__Editorial administrator Margaret Guthrie reports__ Who hasn't invoked the five second rule? After all, food that falls to the kitchen floor is still safe to eat, if you pick it up fast enough. Isn't it? linkurl:Paul Dawson,;http://www.clemson.edu/foodscience/dawson.htm of Clemson University's food science program, roots out the science behind such questions and in doing so has found a way to engage undergraduate students, teach them the rigors of scientific investigation, and even encourage some to seek advanced degrees in the sciences. His formula is simple: Test the logic - or lack thereof - behind pop culture myths or stories. He started with the linkurl:five second rule:;http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/14/is-the-five-second-rule-a-myth/?scp=3-b&sq=Professer+Paul+Dawson&st=nyt if you drop a piece of food on the floor then pick it up in less than five seconds, it's safe to eat. Dawson's study set the popular wisdom on its ear. No matter how quickly the dropped morsel is retrieved, it's crawling with all...

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