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The Full Palette of Photosynthesis
Topic: Alien Life
Researchers are collecting together data on photosynthetic pigments from Earth to help imagine the colors of life on other planets.

Defending the Earth From Asteroids
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
In a recent event at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, astronauts and cosmonauts who have flown for three different space agencies (United States, Russia, and Japan) discussed asteroid detection and deflection.

Exoplanets: 1,000 and Counting
Topic: New Planets
The Extrasolar Planets Catalog now has over 1,000 planets listed in their database. The milestone was reached October 22, and their current count of planets discovered beyond our solar system now sits at 1,010.

A Super Ball Bot for Titan: A Baby Step To Learning About Saturn’s Unique Moon
Topic: Robotics & A.I.
A child’s toy was the inspiration for a new spacecraft design concept to explore the murky surface of Saturn's moon Titan.

From Plasma Science to Dwarf Planets: Fran Bagenal
Topic: Outer Solar System
Fran Bagenal is a Co-Investigator on NASA's New Horizons mission, which is set to arrive at Pluto and Charon in 2015.

Did a Huge Impact Lead to the Cambrian Explosion?
Topic: Biosphere
A new paper suggests a large impact in the ocean 570 million years ago caused a re-organization of Earth’s environment, setting the stage for the emergence of complex life.

The Longevity of Human Civilizations
Topic: Earth
How long can civilization last? That question has long been asked by astronomers searching for intelligent alien life, and recently was the focus of a symposium in the Library of Congress.

Astrobiology in the Folds
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Astrobiologists have revealed new information about the structure of RNA molecules found in the ribosome of cells. The study indicates that long-accepted models of ribosomal RNA, which are used to study how ribosomes function, require some major updating.

A Microbe's Fountain of Youth
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Researchers have found that, under the right conditions, the yeast S. pombe doesn’t grow old. The discovery provides insight into our understanding of aging, and shows that even some of the best-studied life forms can still have surprising qualities.

Super-Earth or Mini-Neptune? Telling Habitable Worlds Apart from Lifeless Gas Giants
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New models could allow today's telescopes to discern what elements and compounds are harbored in the atmospheres of mysterious, larger-than-Earth worlds.
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