Agriculture
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Watching out for vultures
Seeds of the Future
Amphibians
Salamanders
Frogs and Toads
Bullfrogs
Animals
Awake at Night
Walks on the Wild Side
A Fallout Feast for Crabs
Behavior
Lost Sight, Found Sound
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Talking with Hands
Birds
Quails
Nightingales
Kookaburras
Chemistry and Materials
The memory of a material
The newest superheavy in town
Boosting Fuel Cells
Computers
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Hubble trouble doubled
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Tiny Pterodactyl
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Environment
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Blooming Jellies
Plant Gas
Finding the Past
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Fish
Electric Ray
Flashlight Fishes
Hagfish
Food and Nutrition
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. That vs. Which
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
It's a Math World for Animals
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Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Sun Screen
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Invertebrates
Wasps
Sea Urchin
Crawfish
Mammals
Beagles
Chipmunks
Platypus
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Physics
Invisibility Ring
Speedy stars
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Fast-flying fungal spores
Stalking Plants by Scent
Fastest Plant on Earth
Reptiles
Gila Monsters
Crocodilians
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Weaving with Light
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Arctic Melt
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Pencil Thin

Imagine a shaving of pencil lead, the kind that might fall on your desk after you use a hand-held sharpener. Now try to imagine a pencil flake that's only one atom thickóless than 1-millionth the thickness of the shaving! Scientists have created just such a thin flake, and they're already thinking about how they can use this incredibly wispy material. Pencil lead isn't really made out of lead. Instead, it's mostly a material called graphite, which consists of many layers of carbon stacked on top of each other. By rubbing pieces of graphite against a hard surface, scientists in England and Russia have broken apart these layers and isolated super-thin sheets of carbon. They call this nanomaterial "few-layer graphene." A second group of researchers created graphene in a different way. They started with a flat, fingernail-size fleck of a hard compound containing silicon and carbon. They then heated the fleck. Silicon evaporated from the top layers of the fleck's surface. This heating left only carbon in these upper layers, and the carbon atoms rearranged themselves to form graphene. Some scientists had predicted that, if such sheets were ever made, they would naturally curl upólike a poster that won't flatten after being rolled up in a tube for a long time. Instead, it turns out the graphene can lie flat. Scientists have been creating and experimenting with nanomaterials made out of carbon for nearly 20 years now. They've created buckyballs, in which carbon atoms are arranged in a pattern like that on a soccer ball. And they've created carbon nanotubes, which are shaped like drinking straws. Graphene is the newcomer. You can think of these new graphene sheets as starting materials that can be bent and molded into structures like those of the buckyball and carbon nanotube. Researchers have already put graphene to work. They've fashioned it into a wire and found that the material can conduct electricity. In fact, scientists expect graphene to produce less heat than normal materials do when they conduct electricity. This property may prove useful for making ultrasmall electronic gadgets that don't burn themselves up. Like ants, carbon nanomaterials are amazingly strong for their tiny size. And because graphene is naturally flat, researchers propose that the sheets would be a great material to use as a tough protective coating on devices. The material could also go into sensitive sensors that would vibrate at different rates in response to different chemicals. So the next time you're using a pencil to scribble notes in class, think of the incredible possibilities of the material you're leaving behind on your sheet of paper.óK. Ramsayer

Pencil Thin
Pencil Thin








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