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The History of Meow
A Seabird's Endless Summer
Sleepless at Sea
Reading Body Language
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Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Chemistry and Materials
When frog gender flips
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Sugary Survival Skill
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Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
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Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Mini T. rex
Fingerprinting Fossils
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Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Weird, new ant
The Wolf and the Cow
Acid Snails
An Ocean View's Downside
Finding the Past
Untangling Human Origins
Sahara Cemetery
Watching deep-space fireworks
Electric Ray
Megamouth Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Making good, brown fat
The Color of Health
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
Problems with Prepositions
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
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Don't Eat That Sandwich!
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Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Project Music
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Flower family knows its roots
The algae invasion
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
Asteroid Lost and Found
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Technology and Engineering
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Shape Shifting
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
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How to Fly Like a Bat
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Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost

No matter how hard you push yourself, you probably still canít run as fast as some of your friends. Even with tons of training, most of us could never be Olympians. In fact, if you watch elite sprinters in action, you might think they are just born with something the rest of us donít have. Now, new research suggests what that might be. Speedy runners are more likely to have a certain gene than other people, say scientists in Australia. The gene tells the body to make a protein called alpha-actinin-3. This protein works in fast-twitch muscles, which provide bursts of power for activities like sprinting or speed skating. Kathryn North of Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia, and her colleagues thought the protein might affect sprinting speed. So, the researchers compared star sprinters to endurance athletes and other people. In their study, 94 percent of sprinters and speed skaters had the gene for making alpha-actinin-3. In comparison, only 82 percent of non-athletes had it. And 76 percent of marathon runners and other endurance athletes had it. Alpha-actinin-3 might give sprinters an extra boost when they need it. And North suggests that not having the protein might help endurance athletes stay strong during lengthy exertion. The research may eventually help explain why some people are so much faster than others. But even if you arenít biologically destined to break records at the 100-meter dash, keep practicing your stride. There might be marathons in your future!óE. Sohn

Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost

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