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Understanding the Transmission of Nerve Impulses

Nerve impulses have a domino effect. Each neuron receives an impulse and must pass it on to the next neuron and make sure the correct impulse continues on its path. Through a chain of chemical events, [more…]

Designing Experiments Using the Scientific Method

How do the scientists know what they know? When it comes to gathering information, scientists usually rely on the scientific method.

The scientific method [more…]

Subatomic Particles: So That's What's in an Atom

The atom is the smallest part of matter that represents a particular element. For quite a while, the atom was thought to be the smallest part of matter that could exist. But in the latter part of the 19th [more…]

Chemistry: The States of Matter

Look around you. All the stuff you see — your chair, the water you're drinking — is matter. Matter is the material part of the universe. It's anything that has mass and occupies space. Matter can exist [more…]

Running through the Human Digestive System

You know that the mouth is where you put your food, but did you realize it was part of your digestive system? Well, it is. The act of chewing (the technical term for it is [more…]

Building the Body: From Atoms to Organs

Your body, as a whole, is one organism. However, many, many parts make up that whole. As you consider the various levels of the body (see Figure 1), you understand that a large number of parts are within [more…]

The Human Digestion Process (or, What Happens after You Eat Food)

Digestion is the process of changing food into a form that the body can absorb and use as energy or as the raw materials to repair and build new tissue. Digesting food is a two-part process that's half [more…]

Nuclear Fission Basics

The debate over nuclear power plants has been going on for some time, with nuclear physicists and lawmakers alike throwing around terms like nuclear fission, critical mass, [more…]

Figuring Out Cardiac Anatomy: Your Heart

The circulatory system — or cardiovascular system— consists of the heart and the blood vessels. The heart, the main organ of the circulatory system, causes blood to flow. The heart's pumping action squeezes [more…]

Assembling the Double Helix: The Structure of DNA

Nucleotides are the true building blocks of DNA. There are three components of a single nucleotide: one deoxyribose sugar, one phosphate, and one of the four bases. To make a complete DNA molecule, single [more…]

Science Fair Project: Making Efficient Use of Solar Panels

All life on earth depends on the sun for heat, warmth, and energy. Solar panels allow people to capture the sun's rays to create electricity. But are solar panels operating at top efficiency? [more…]

How Plants Get Water and Nutrients

Plants absorb nutrients and water through their roots, but photosynthesis — the process by which plants create their fuel — occurs in the leaves. Therefore, plants need to get fluids and nutrients from [more…]

Understanding the Weather's Water Cycle

Precipitation, the liquid and solid water particles that fall from the sky, is part of a large and truly amazing cycle of water. It passes from the bottoms of the seas to the tops of the mountains, from [more…]

Knowing How to Impress the Science Fair Judges

Even with some background about what science fair judging involves, you're probably still nervous. You know that your project is good and that your display is attractive. You even know what the judges [more…]

Genetics: Understanding Chromosome Disorders

Chromosomal abnormalities, in the form of aneuploidy, are very common among humans. Roughly 8 percent of all conceptions are aneuploid, and it's estimated that up to half of all miscarriages are due to [more…]

El Niño and La Niña: Weather's Sibling Rivalry

Just when you think you've got the seasons in your area all figured out, along comes a winter that is nothing like what you expect. Around the country, around the world, everything seems to be upside down [more…]

Minerals, Hormones, and Your Ever-Changing Bones

You might think of your skeleton as a solid, unchanging structure that the softer bits of your anatomy cling to, but that isn't entirely the case. Bone is constantly reshaping itself in a complex process [more…]

Discovering the Biogeochemical Cycles

Boy, put biology, geology, and chemistry together, and you get biogeochemical! When you talk about the "circle of life," the circle to which you are referring is a [more…]

Finding the Best Science Fair Project for You

Science fair projects can range from the simplest experiment to a complex project that involves experimentation, observation, and advanced mathematical calculations. [more…]

How Cells Work: Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Knowing how cells work is critical in the genetics field. All living things consist of one or both of two cell types: prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The basic biologies of prokaryotes and eukaryotes are similar [more…]

Sticky Chemistry: Intermolecular Forces

Intermolecular forces (forces between chemical species) are important in biochemistry. Among other things, intermolecular forces are important to hydrophilic [more…]

Nuclear Physics in a Nutshell

The energy of a nuclear bomb comes from inside the nucleus of the atom. Mass is converted into energy according to E = mc2. This energy is the binding energy of the nucleus, the glue that keeps the nucleus [more…]

Genetics: Examining the Basics of Chromosomes

Chromosomes are threadlike strands that are composed of DNA. To pass genetic traits from one generation to the next, the chromosomes must be copied, and then the copies must be divvied up. Most prokaryotes [more…]

Exploring Genetics Research

People have been wondering why they look like their parents for centuries. Observations of nature over the past few millenia have led people to ask "Why? [more…]

Physics: Understanding Newton's First Law of Motion

Drum roll, please. Newton's laws explain what happens with forces and motion, and his first law states: "An object continues in a state of rest, or in a state of motion at a constant speed along a straight [more…]

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