Seeds of the Future
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Frogs and Toads
The History of Meow
Life on the Down Low
Lives of a Mole Rat
Pipefish power from mom
The case of the headless ant
Mind-reading Machine
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Bandages that could bite back
Atomic Drive
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Graphene's superstrength
Small but WISE
Lighting goes digital
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Dino Takeout for Mammals
Have shell, will travel
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
A Volcano Wakes Up
Flower family knows its roots
Riding to Earth's Core
Where rivers run uphill
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
Power of the Wind
Finding the Past
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Ancient Cave Behavior
Skates and Rays
Food and Nutrition
A Taste for Cheese
Symbols from the Stone Age
Recipe for Health
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math and our number sense:
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Hey batter, wake up!
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Taste Messenger
Giant Clam
Walking Sticks
Asian Elephants
Sperm Whale
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Dreams of Floating in Space
Gaining a Swift Lift
Farms sprout in cities
A Giant Flower's New Family
Nature's Alphabet
Komodo Dragons
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Solving a Sedna Mystery
Technology and Engineering
Searching for Alien Life
Machine Copy
Toy Challenge
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Charged cars that would charge
Robots on a Rocky Road
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Arctic Melt
Warmest Year on Record
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Earth from the inside out

Scientists have long known this strange fact: It’s easier to look deep into space than into the center of Earth. Light can pass through most of space, so the light from distant stars can easily be seen with the naked eye. But Earth is opaque, which means that light cannot pass through it. If light cannot pass through it, then we cannot see what’s on the inside of our planet. So if we can’t use light to see inside our own planet, what can we use? Recently, some scientists have been trying to use neutrinos — tiny particles smaller than an atom that zip through space. Neutrinos come from the sun or other distant stars, and astronomers have studied them for years. Now, a team of geoscientists — “geo” means Earth — think a kind of neutrino may have something to say about the Earth, too. Not all neutrinos come from outer space. Special neutrinos called geoneutrinos are generated from within the Earth. (Remember that “geo” means Earth.) Most of these local neutrinos come from either the crust or the mantle. The crust is Earth’s outermost shell, what we stand on, and the mantle is five to 25 miles below the crust. Certain elements within the Earth can send off geoneutrinos when undergoing a process called radioactive decay. During radioactive decay, a material loses some of its energy by sending out particles and radiation. An element that goes through this process is said to be radioactive, and radioactive elements occur naturally in the Earth. Some radioactive elements produce geoneutrinos. After they are produced, geoneutrinos pass straight through the solid Earth without being absorbed or bouncing around. If they’re not stopped, they go straight into outer space — and keep going, and going and going. Geoscientists hope to catch a few of these particles on their way out, but it’s not going to be easy. There are two big problems: There aren’t that many geoneutrinos, and they’re hard to find. To catch these elusive particles, scientists have designed special geoneutrino detectors. These strange-looking scientific instruments are giant, metal spheres buried deep underground. In an abandoned mine in Canada, for example, scientists are preparing a geoneutrino detector that is four stories tall and more than a mile underground. The detector will be filled with a special liquid that flashes when a geoneutrino passes through. The liquid “produces a lot of light, and it’s very transparent,” says Mark Chen, the director of the project. When it’s up and running, probably in 2010, the detector will find only about 50 geoneutrinos per year. Other detectors are being planned all over Earth — one of them is even supposed to sit on the bottom of the ocean! The geoscientists who study geoneutrinos hope that the particles will help answer an old question about the Earth. The interior of the Earth is blistering hot, but where does the heat come from? They know that part of the heat — maybe as much as 60 percent — comes from radioactive decay, but researchers want to know for sure. By measuring geoneutrinos, scientists hope to figure out how radioactive decay helps heat Earth.

Earth from the inside out
Earth from the inside out

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