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Insects Take a Breather
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Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
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A Classroom of the Mind
The Shape of the Internet
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Meet your mysterious relative
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Earth
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Flower family knows its roots
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A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Alien Invasions
Finding the Past
Writing on eggshells
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Stonehenge Settlement
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The Essence of Celery
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Sponges' secret weapon
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Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
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Preparing for the GSAT Exam
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42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
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Deep-space dancers
Math is a real brain bender
Play for Science
Human Body
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Running with Sneaker Science
Attacking Asthma
Invertebrates
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Giant Squid
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Shih Tzus
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What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
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Black Hole Journey
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
One ring around them all
Plants
The algae invasion
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Underwater Jungles
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Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
Killers from Outer Space
Chaos Among the Planets
Catching a Comet's Tail
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
Supersuits for Superheroes
Young Scientists Take Flight
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Robots on the Road, Again
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Watering the Air
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Either Martians or Mars has gas
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The Down Side of Keeping Clean

Wash your hands. Brush your teeth. Scrub the toilet. Do the dishes. Being clean is supposed to keep us healthy by destroying bacteria that make us sick. But our meticulous attention to cleanliness might have a down side. New research suggests that the chemicals we use to clean and disinfect could be damaging the environment by killing off algae at the base of the food chain. Over the past decade, the war against bacteria has been escalating. From dish soap to toothpaste, cleaning products have become increasingly deadly to the tiny troublemakers. After getting dumped down the drain, those household chemicals usually go straight through the sewer system and into lakes and streams, ignored by wastewater treatment plants. Curious about the environmental effects of all that chemical runoff, environmental scientist Brittan A. Wilson of the University of Kansas in Lawrence and colleagues collected algae from a Kansas stream. In the lab, the scientists doused the algae with three common household chemicals in concentrations comparable to levels often found in American streams. The number of species of algae and overall growth of algae dropped in samples treated with the chemicals, but not in untreated samples, the researchers report. Those results may be alarming, but they shouldn't be a complete surprise. "It's stupid to think that chemicals that keep toothpaste safe from bacteria won't have an effect at the other end of the sewer pipe," says ecologist Stanley I. Dodson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What is surprising is that even low concentrations of the chemicals can have a big effect.—E. Sohn

The Down Side of Keeping Clean
The Down Side of Keeping Clean








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