A Communal Drug Test via the Sewer In Oregon, a team of scientists is making an ambitious attempt to figure out which illegal drugs residents are using. They need only one teaspoon of sewage to administer a citywide drug test.
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A Communal Drug Test via the Sewer

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A Communal Drug Test via the Sewer

A Communal Drug Test via the Sewer

A Communal Drug Test via the Sewer

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Dr. Jennifer Field and grad student Aurea Chiaia-Hernandez prepare samples for liquid chromatography. Tom Banse for NPR hide caption

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Tom Banse for NPR

In Oregon, a team of scientists is making an ambitious attempt to figure out which illegal drugs residents are using. They need only one teaspoon of sewage to administer a citywide drug test. The relatively new field of science is called "sewage epidemiology" and it has a range of practical applications.