News Briefs

  • Did Tectonics Get an Early Start?
    A recent discovery near the Great Wall in China adds new support to the theory that plate tectonics began very early in the Earth's history.
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  • SETI and the Search for Life
    Christopher F. Chyba of the SETI Institute discusses the search for life in the Universe. Are we alone?
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  • Starved for Nitrogen
    A team of researchers, including a NASA scientist, reports that an early-life nitrogen crisis may have triggered a critical evolutionary leap about 2 billion years ago.
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  • Happy Anniversary, Viking Lander
    On July 20, 1976, NASA's Viking 1 lander touched down safely on the surface of Mars, revealing an alien world that continues to puzzle scientists and tempt explorers.
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  • The Search for Life in the Universe
    Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the search for life in the Universe. Are we alone?
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  • NASA Picks Mars Scout Mission Ideas for Further Study
    NASA recently selected the ten most promising "Scout mission concepts from among the 43 proposed for possible launch to Mars in 2007.
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  • Mars: Dead or Alive?
    Recent research on the planet has convinced some scientists that Mars may still be geologically active.
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  • Water Worlds
    As an alien sun blazes through its death throes, it is apparently vaporizing a surrounding swarm of comets, releasing a huge cloud of water vapor.
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  • Life Down Under
    Recent work by Christopher Chyba (SETI Institute) and Kevin Hand (Stanford University) suggests that there may be ways to nourish biology in watery environments where the Sun's rays don't penetrate.
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  • How Small Can Life Be?
    As advanced microscopes enable us to peer deeper into the realms of inner space, biologists have been faced with a vexing question: Is there a size limit on life?
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  • The Meaning of Life
    Sitting beneath a dark night sky, looking up at the vast array of stars, what human has not wondered, "Are we alone?
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  • Europa: Chewy or Crunchy?
    For geophysicist William B. Moore, the question of whether life exists on Jupiter's moon Europa boils down to whether the moon's center is chewy or crunchy.
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  • A Pregnancy Test for Mars
    The test that tells women they are pregnant might also be able to find signs of living organisms on Mars.
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  • Do We Know What Killed the Dinosaurs?
    What killed the dinosaurs? Many geologists and paleontologists now think that a large asteroid or comet impacting the Earth must have caused a global catastrophe that led to this extensive loss of life.
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  • Swept Away: Evidence of Erosion on Mars
    Massive erosion shaped the surface of Mars, according to planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis.
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