Watching out for vultures
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Poison Dart Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Cannibal Crickets
Not Slippery When Wet
Mouse Songs
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
The Smell of Trust
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Chemistry and Materials
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
The Buzz about Caffeine
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Batteries built by Viruses
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaurs Grow Up
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth's Poles in Peril
Arctic Algae Show Climate Change
What is groundwater
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Shrimpy Invaders
Sounds and Silence
Finding the Past
Of Lice and Old Clothes
If Only Bones Could Speak
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Flashlight Fishes
Whale Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
Chew for Health
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
Math Naturals
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Human Body
Electricity's Spark of Life
Dreaming makes perfect
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Sea Urchin
Little Brown Bats
Asiatic Bears
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Black Hole Journey
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Einstein's Skateboard
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Making the most of a meal
Springing forward
Gila Monsters
Copperhead Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Return to Space
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Pluto's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Slip Sliming Away
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Robots on the Road, Again
Ready, unplug, drive
Earth's Poles in Peril
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Dire Shortage of Water
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Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery

Hidden inside every shiny green emerald is a geographical mystery. Once an emerald is plucked from a mine in its home country and turned into a piece of jewelry, it can be nearly impossible to figure out where the gem came from in the first place. Now, researchers from France think they have found a solution. It's all about the water. Molecules of water are trapped inside tiny channels in every emerald. Water has the chemical formula H2O. This means that each molecule of water is made up of three atoms: two atoms of hydrogen (H) and one atom of oxygen (O). There are several types of hydrogen atoms. One unusual type, called deuterium, weighs twice as much as the type of hydrogen most commonly found. Some water molecules contain the heavier form of hydrogen instead of the lighter one. It turns out that when you shine a special kind of laser light on an emerald, the heavy hydrogen reacts differently in emeralds from different parts of the world. This signal reveals where a certain emerald came from. So far, the researchers have used their method to trace emeralds to 10 specific mines in seven countries. They can also tell the difference between natural emeralds and human-made ones. Emeralds from some countries cost more than others, so the new technique might help jewelry sellers determine how much their gems are truly worth. It could also help historians trace ancient trade routes. So, every gem carries its own story, and researchers are starting to translate it into a language that we can all understand.—E. Sohn

Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery
Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery

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