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Unpopular Science Jobs

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

OK, maybe being a marine biologist sounds like a pretty good job, but there are plenty of other occupations in the sciences that are a bit less glamorous. The current issue of Popular Science magazine lists the 10 worst jobs in science.

Number 10, orangutan pee collector. For this work, researchers in Borneo follow beneath the animals with plastic bags attached to poles. Anthropologist Cheryl Knott says it's kind of gross when you get hit, but this is the best way to figure out what's going on in their bodies. Number six is the most hazardous to your health, volcanologist. Someone who charges into a rumbling volcano to take measurements, hopefully before it blows. Semen washer comes in at number seven. We'll spare you the details. Manure inspector is number two, that needs no explanation. And number one, human lab rat--most often a broke college student who, for $15 an hour, will permit pesticides to be shot up his or her nose.

Speaking of noses, we've got a two-trunked elephant coming up, believe it or not. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As NPR's senior national correspondent, Linda Wertheimer travels the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and wealth of experience to bear on the day's top news stories.