like melted table sugar that has solidified into hard candy drops. A series of new studies show that's exactly what happens in the fly P. vanderplanki. Takashi Okuda of the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan, and his collaborators collected P. vanderplanki—which look more like mosquitoes than flies—and got them to breed in the lab. This provided a steady supply of young larvae for the scientists to study. The researchers then used a technology called infrared imaging to visualize and measure the amount of water and heat in the larvae's tissues. The study showed that the trehalose was uniformly distributed throughout P. vanderplanki's bodies. When the researchers turned up the heat, they found the larvae's absorption of heat peaked at around 70° Celsius (158° Fahrenheit). That's the same temperature at which solid table sugar begins to melt. The findings showed that the trehalose sugar had, indeed, been in a glassy state. A second experiment showed that trehalose sugars had bonded with the cells' outer layer or membrane. This protected the cells' insides from extreme distortion during dehydration. Okuda says he and others would like to steal P. vanderplanki's secret to learn, for example, how to store people's blood in a dried form until it is needed for medical uses such as transfusions. The main challenge, he says, is to get trehalose to penetrate the membranes of red and white blood cells. If this could be done, the dehydration technique could eventually be used to preserve entire organs.—Susan Gaidos Power Words From The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, The American Heritage® Children's Science Dictionary, and other sources. dehydration The process of losing or removing water or moisture. dormant state An inactive state in which growth stops and metabolism is slowed. habitat The area or natural environment in which an animal or plant normally lives, such as a desert, coral reef or freshwater lake. heat absorption The process of taking in heat and holding it. During the day the Earth takes in and stores heat from the sun through absorption. infrared Relating to the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than those of visible red light but shorter than those of microwaves. larva An animal in an early stage of development that differs greatly in appearance from its adult stage. Larvae are adapted to different environments and ways of life than adults and go through a process of metamorphosis to change into adults. transfusion The transfer of blood from one person to another, often to replace blood lost due to injury or surgery.

Sugary Survival Skill
Sugary Survival Skill








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™