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Thinking Scientifically
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1. If a shampoo is labeled “nonalkaline,” would it more likely have a pH of 3, 7, or 12?

2. A topping for ice cream contains fructose, hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, and cellulose. What types of chemicals are in it?

3. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, paralyzes muscles. An inherited form of the illness is caused by a gene (sequence of DNA) that encodes an abnormal enzyme that contains zinc and copper. The abnormal enzyme fails to rid the body of a toxic form of oxygen. Which of the molecules mentioned in this description is a

     a. protein?

     b. nucleic acid?

     c. bulk element?

     d. trace element?

4. A man on a very low-fat diet proclaims to his friend, “I’m going to get my cholesterol down to zero!” Why is this an impossible (and undesirable) goal?


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Additional Questions and Terms

1. An advertisement for a supposedly healthful cookie claims that it contains an "organic carbohydrate." How does this statement reveal a lack of knowledge about chemistry?

2. At a restaurant, a server suggests a sparkling carbonated beverage, claiming that is contains no carbohydrates. The label on the product lists water and fructose as ingredients. Is the server correct?

3. A Horta is a fictional animal whose biochemistry is based on the element silicon. Consult the periodic table. Is silicon a likely substitute for carbon in a life-form? Cite a reason for your answer.

4. If water is left in a covered outdoor swimming pool over a very cold winter, the center of the cover bulges up. What characteristic of water makes this happen?

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