Articles on Scientists at work

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Polysaccharide molecules such as cellulose, seen here, are long chains of sugars that are very hard to break apart. Enzymes – proteins that can degrade polysaccharides – have many industrial uses. CeresVesta/Wikipedia

Scientist at work: Bio-prospecting for better enzymes

Bio-prospecting is the search for useful materials from natural sources. A biologist explains what we can learn from bacteria about breaking down plant material, and how we can use that knowledge.
Muskoxen group together for security. Joel Berger

Scientist at work: Tracking muskoxen in a warming Arctic

How is rapid warming in the Arctic affecting animals that are adapted to cold? A wildlife biologist is using many techniques to find out, including stalking muskoxen in a polar bear costume.
The crew of scientists prepare to put the drill stem into the Greenland ice sheet to probe water flows about a half of a mile below. Joel Harper

Scientist at work: Tracking melt water under the Greenland ice sheet

A glaciologist develops a lightweight method for probing the depths of Greenland's ice sheet to answer a crucial question: How fast is it melting?
Public park in Manhattan, home to a rat population with over 100 visible burrows. Dr. Michael H. Parsons

Scientist at work: Revealing the secret lives of urban rats

Rats foul our food, spread disease and damage property, but we know very little about them. A biologist explains how he tracks wild rats in New York City, and what he's learned about them so far.

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