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Getting a Feel for the Terrain
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
A team is developing a rover-based computer system that can identify geologically relevant elements in a camera scene.

SETI on the SKA
Topic: Alien Life
Can the Square Kilometer Array – a network of thousands of radio antennas to be based in South Africa and Australia -- be used to hunt for extraterrestrial signals?

The Origin of Life Challenge: Searching for How Life Began
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Three teams of scientists were just awarded private research grants to aid their search into how life began.

Channeling our Ion Past
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
To understand how the first cells transported ions across their membranes, researchers are studying simple channels used by fungi to kill off bacteria.

Exploring Mars in the Austrian Alps
Topic: Mars
In the largest ice caves on Earth, spacesuits and remote-controlled planetary rovers were recently tested in a five-day odyssey in the Alps designed to mimic potential future missions on Mars.

Did Ancient Mars Have a Runaway Greenhouse?
Topic: Mars
Cosmic impacts on Mars might have sent temperatures skyrocketing upward on the Red Planet in ancient times, enough to trigger a runaway greenhouse effect.

Seeking Signs of Life at the Glacier’s Edge
Topic: Extreme Life
Microbes living at the edges of Arctic ice sheets could help researchers find evidence for life on Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa, or Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Microbes Go Rafting on Floating Volcanic Rocks
Topic: Extreme Life
A new project looks at how floating pumice provides a unique habitat for microbes, and how it might have played an integral part in the origin of life.

Martian Volcanic Glass Could Be Hotspot for Life
Topic: Mars
Water may have played a role in forming plains of volcanic glass that spread across nearly a third of Mars. The discovery of this volcanic glass could steer scientists toward subglacial lakes where martian life could thrive.

Bringing Mars Back to Earth
Topic: Mars
Rocks from Mars can teach us much about the red planet - its geology, its climate, and whether or not it ever hosted life. A new study says that looking for evidence of past life on Mars should be one of the driving forces behind a sample return mission.
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