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Microbes at the Gas Pump
Watering the Air
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
Revenge of the Cowbirds
A Sense of Danger
Face values
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The Colorful World of Synesthesia
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
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Butterfly Wings and Waterproof Coats
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Small but WISE
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Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
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Deep Drilling at Sea
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Unnatural Disasters
Acid Snails
Plant Gas
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Nurse Sharks
Tiger Sharks
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Yummy bugs
Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
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Preparing for the GSAT Exam
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Losing with Heads or Tails
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Human Body
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Attacking Asthma
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Hermit Crabs
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Children and Media
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The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Einstein's Skateboard
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
A Change in Leaf Color
Getting the dirt on carbon
Snapping Turtles
Gila Monsters
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Burst Busters
Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Shape Shifting
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Reach for the Sky
Robots on a Rocky Road
Recipe for a Hurricane
Earth's Poles in Peril
Science loses out when ice caps melt
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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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