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Keyword: exobiology

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  • Curiosity rover confirms source of seasonal methane spikes on Mars

    04/02/2019 12:53:05 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    UPI ^ | April 2, 2019 / 2:30 PM | By Brooks Hays
    "Our results support the idea that methane release on Mars might be characterized by small, transient geological events," researcher Frank Daerden said. The European Space Agency's Mars Express probe measured methane in the Martian atmosphere a day after NASA's Curiosity rover detected the gas in Gale Crater. Photo by ESA ============================================================= April 2 (UPI) -- Some 15 years ago, a European probe measured traces of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Now, NASA's Curiosity rover and the European Space Agency's Mars Express have confirmed the gas' presence in the air above Gale Crater. "The presence of methane could enhance habitability and...
  • There Is Definitely Methane on Mars, Scientists Say. But Is It a Sign of Life?

    04/01/2019 2:00:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 50 replies
    space,com ^ | 04/01/2019 | Mike Wall
    Curiosity rover mission recently determined that background levels of methane in Mars' atmosphere cycle seasonally, peaking in the northern summer. The six-wheeled robot has also detected two surges to date of the gas inside the Red Planet's 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) Gale Crater — once in June 2013, and then again in late 2013 through early 2014. These finds have intrigued astrobiologists, because methane is a possible biosignature. Though the gas can be produced by a variety of geological processes, the vast majority of methane in Earth's air is pumped out by microbes and other living creatures. Some answers may soon...
  • Computing the origin of life

    12/16/2018 11:40:52 AM PST · by ETL · 46 replies
    Phys.org ^ | December 14, 2018 | Keith Cooper, Astrobiology Magazine
    As a principal investigator in the NASA Ames Exobiology Branch, Andrew Pohorille is searching for the origin of life on Earth, yet you won't find him out in the field collecting samples or in a laboratory conducting experiments in test tubes. Instead, Pohorille studies the fundamental processes of life facing a computer. Pohorille's work is at the vanguard of a sea-change in how science can tackle the complex question of where life came from, how its biochemistry operates and what life elsewhere might be like. Rather than relying on the hit-and-miss of laboratory experiments, Pohorille believes that theoretical work is...
  • Europa Lander May Not Have to Dig Deep to Find Signs of Life

    07/23/2018 7:32:23 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 23 replies
    Space.com ^ | 07/23/18 | Mike Wall
    If signs of life exist on Jupiter's icy moon Europa, they might not be as hard to find as scientists had thought, a new study reports. The 1,900-mile-wide (3,100 kilometers) Europa harbors a huge ocean beneath its icy shell. What's more, astronomers think this water is in contact with the moon's rocky core, making a variety of complex and intriguing chemical reactions possible. Researchers therefore regard Europa as one of the solar system's best bets to harbor alien life. Europa is also a geologically active world, so samples of the buried ocean may routinely make it to the surface...
  • NASA's Mars Rover Found Mysterious Growths On Mars That Could Be The Biggest Discovery In Science

    02/05/2016 12:46:49 AM PST · by blam · 42 replies
    BI ^ | 2-5-2016
    NASA's Spirit Mars Rover Found Mysterious Growths On Mars That Could Be The Biggest Discovery In Science Jennifer Deal February 5, 2016 Four billion years ago, Mars looked a lot like Earth does today. So it's not surprising that a team of scientists believe that they may have discovered the first signs of ancient alien life on the planet.(click to the site to see the video)
  • Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life

    02/03/2016 7:23:06 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 2/2/16 | Natalie Wolchover
    Scientists Debate Signatures of Alien Life Searching for signs of life on faraway planets, astrobiologists must decide which telltale biosignature gases to target. Photo illustration by Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine February 2, 2016 Comments (5) Share this: facebooktwitterredditmail PDF Print Huddled in a coffee shop one drizzly Seattle morning six years ago, the astrobiologist Shawn Domagal-Goldman stared blankly at his laptop screen, paralyzed. He had been running a simulation of an evolving planet, when suddenly oxygen started accumulating in the virtual planet’s atmosphere. Up the concentration ticked, from 0 to 5 to 10 percent.“Is something wrong?” his wife asked.“Yeah.”The rise of...
  • ...Antarctic fungi survives Martian conditions...strapped outside the space station for 18 months

    01/28/2016 6:28:56 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    daily mail uk ^ | 01/25/2016 | cheyenne macdonald
    After a year-and-a-half long voyage aboard the International Space Station, a group of fungi collected from Antarctica has proven its ability to withstand harsh, Mars-like conditions. More than half of the cells remained intact over the course of the 18-month study, providing new insight for the possibility of life on Mars. These fungal samples, along with lichens from Spain and Austria, have allowed European researchers to assess the survivability and stability of microscopic lifeforms on the red planet. The tiny fungi taken from Antarctica are typically found in the cracks of rocks in this dry, hostile region. Scientists took samples...
  • What Would Aliens Actually Look Like? We Asked 7 Experts

    08/15/2014 5:37:29 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 72 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | August 7, 2014 | John Brandon
    Movies and TV shows would have us believe aliens would look a bit like us, only with a big (bald) head, green skin, and crazy eyes. But we weren't satisfied with that old cliche. So we decided to ask sci-fi authors, science experts, and ET buffs what they think a real alien might look like.
  • Why We Need to go to Europa

    03/09/2014 5:28:18 PM PDT · by lbryce · 46 replies
    FRom Quarks To Quasars ^ | March 7, 2014 | Staff
    NASA really wants to go to Europa, and anyone who knows anything about exobiology really wants NASA to go to Europa. Why? Water. On Earth, water is what fuels life. Of course, there are a lot of other things that fuel life on our planet, but water is an integral part of life as we know it. Indeed, so far all of our research has indicated that–where there is water, there is life (Earth isn’t called “the Pale Blue Dot” for nothing). And while it is possible that alien life could exists on other worlds and thrive off of...
  • Forget Arsenic - Read the ET Life Article NASA didn't seem to hype at all

    03/05/2011 9:50:06 PM PST · by Liberty Tree Surgeon · 13 replies
    Journal of Cosmology ^ | March 4, 2011 | Richard B. Hoover, Ph.D
    Dr. Hoover has discovered evidence of microfossils similar to Cyanobacteria, in freshly fractured slices of the interior surfaces of the Alais, Ivuna, and Orgueil CI1 carbonaceous meteorites. Based on Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and other measures, Dr. Hoover has concluded they are indigenous to these meteors and are similar to trichomic cyanobacteria and other trichomic prokaryotes such as filamentous sulfur bacteria. He concludes these fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons, and other astral bodies. The implications are that...
  • What are Nanobacteria?

    03/13/2003 12:39:21 AM PST · by Swordmaker · 12 replies · 1,478+ views
    NanoBacLabs ^ | 2001 | NanoBacLabs
    The term Nanobacteria is short for its scientific genus & species name Nanobacterium sanguineum, a Latin scientific term that means blood nanobacteria. Nanobacteria are nano-sized in that they are from 20-200 nanometers in size and are the smallest known self-replicating bacteria (a nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter and is approximately the width of ten hydrogen atoms side-to-side) Nanobacterium sanguineum is recognized as an emerging infectious disease. Nanobacteria have been shown to cause the calcification in coronary artery disease and vascular disease atherosclerotic plaque. (Miller V, et al, Mayo Clinic, Journal American College of Cardiology, March 2002 & Submitted...
  • Organic Molecule, Amino Acid-Like, Found In Constellation Sagittarius

    03/28/2008 6:11:45 AM PDT · by CarrotAndStick · 62 replies · 1,990+ views
    Science Daily ^ | Mar. 27, 2008 | Science Daily
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2008) — Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn have detected for the first time a molecule closely related to an amino acid: amino acetonitrile. The organic molecule was found with a 30 metre radio telescope in Spain and two radio interferometers in France and Australia in the "Large Molecule Heimat", a giant gas cloud near the galactic centre in the constellation Sagittarius (Astronomy & Astrophysics, in press).  Amino acetonitrile. (Credit: Sven Thorwirth, MPIfR) The "Large Molecule Heimat" is a very dense, hot gas clump within the star forming region Sagittarius B2....
  • Building block of life found on comet

    08/17/2009 8:26:35 PM PDT · by Gordon Greene · 43 replies · 1,915+ views
    Reuters.com ^ | Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:45pm EDT | Steve Gorman
    The amino acid glycine, a fundamental building block of proteins, has been found in a comet for the first time, bolstering the theory that raw ingredients of life arrived on Earth from outer space, scientists said on Monday. Microscopic traces of glycine were discovered in a sample of particles retrieved from the tail of comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust deep in the solar system some 242 million miles (390 million km) from Earth, in January 2004. Samples of gas and dust collected on a small dish lined with a super-fluffy material called aerogel were returned to Earth...
  • Life's Building Blocks Found on Surprising Meteorite

    12/16/2010 5:53:58 AM PST · by FatherofFive · 50 replies · 1+ views
    Space.com ^ | Wed Dec 15, 6:15 pm | SPACE.com Staff
    Scientists have discovered amino acids, the building blocks of life in a meteorite where none were expected. The finding adds evidence to the idea that some of life's key ingredients could have formed in space, and then been delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite impacts. The meteorite in question was born in a violent crash, and eventually crashed into northern Sudan
  • Backing off an arsenic-eating claim (NASA search for life)

    12/17/2010 5:41:01 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 39 replies · 3+ views
    The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | Dec. 17, 2010 | Faye Flam
    Amid a flurry of criticism, a NASA-funded team on Thursday backed off the more extravagant, textbook-changing claims they'd made about a bacterium that had allegedly substituted arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA. The original announcement, made at a NASA news conference Dec. 2, seemed to break a cardinal rule of biology that all organisms need some phosphorus to survive. NASA researchers claimed to have discovered an exotic organism in California's Mono Lake that lived instead on arsenic, thus broadening the types of life that may exist in the universe. The news made headlines worldwide including a New York Times story...
  • Scientists: NASA’s alleged discovery of arsenic-based life is crap

    12/08/2010 4:54:14 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 62 replies
    Hot Air ^ | 9:28 pm on December 7, 2010 | Allahpundit
    I gave it the front-page treatment when the big announcement was made, so now the big skeptical response gets front-page treatment too. Simply devastating — so much so that I wonder why it fell to an outfit like Slate to put it together. Did the Times or WaPo not have enough of an inkling about NASA’s discovery to survey naysayers before writing up their reports on the “discovery”? This information would have come in a lot handier when everyone was still paying attention to this story. As soon Redfield started to read the paper, she was shocked. “I was outraged...
  • NASA: Life in Space? Not Quite, but Life That Thrives on Arsenic

    12/02/2010 3:28:52 PM PST · by ColdOne · 16 replies
    ABCnews,com ^ | Dec. 2, 2010 | NED POTTER
    Life in space? Not quite. But to scientists in the arcane field of astrobiology, it's still pretty cool. Scientists at NASA's Astrobiology Institute report they have found bacteria -- in Mono Lake, Calif., not in space -- that could be made to live on arsenic. The organism is called GFAJ-1. The finding is important because it expands the prevailing view of what it takes for living things to survive.
  • Life as we don't know it ... on Earth?

    12/02/2010 10:17:58 AM PST · by Free ThinkerNY · 26 replies
    msnbc.com ^ | Dec. 2, 2010
    Alan Boyle writes:NASA's secret is finally out: Researchers say they've forced microbes from a gnarly California lake to become arsenic-gobbling aliens. It may not be as thrilling as discovering life on Titan, but the claim is so radical that some chemists aren't yet ready to believe it. If the claim holds up, it would lend weight to the idea that life as we know it isn't the only way life could develop. Organisms with truly alien biochemistry could conceivably arise on a faraway exoplanet, or on the Saturnian moon Titan, or even here on Earth. "Our findings are a reminder...
  • NASA’s ‘Extraterrestrial’ Announcement Gets Blown Out of Proportion

    12/01/2010 3:39:41 PM PST · by Dallas59 · 30 replies · 1+ views
    National Post ^ | 12/1/2010 | National Post
    Take a hastily arranged NASA press conference, add a vague allusion to an “astrobiology discovery,” and you’ve got a recipe for mass web-fueled speculation that E.T. is finally coming home. On Tuesday, the U.S. space agency announced a press conference to be held at 2pm EST on Thursday to “discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” While that brief teaser is all NASA has said on the issue, many others have since taken to the web to complete the narrative. “If I had to guess at what NASA is going to reveal on...
  • Nasa raises hopes of finding extra-terrestrials, discovery of 'alien' bacteria, survives in arsenic

    12/01/2010 9:34:48 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 41 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 12/1/10
    Incredible microbe found in California lakeNasa scientists are set to announce that bacteria have been discovered that can survive in arsenic, an element previously thought too toxic to support life, it can be revealed. In a press conference scheduled for tomorrow evening, researchers will unveil the discovery of the incredible microbe - which substitutes arsenic for phosphorus to sustain its growth - in a lake in California. The remarkable discovery raises the prospect that life could exist on other planets which do not have phosphorus in the atmosphere, which had previously been thought vital for life to begin. But it...