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Life´s Crystal Code
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
What do we have in common with a crystal chandelier? We´re both made of material that replicates its own structure. In our case it´s DNA, while the crystals in the chandelier grew from minerals like quartz. One scientist thinks for early life on Earth, certain mineral crystals played the role that DNA does for us today.

Cometary Life Limit
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Large debris disks around certain stars may imply a high rate of killer comets that wipe out any chance of life forming in these stellar systems.

Starlight, Star Bright
Topic: New Planets
On March 6, NASA launched Kepler, a telescope that will search for distant Earths by studying 100,000 stars simultaneously. But to examine the atmospheres of distant Earths for signs of life, says Sara Seagar of MIT, NASA may need to build a fleet of hundreds of tiny orbiting telescopes.

Could Life on Earth Have Come From Ceres?
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The dwarf planet Ceres is rarely mentioned as a candidate for habitability, but the possible presence of an ocean and hydrothermal vents suggests it is plausible. If life developed on Ceres long ago, could it have seeded the young Earth?

Finding Earth's Twin: No Easy Task
Topic: Alien Life
Are there other Earths out there -- rocky planets capable of supporting life, orbiting sun-like stars at comfortable distances? NASA is about to launch a telescope designed to find the answer.

A Sliver of a Chance for Life on Mars
Topic: Mars
The Phoenix Mars Lander witnessed water vapor adsorbing into the martian soil each night. Researchers suspect the films of water that resulted are probably too thin for life now, but they may have been thick enough millions of years ago.

Plate Tectonics Could be Essential for Life
Topic: Geology
Planetary scientists have been considering the potential importance of plate tectonics. Some believe that this geological process is essential for the development of complex lifeforms, and in the future could even be used as a biosignature to detect habitable worlds.

Ice Age Aliens
Topic: Alien Life
The light reflected off of vegetation could be a signal of life on an alien planet. Researchers have now shown that this plant life signal can be seen even if a world is in the midst of an ice age.

Stepping-Stone to the Stars
Topic: Moon to Mars
There is fierce debate over the direction humanity should take when exploring the solar system. One argument claims that a "one step at a time" approach is essential, with Moon bases being the next key step.

Hiding from Jupiter's Radiation
Topic: Jupiter
The intense radiation around Jupiter will complicate possible future missions to the moon Europa. A new project plans to create a "radiation weather map" that will help pinpoint regions where astrobiologically-relevant molecules may survive.
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