Agriculture
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Making the most of a meal
Silk’s superpowers
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Bullfrogs
Newts
Animals
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
Little Bee Brains That Could
Copybees
Behavior
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Meet your mysterious relative
Flower family knows its roots
Birds
Roadrunners
Hawks
Cranes
Chemistry and Materials
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
The science of disappearing
Hair Detectives
Computers
New eyes to scan the skies
Getting in Touch with Touch
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
Dinosaur Dig
A Dino King's Ancestor
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
Earth
Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Environment
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
An Ocean View's Downside
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
Finding the Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Of Lice and Old Clothes
A Plankhouse Past
Fish
Skates and Rays
Nurse Sharks
Mako Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Healing Honey
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
Play for Science
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Hey batter, wake up!
Taste Messenger
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Invertebrates
Termites
Mollusks
Lobsters
Mammals
Doberman Pinschers
Domestic Shorthairs
Cougars
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Fungus Hunt
Underwater Jungles
A Giant Flower's New Family
Reptiles
Gila Monsters
Chameleons
Geckos
Space and Astronomy
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
A Planet's Slim-Fast Plan
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Supersuits for Superheroes
Algae Motors
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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Beyond Bar Codes

In the future, your refrigerator might alert you when the milk has gone sour. At the grocery store, cashiers won't need to scan bar codes because products will provide the data on their own. And packages and letters will carry electronic tags that send messages about where they are. To make such a world possible, scientists are working on a technology called radiofrequency identification (RFID). An RFID tag is an electronic device that can be glued to cereal boxes, milk cartons, envelopes, and other objects. The tags store information and use radio signals to communicate with computers or sensors. RFID tags already exist in the form of "smart cards" that store dollar amounts for riders of some public transportation systems. RFID chips have also been implanted in animals to identify them and allow owners to find them if the animals get lost. In these cases, the tags are made of silicon, the material from which most computer chips are made. However, silicon electronic tags are too expensive to be used as widely as printed bar codes are. Now, scientists from two companies in Europe have independently taken steps toward speeding up the spread of RFID technology. They have created tags completely out of plastic materials with the right kinds of electronic properties to transmit radio signals efficiently. The methods for making plastic tags are much cheaper than those for making silicon tags. The tags produced by scientists from Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven in the Netherlands are made from a type of plastic called pentacene and transmit radio waves at a frequency of 13.56 megahertz. The tags produced by PolyIC in Erlangen, Germany, use a different type of plastic. Neither type of tag is perfect yet. The plastic tags are still expensive and tricky to manufacture, and their radio signals don't travel very far. It may be a few years yet before plastic RFIDs make their way into nearly all of our everyday objects. But when they do, there will be an amazing amount of information zooming invisibly around us.—E. Sohn

Beyond Bar Codes
Beyond Bar Codes








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