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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Flower family knows its roots
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Fishing for Fun Takes Toll
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Meet your mysterious relative
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A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Electric Ray
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
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42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
A Fix for Injured Knees
Foul Play?
Invertebrates
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Cornish Rex
Domestic Shorthairs
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The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
IceCube Science
Einstein's Skateboard
Plants
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Bright Blooms That Glow
Sweet, Sticky Science
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Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Roving the Red Planet
Melting Snow on Mars
Technology and Engineering
Toy Challenge
Slip Sliming Away
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Troubles with Hubble
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Science loses out when ice caps melt
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Diamond Glow

Diamonds are expensive because they're beautiful and rare. But fake diamonds often sell for a lot of money, too, because they can look very real. Now, scientists have discovered a way to distinguish certain genuine diamonds from imitations. The simple new technique works with a rare form of blue diamond that glows in the dark. Diamonds that belong to a group called type IIb usually look blue. After they absorb high-energy light, though, type IIb diamonds phosphoresce, or glow in the dark, for a little while. This phosphorescence ranges in color from blue to pink to fiery red, depending on the diamond. Type IIb diamonds can be stunning, and some of them are quite famous. The large Hope Diamond, for one, glows orange-red for up to a minute after the lights go out. (The Hope Diamond is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.) Despite these diamonds' rarity and fame, however, scientists hadn't paid much attention to them till recently. To learn more about the stones, chemical engineer Sally Eaton-Magaña of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, Calif., and her colleagues studied a set of diamonds called the Aurora Heart Collection. The set contains 239 colored diamonds, including many blue, type IIb gems. They also studied the Smithsonian's Hope Diamond and its Blue Heart Diamond. In all, the researchers did experiments with 67 natural blue diamonds, three manmade gems, and a gray diamond that scientists had turned blue with a combination of temperature and pressure treatments. In one test, the scientists shone ultraviolet light—a type of high-energy light—on each gemstone for 20 seconds. Afterward, all the natural type IIb diamonds glowed for several seconds. Measurements revealed that this glow contained two wavelengths of visible light: greenish-blue and reddish. The relative strength of each wavelength determined the color of the final glow. And because each diamond is different, the scientists could use the color of the glow and how quickly the glow fades as a sort of fingerprint to identify individual gems. The technique also proved to be a good way to separate the real gems from the fakes. Neither the manmade diamonds nor the falsely colored gray diamond glowed in the reddish wavelength. The new strategy might help solve one of the diamond market's biggest problems: hard-to-spot fakes.—Emily Sohn

Diamond Glow
Diamond Glow








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