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  RANK # PoS   WORD SPOK FIC MAG NEWS ACAD
1 20600  N    FROTH 409 26 217 93 45 28
2 20601  J    PUBLIC-HEALTH 435 27 1 214 66 127
3 20602  N    CHANGER 440 76 48 156 94 66
4 20603  J    MOTIVATING 410 48 8 81 47 226
5 20604  J    BACKLIT 410 1 176 163 33 37
6 20605  J    RED-FACED 414 16 283 55 39 21
7 20606  N    CONFLAGRATION 418 32 135 104 60 87
8 20607  V    MARSHALL 605 26 452 41 60 26
9 20608  J    OVERSTUFFED 423 11 224 94 82 12
10 20609  J    PRETEND 458 48 146 101 47 116
 

spoon and a plastic sandwich bag), the scientist scoops some soil into the bag and drives on. Whoever owns this dirt doesn't seem to miss it, and the soil samples are precious to Collins. In these clumps of earth, the National Cancer Institute researcher hopes to find a treatment for AIDS or cancer. Collins is a bioprospector, someone who scours nature for compounds that fight disease or perform everyday jobs such as removing fabric stains and keeping bread fresh. While many bioprospectors probe plants and animal for novel substances, Collins taps nature's smallest and most abundant servants -- microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. Collins' fascination with what lurks in the dirt is far from unusual. Large pharmaceutical companies as well as smaller biotech firms screen thousands of microbes a week for profitable potions. University and government scientists help in the hunt by collecting and identifying fungi and bacteria from a variety of environments. Even researchers' friends and relatives join the pursuit

 
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[MAGAZINE] Popular Science (1996)
 



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