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Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
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Watching out for vultures
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Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
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Staying Away from Sick Lobsters
A Whale's Amazing Tooth
New Monkey Business
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Babies Prove Sound Learners
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Storing Memories before Bedtime
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Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Getting the dirt on carbon
Supergoo to the rescue
A New Basketball Gets Slick
Computers
Hitting the redo button on evolution
A Light Delay
The science of disappearing
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
Digging Dinos
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Drilling Deep for Fuel
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
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Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
City Trees Beat Country Trees
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Finding the Past
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Untangling Human Origins
Fakes in the museum
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Halibut
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Hagfish
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
Chocolate Rules
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
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Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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GSAT Mathematics
Losing with Heads or Tails
Monkeys Count
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
What the appendix is good for
Attacking Asthma
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
Invertebrates
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Dust Mites
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Whales
Basset Hounds
Blue Whales
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What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Black Hole Journey
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
A Giant Flower's New Family
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Chameleons
Asp
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Planets on the Edge
A Dusty Birthplace
Ready, Set, Supernova
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Young Scientists Take Flight
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
Flying the Hyper Skies
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Watering the Air
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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Drilling Deep for Fuel

Digging in dirt and rock is a big business. Oil and gas lie beneath Earth's surface in certain places, and these reservoirs are the planet's main sources of fuel. Until now, all the digging has happened only in Earth's outer layer, called the crust. Oil and gas wells normally go no deeper than about 6 kilometers. A new study shows that natural gas, mainly methane, may also form in a much deeper layer called the mantle. This means that new sources of energy could lie at depths of 100 kilometers (62 miles) or more. Oil and gas found near Earth's surface are often described as fossil fuels. Most scientists favor the idea that these hydrocarbon fuels were formed by the breakdown of ancient plants and animals. However, recent research also shows that methane gas can form in the crust when there are no living creatures around. Researchers from Indiana University South Bend wondered if this could also happen deeper down. So they did a lab experiment to simulate conditions in the mantle. They combined materials normally found at those depths. Then they put the mixture under extreme heat and pressure. The experiment produced tiny bubbles of methane gas, the scientists report. However, no one knows yet how much methane, if any, is actually present in the mantle. And, if it is present, whether any gas might seep up into the crust and emerge from spots on the ocean floor. The research could provide important clues about how life began on Earth. Some bacteria feed on methane. If methane were present in the mantle, it could support populations of microbes, allowing them to survive in such an extreme environment. It may also be worth looking for underground stores of methane on Mars and other planets when searching for signs of life.—E. Sohn

Drilling Deep for Fuel
Drilling Deep for Fuel








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