Fast-flying fungal spores
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Middle school science adventures
Tree Frogs
The History of Meow
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Math is a real brain bender
Mice sense each other's fear
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Bandages that could bite back
Undercover Detectives
Galaxies far, far, far away
New twists for phantom limbs
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Supersight for a Dino King
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
Middle school science adventures
E Learning Jamaica
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
A Dire Shortage of Water
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Snow Traps
Finding the Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Stonehenge Settlement
An Ancient Childhood
Manta Rays
Flashlight Fishes
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
Strong Bones for Life
How Super Are Superfruits?
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Detecting True Art
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
A Fix for Injured Knees
Heavy Sleep
Daddy Long Legs
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Speedy stars
Road Bumps
IceCube Science
Nature's Alphabet
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
The algae invasion
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Baby Star
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Reach for the Sky
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Catching Some Rays
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Warmest Year on Record
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Supergoo to the rescue

Inside a disposable diaper are tiny crystals of a material called sodium polyacrylate that can absorb hundreds of times their weight in water. Just a small amount of the stuff — sometimes called “Super Slurper” — can sop up a lot of liquid, no matter where it comes from. When the crystals absorb water, they form a thick and sticky goo (which is why a used diaper gets so heavy). Now, scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have found a new use for this goo: cleaning up after a terrorist attack. A dirty bomb is a weapon that uses explosives to create a cloud of radioactive materials. Radioactive materials send off energy in the form of radiation, including a form that’s used to make X-rays of your teeth. But too much radiation can make you sick, and even die. So, if a dirty bomb were ever to go off (which hasn’t happened in the U.S.), particles of radioactive material would be released into the air. Terrorists have talked about making such an explosion to cause confusion and panic. But blown by the wind, the dangerous particles released by such a detonation can stick to building materials like marble or brick. This is where the supergoo comes in. If a dirty bomb were to go off, scientists could spray the sticky gel onto buildings. Afterward, when teams clean up the gel, the radioactive particles would peel off with it. In the laboratory, Argonne engineer Michael Kaminski and his team have shown that one treatment with the thick gel can remove 80 percent of radioactive leftovers on marble. After two treatments, 90 percent of the leftovers were removed. Many of our national monuments are made of marble, so Kaminski’s supergoo would aid cleanup efforts without damaging the monuments themselves. The goo isn’t only successful; it’s also nontoxic. “In fact,” he says, “you could literally eat some of the formulations that we’ve made.” But the goo doesn’t work everywhere. It works so well on marble partly because the polished marble used on most monuments is extremely smooth — there aren’t many holes to shelter radioactive dust. Brick, on the other hand, is rough, so the gel doesn’t work as well. “Removal rates are poor,” Kaminski says. Kaminski started working on the super-cleaning supergoo after the Department of Homeland Security asked scientists to come up with ways to clean up radioactive materials. It’s scary to think about a dirty bomb going off, but it’s more disturbing to think about a dirty bomb going off and not knowing how to respond.

Supergoo to the rescue
Supergoo to the rescue

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