What Are Isotopes?

Many of the known elements from which our universe is constructed exist in various isotopic forms. The identity of any particular element is defined by the number of protons within the nuclei of its component atoms. All atoms with exactly six protons in their nuclei are thus identified as atoms of carbon, while all atoms with exactly ninety-two ...

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Catch A Shooting Star

A meteor, sometimes called a 'shooting star,' can be the brightest object in the night sky, yet meteoroids are the smallest bodies in the solar system that can be observed by eye. Wandering through ... Continue reading


What Is Reduction?

Long ago, in a laboratory far, far away...before the development of the atomic theory we now use, scientists believed in a principle called animism, and that the chemistry of different materials was ... Continue reading


Not Quite A Planet

Astronomers have dubbed it 'Quaoar' (pronounced kwa-whar) after a Native American god. It lies a billion kilometers beyond Pluto and moves around the Sun every 288 years in a near-perfect circle. ... Continue reading


West Indian Manatee, (Trichechus manatus)

Christopher Columbus was the first European to report seeing a manatee in the New World. To Columbus, and other sailors who had been at sea for a long time, manatees were reminiscent of mermaids -- ... Continue reading


The Incredible Capacity Of The Immune System

TheImmuneSystemBy age two, infants in the US can receive up to 20 vaccinations. In view of that, concerns had been raised that too many immunizations could overwhelm an infant's immune system.

However, infants are bombarded with germs every day in the air they breathe and the food they eat, but their immune systems are able to handle these exposures. Vaccination does not overburden a child's immune system; rather, it strengthens even the young infant's developing immune system.

The vaccines that are recommended for all children use only a small portion of the immune system's 'memory.' Scientists estimated that based on the immune system's capacity to respond, a child could theoretically get 10,000 vaccines in one day and still not 'use up' his or her immune response or ability to respond. Although more vaccines are recommended for children today than in the past, children are actually exposed to fewer antigens (the substances that produce an immune response) in vaccines than ever before due to advances in chemistry and vaccine production technology.