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The hottest soup in New York
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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Plastic-munching microbes
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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Your inner Neandertal
A Long Haul
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A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
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Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
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GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
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10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Mastering The GSAT Exam
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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Math of the World
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A Long Haul
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Smiles Turn Away Colds
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Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
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Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
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Nature's Alphabet
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Asp
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Saturn's Spongy Moon
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Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
Crime Lab
Toy Challenge
The Parts of Speech
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Flying the Hyper Skies
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
How to Fly Like a Bat
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Either Martians or Mars has gas
A Dire Shortage of Water
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Awake at Night

The less sleep I get, the unhappier I become. When I'm really tired, I have trouble concentrating. I can't get any work done. I get cranky and irritable, and everything starts to annoy me. I know lots of people just like me, but I also have friends who can stay up all night and still seem chipper the next day. How well do you fare after a slumber-less sleepover? Scientists have been studying sleep for decades, but they still know very little about the genes involved. Genes are stretches of DNA found within every cell. They direct all sorts of processes in the body. Sleep researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison decided to focus on certain fruit flies (called Drosophila melanogaster) because their genes are easy to study and similar to ours. Fruit flies also sleep a lot, typically 9 to 15 hours a day. A sleeping fly looks like it's just sitting still. You can't hear the snores. The researchers collected more than 9,000 groups of fruit flies. Each group had a different set of genes. The scientists then observed several flies of each type to see how many hours a day the insects slept and how they behaved after being kept awake for 24 hours. One group of flies proved to be the most interesting. Named minisleep flies, they slept only 4 to 5 hours a day. Even after 24 hours without sleep, they did just as well on reaction tests as rested flies did. Normal sleep-deprived flies were much slower to react. After a series of tests, the scientists discovered one mutation in a single gene in the minisleep flies. As a result, these flies have nerves that appear to get excited easily. It's possible that people who don't need much sleep have a similar mutation. In every other way, minisleep flies seemed normal—except one. Most fruit flies live for about 3 or 4 months. The minisleepers lived about 2 weeks less. So, even if you feel fine on little sleep, the researchers say, skimping on sleep might affect your health in other ways. Knowing that, I'm going to make sure to sleep in tomorrow. If nothing else, I'll be a lot more pleasant to be around.—E. Sohn

Awake at Night
Awake at Night








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