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AP Photo Paleontologist John Hoganson displays erionite rocks and a fossilized skull from a 25-million-year-old sheep-like animal found in erionite on Thursday in Bismarck.

Researchers want mineral information

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BISMARCK (AP) -- North Dakota's top rock researcher and the state's chief fossil finder have spent decades exposed to an asbestos-like mineral found in western North Dakota that is similar to a kind linked to cancer in lab rats and in people in Turkey.

State geologist Ed Murphy and state paleontologist John Hoganson want to know if erionite has caused them health problems, so they volunteered for a government-funded study to find out.

Hardly anyone else has joined them.

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