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How Radioactivity Muddles the DNA Alphabet
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Summary: A new study examines how natural radioactivity in our bodies affects human DNA at the atomic scale.

Brightest Bird in the Sky: The RAVAN Satellite Set to Fly
Topic: Missions
Summary: The RAVAN project aims to launch small satellites in order to develop a dynamic 3D model of Earth's global temperatures.

Hacking the Planet?
Topic: Earth
Summary: A dozen papers on geoengineering have been released in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change.

Oil- and Metal-Munching Microbes Dominate Deep Sandstone Formations
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Halomonas bacteria are well-known for consuming the metal parts of the Titanic. Researchers now have found Halomonas in sandstone formations deep underground.

Pathogens in Space
Topic: Moon to Mars
Summary: A new study reports how spaceflight alters the activity of a fungal pathogen.

First Detection of a Predicted Unseen Exoplanet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers previously predicted the presence of the planet Kepler-88 c based on its gravitational influence on other planets in the system, even though they couldn't see it. Now, new observations confirm that the planet does exist.

Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: A new study finds that the mass of an exoplanet can be determined solely by looking at the starlight that passes through the planet's atmosphere.

Hubble Sees Evidence of Water Vapor at Jupiter Moon
Topic: Europa
Summary: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon's surface.

Mapping the Demise of the Dinosaurs
Topic: Origin & Evolution of Life
Summary: New research shows that remnants of the impact event that brought an end to the age of dinosaurs are exposed along the edge of a giant underwater cliff in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gaia Mission Could Help Map Exoplanets
Topic: Missions
Summary: The Gaia spacecraft, scheduled for launch on December 19, could be a bonanza for discovering exoplanets.

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