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Extreme Weather Decides Distribution of Insects
Topic: Climate
Summary: Extreme weather caused by climate change in the coming decades is likely to have profound implications for distributions of insects and other invertebrates.

Surviving Below Freezing
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Scientists have documented how a leech is able to survive cycles of freezing and thawing, and temperatures as low as -196°C.

A Scientist Proposes New Naming System for All Life on Earth
Topic: Biosphere
Summary: A Virginia Tech researcher has developed a new way to classify and name organisms based on their genome sequence.

A Rare Form of Nitrogen on Comet ISON
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: While observing the bright outburst from Comet ISON in November 2013, astronomers detected a relatively rare isotope of Nitrogen. The findings are helping astrobiologists understand the composition of the solar nebula from which the planets of our solar system formed.

Chemical Chaperones Have Helped Proteins Do Their Jobs for Billions of Years
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Summary: An ancient chemical, present for billions of years, appears to have helped proteins function properly since time immemorial.

Microbes, How Low Can You Go?
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: It seems like anywhere you look on Earth, microorganisms are there - even kilometers beneath the Earth's surface where sunlight never reaches. Scientists are just beginning to understand Earth's deep subsurface biosphere, but a new study might help determine just how far down microbes can go on our planet. The results could also shed light on the potential for life's origins in the deep, dark Earth.

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds
Topic: New Planets
Summary: NASA's Kepler mission has announced the discovery of 715 new planets, bringing the count of confirmed exoplanets to nearly 1,700.

The Ups and Downs of Early Atmospheric Oxygen
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Summary: A research team challenges conventional view of a simple two-step rise in early oxygen on Earth; study suggests instead dynamic oxygen concentrations that rose and fell over billions of years.

Hunting for Planets with Plato
Topic: Missions
Summary: The European Space Agency has selected a new space-based mission to detect extrasolar planets. Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) is planned for launch by 2024.

Astronomers Spot Record-Breaking Lunar Impact
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: A meteorite with the mass of a small car crashed into the Moon last September.

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