decline of the alps: Scientists say that the Alps, spread over seven European nations, are now a mere shadow of what they were. A team led by Sean Willett of the University of Washington in the US, has found that the culprit is likely massive erosion, triggered by a sudden drop in the level of the Mediterranean Sea 6 million years ago. The beds of rivers flowing from the Alps dropped sharply as the level of the Mediterranean basin fell, and their force carried away huge amounts of sediment.
healthy gum: A German company has developed a chewing gum that it claims can destroy the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay. The gum contains the good bacteria Lactobacillus, which is normally found in yogurt.
The company, BASF, discovered a strain of Lactobacillus called L anticaries, which binds to Strepptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.Tests reveal that the chewing gum can reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth fifty times, claims BASF.
mercury threat: Mercury pollution can threaten the health of people, fish, and wildlife everywhere, from industrial sites to remote corners of the planet, warn scientists. But reducing mercury use and emissions would lessen those threats, according to a declaration adopted at an international conference on mercury pollution in the US recently. They said that evidence of mercury's health risks is strong enough that people, especially children and women of childbearing age, should be careful about how much and which fish they eat.
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