Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Toads
Bullfrogs
Animals
Koalas, Up Close and Personal
Assembling the Tree of Life
Insects Take a Breather
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Pipefish power from mom
Copycat Monkeys
Training Your Brain to Feel Less Pain
Birds
Blue Jays
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Birds We Eat
Chemistry and Materials
A Butterfly's Electric Glow
Pencil Thin
The metal detector in your mouth
Computers
The Shape of the Internet
Hubble trouble doubled
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
An Ancient Spider's Web
Meet the new dinos
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
Earth
Earth's Lowly Rumble
Undersea Vent System Active for Ages
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Environment
A Change in Leaf Color
Eating Up Foul Sewage Smells
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Finding the Past
Watching deep-space fireworks
Ancient Art on the Rocks
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
Fish
Bass
Mahi-Mahi
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
How Super Are Superfruits?
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Order of Adjectives
Pronouns
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Deep-space dancers
Math of the World
Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Cell Phone Tattlers
Hear, Hear
Invertebrates
Black Widow spiders
Krill
Termites
Mammals
Scottish Folds
Chinchillas
Rottweilers
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Black Hole Journey
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Plants
The algae invasion
Fastest Plant on Earth
Sweet, Sticky Science
Reptiles
Anacondas
Sea Turtles
Pythons
Space and Astronomy
Chaos Among the Planets
An Earthlike Planet
Asteroid Moons
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
Dancing with Robots
Slip Sliming Away
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
Ready, unplug, drive
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
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Professor Ant

If you haven't appreciated your teachers lately, now might be a good time to reflect on all that they do for you. Good teachers already know the information that they're teaching, but they slow down to explain it to you. With their help, you learn far faster than you would on your own. And teachers take the time to listen to your questions and steer you in the right direction. One kind of ant does all of these things, too, a new study finds. It is, in fact, the first time that scientists have demonstrated true teaching in an animal other than humans. "One would have expected to see teaching in chimpanzees or [some other primate], but for the first fairly strong evidence of it to come from ants is surprising and interesting," says Bennett G. Galef Jr. of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The tiny ant Temnothorax albipennis lives in small nests among the rocks on the southern coast of England. Previously, researchers had been watching how these ants go about moving to a new home. They noticed that ants that know the way either carry their buddies or run very close in front of them as guides. The guiding behavior is interesting because ants run much faster when alone or even when carrying others. In their lab, researchers from the University of Bristol in England worked with colonies of Temnothorax albipennis that had a sugar solution placed 15 centimeters (6 inches) away from their nests. The scientists filmed the colony's behavior and then spent hundreds of hours analyzing the videotape. The analyses showed that running with another ant took four times as long as running alone. So, just as teachers slow down to help you, ants were slowing down to help each other. Follower ants also tapped their antennae on the backs of the leaders, and both ants adjusted their speeds to stay together. These behaviors indicate a communication system between teacher and student, just like the questions you ask when you're confused. The student ant also sometimes stopped the guided trek to turn this way and that as if it were looking for landmarks. The true test of good teaching is whether the lessons work, and the ants passed this test with flying colors, too. With a teacher-guide, it took ants only two-thirds as long to find the sugar as it did for untaught ants to discover it on their own. Moreover, after the lesson, student ants often managed to find their own shortcuts on the way home, a sign that they had learned the neighborhood well during their guided trip to the food. And the student ants sometimes turned into teachers themselves. All this activity appears to pay off for Temnothorax albipennis. Through careful teaching, ants are able to get coworkers to a food source without having to lay down a scent trail, which might go unnoticed anyway.E. Sohn

Professor Ant
Professor Ant








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