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Cement is one of those common building materials that you can find just about anywhere. When the cement starts to get cracked, fixing it is generally an easy task that involves widening the crack slightly before filling it with more cement. Now, imagine having to fix cracking cement that is buried 1 kilometer (3281…

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Our coral reef ecosystems, often called “underwater rainforests,” are quickly changing. Coral reefs are elaborate and complex ecosystems and even though they make up only a small fraction of the ocean, they contain 25% of all marine life. Reefs are important cornerstones in the cycling of nutrients and the base of…

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Antibiotic resistance is a major public health crisis worldwide as bacteria develop the ability to defend themselves against many, sometimes all, of the antibiotics we have at our disposal. Infections caused by these bacteria are often life-threatening. In order to continue fighting these infections, we have to figure…

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When studying Earth’s past, researchers want to understand how nutrients like nitrogen cycled and the impact biology had on them. Scientists rely on ancient rock, soil, fossils, and marine sediment to understand the world that used to be.  Approximately 2.5 billion years ago, oxygenic photosynthesis, the form of…

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When scientists think of a very early Earth, they think of a hot, hostile place not too long after the birth of the solar system more than 4 billion years ago. This time in the Earth’s history is called the Hadean Eon, named after the ancient Greek God of the Underworld Hades, and would have been just about when the…

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You sit down at a restaurant and peruse the menu for the best wine to pair with your dinner. Do you choose a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, or something crisper and lighter like Riesling? Do you choose the cheapest one within the category, or first look to see the vineyards listed? The differences between wine…

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During the last days of the summer of 1991, tourists hiking in the Ötztal Alps near the Italy – Austria border found the remains of an incredibly well-preserved man. This man, dubbed Ötzi, was dated back to the “Copper Age”: an informal name given to the transitional period between stone and iron working,…

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In biology, evolution is how populations change over time from their common ancestor. This process has been happening on Earth since life first began, over 3.5 billion years ago. Evolution, however; is not driven by one factor, but many, from climate conditions to predator/prey relationships. And even now, 3.5 billion…