Making the most of a meal
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Jay Watch
Roach Love Songs
Return of the Lost Limbs
The (kids') eyes have it
Baby Talk
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Supersonic Splash
Fingerprint Evidence
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
Hall of Dinos
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Surf Watch
Fungus Hunt
Bald Eagles Forever
Inspired by Nature
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Stonehenge Settlement
Nurse Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
Eat Out, Eat Smart
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Music in the Brain
The tell-tale bacteria
Doberman Pinschers
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
Invisibility Ring
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Fast-flying fungal spores
Underwater Jungles
Fastest Plant on Earth
Garter Snakes
Copperhead Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Evidence of a Wet Mars
A Planet's Slim-Fast Plan
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Weaving with Light
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Reach for the Sky
How to Fly Like a Bat
Flying the Hyper Skies
Where rivers run uphill
A Change in Climate
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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Electric Backpack

Backpacks are convenient. They can hold your books, your lunch, and a change of clothes, leaving your hands free to do other things. Someday, if you don't mind carrying a heavy load, your backpack might also power your MP3 player, keep your cell phone running, and maybe even light your way home. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., have invented a backpack that makes electricity from energy produced while its wearer walks. The backpack's electricity-creating powers depend on springs used to hang a cloth pack from its metal frame. The frame sits against the wearer's back, and the whole pack moves up and down as the person walks. A mechanism with gears collects energy from this motion and transfers it to an electrical generator. Surprisingly, the researchers found, people walk differently when they wear the springy packs. As a result, wearers use less energy than when lugging regular backpacks. Also, the way the new packs ride on wearers' backs makes them more comfortable than standard packs, the inventors say. The backpack could be especially useful for soldiers, scientists, mountaineers, and emergency workers who typically carry heavy backpacks. These people often rely on global positioning system (GPS) receivers, night-vision goggles, and other battery-powered devices to get around and do their work. Because the pack can make its own electricity, users don't need to give up space in their packs to lots of extra batteries. For the rest of us, power-generating backpacks could make it possible to walk, play video games, watch TV, and listen to music, all at the same time. Electricity-generating packs aren't on the market yet, but if you do get one eventually, just make sure to look both ways before crossing the street!E. Sohn

Electric Backpack
Electric Backpack

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