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The Three Ages of Mars
Topic: Extreme Life
12/09/10
While no place on Earth is exactly like Mars, various spots are quite similar to the red planet at different times in its past. A new study details the martian ages and the places on Earth that best resemble them.

Thriving on Arsenic
Topic: Extreme Life
12/02/10
Geomicrobiologist Felisa Wolfe-Simon has discovered a bacterium that appears able to use arsenic instead of phosphorus in its DNA. The definition of life on Earth may need to be rewritten.

Can We Grow Crops on Other Planets?
Topic: Moon to Mars
11/25/10
A new study suggests that the surfaces of Mars, Venus and the Moon could be suitable for farming, moving one step closer to the next phase in space exploration: colonizing other planets.

A Strategy to Search for Life on Mars
Topic: Mars
11/11/10
One of the reasons NASA sends so many missions to Mars is because of the planet´s potential for life. Current missions search for factors thought to be necessary for life, such as liquid water and organic molecules, but some scientists now say the search for life itself should be the highest priority for the next decade of Mars robotic probes.

Close Encounter with Comet Hartley 2
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
11/05/10
NASA's EPOXI spacecraft flew by comet Hartley 2, and the images it captured show a peanut-shaped nucleus with many jets of gas spewing from its surface. Studying comets like Hartley 2 can help astrobiologists determine if comets played a role in the origin of life on Earth.

Thawing a Planet-Sized Snowball
Topic: Earth
11/04/10
The Earth has plunged into a deep freeze several times in the past, with ice covering the land and sea for millions of years. Researchers are studying how the planet eventually escaped these cold spells, and whether Earth-like planets elsewhere in the galaxy may be susceptible to the same climate catastrophe.

The Continuing Controversy of the Mars Meteorite
Topic: Mars
10/21/10
The fight continues over a meteorite that some say contains evidence of past life on Mars. Both sides claim to wield Occam's razor, believing that biology – or anything but – provides the simplest explanation of the Mars rock´s many strange features.

Stem Cells: The Next Generation
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
10/14/10
Embryonic stem cells behave differently outside the pull of Earth's gravity, researchers suggest. These findings indicate why the human body deteriorates during long space missions, and warn that procreation in space may be fraught with peril.

Doubt Cast on Existence of Habitable Alien World
Topic: New Planets
10/12/10
Last month, astronomers announced the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet. But at an astronomy meeting this week, doubts were raised about whether this new planet really exists.

Airplanes Could Unlock Mars Mysteries
Topic: Mars
10/07/10
There are regions on Mars where the ground is much too rugged for a rover to explore. Instead, a robotic, rocket-powered airplane could be the ideal way to investigate some of these intriguing but as-yet inaccessible areas.
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