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Watering the Air
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Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Tree Frogs
Cannibal Crickets
Gliders in the Family
Jay Watch
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Chemistry and Materials
A Framework for Growing Bone
A Light Delay
Getting the dirt on carbon
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Supersonic Splash
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Dinosaurs and Fossils
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A Big, Weird Dino
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Island of Hope
Earth Rocks On
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Giant snakes invading North America
Island Extinctions
Indoor ozone stopper
Finding the Past
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Childhood's Long History
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Tiger Sharks
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Food and Nutrition
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Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
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Human Body
Germ Zapper
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Disease Detectives
Sea Urchin
Daddy Long Legs
Blue Bear
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Children and Media
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
The Particle Zoo
Gaining a Swift Lift
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Making the most of a meal
Assembling the Tree of Life
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Boa Constrictors
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
A Family in Space
Planets on the Edge
Saturn's Spongy Moon
Technology and Engineering
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Toy Challenge
Young Scientists Take Flight
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
Middle school science adventures
Troubles with Hubble
Ready, unplug, drive
Recipe for a Hurricane
Watering the Air
Science loses out when ice caps melt
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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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