Prescription for Pollution
March 21, 1998 | Volume 153 | Number 12Cover: Prescription medicines can be excreted from the body and eventually flushed into public water supplies. Dozens of them have begun turning up in groundwater aquifers, surface waters (like this canal in Berlin), and occasionally tap water. No one knows whether chronic exposure to these chemicals at low concentrations poses a hazard. Page 187 (Photo: Thomas Heberer)
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News of the Week:
Grown-Up Monkey Brains Get Growing
Researchers have for the first time documented the creation of new nerve cells in an adult primate brain.
Cage provides key to water droplet
A cluster of six water molecules exhibits properties of the bulk liquid, making it the smallest-possible drop of water.
Californias quake deficit fades
Seismologists dispute the notion that Southern California faces a future filled with more numerous or stronger quakes.
Yeast cells point to human cancer gene
Specific mutations in human cancer cells may allow the distribution of an abnormal number of chromosomes.
Red glimmer reveals most distant galaxy
Astronomers have found a galaxy so far away that observers may be seeing it during its first burst of star formation.
All age groups lack vitamin D in blood
Vitamin D deficiency, common among the elderly, is also prevalent in younger people.
Harnessing chaos for optical communication
Erratic signals transmitted from one laser directly to another via an optical fiber can be used to carry information.
Will petunias and poppies need sunscreen?
A lab simulation of the effects of rising UV-B radiation reveals sluggishness in plant pollen.
Whales stranded during military test
A rare stranding of Cuviers beaked whales on the Greek coast in 1996 took place at the same time as NATO tests of a sonar system.
Eating seeds shifts ant sex ratios
When ants feed on the seeds of woodland plants, the number of reproductive females in the ant colony increases.
Repulsive force in the cosmos?
The universe appears to be expanding at an ever-increasing rate.
Near-Earth asteroid: A far miss
Improved calculations indicate that the near-Earth asteroid 1997 XF11 will not strike Earth when it passes closest to it 30 years from now.
Short AZT course can protect fetuses
A Thai study indicating that AZT effectively limits mother-to-fetus transmission of HIV led U.S. and U.N. agencies to change study protocols.
Papillomavirus common in college women
Though human papillomavirus occurs frequently among U.S. college women and has been linked with cancers, noninvasive monitoring may be the best course of action.
Under ultraviolet light, surfaces coated with titanium dioxide can kill bacteria and destroy their toxins.
When sewage is recycled for drinking
Federal regulations may need to be strengthened to protect drinking water from contaminants introduced during sewage treatment.
Does it matter that pharmaceuticals are turning up in water supplies?
People can excrete large portions of any medicine they take, sometimes leaving detectable drug residues in treated sewage, waterways, and drinking water.
A Model Walker
A novel mechanical model may provide insights into how people walk.
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A Selection from Letters to the Editor
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