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Have you ever driven past an old factory building and wondered what ever happened to the harsh chemicals that were used there? If you guessed that a lot of the chemicals ended up in the environment, you would be right. Many of these pollutants are what we refer to as “halogenated hydrocarbons”. These are molecules…

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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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Have you ever raised monarch butterflies? Finding eggs on milkweed plants and bringing them indoors to protect them from predators while at the same time watching the beauty of their transformation is a common childhood experience for people in North America. Stemming from the desire to understand and educate people on…

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The oceans are warming due to climate change and this will impact all oceanic life, from the smallest plankton to the largest tuna. The web of life in the ocean is complex, and so exactly which ecosystems will be affected and how much they will change is currently being intensely researched. It is especially important…

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Yellowstone National Park is famous for its hot springs, geysers, wildlife, and incredible geology. While the area is popular among visitors every year, scientists are also excited about the hot springs at this site as they create unique habitats for life. Surprisingly, this national park’s hot springs may hold clues…

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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…