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.
Another myth is that we all look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr

Seven myths about scientists debunked

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally…

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