News Briefs

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    A new study helps explain why so few high-mass galaxies exist. Galaxies grow when they consume gas clouds and produce stars. Now scientists have revealed that star formation also jettisons gas to the outer edge of the galaxy, 'starving' it for a period of time
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    A new study suggests that life on land is four times as old as previously believed. Researchers have discovered a 2.2 billion year old fossil microorganism in South Africa that could be the oldest known eukaryote.
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  • New Evidence for a Martian Ocean
    Scientists studying data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have discovered new evidence that Mars may have once had a vast ocean of water on its surface.
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    What is life? In this interview, Gerry Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute reveals why it’s been so hard for scientists to come up with a definition that encompasses the multiple dimensions of life as we know it.
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    Color and black-and-white images of Earth taken by two NASA interplanetary spacecraft on July 19 show our planet and its moon as bright beacons from millions of miles away in space.
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    Scientists have found that purple bacteria from Earth can also survive in the presence of extreme 'alien' light simulated in the laboratory. The key to survival lies in how the light arrives at the organism.
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    The first global atlas of marine plankton reveals remarkable underwater world.
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    NASA's MAVEN mission is set to launch later this year and will carry an instrument to measure charged gas particles in Mars' upper atmosphere. The data will help astrobiologists understand if Mars' atmosphere was once substantial enough for liquid water to persist at the surface.
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    For the first time, a snow line has been imaged in the dusty disc of a far-off, infant solar system.
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    Future life-seeking missions on other worlds may be in for a tough time if all evidence of past or present life is below the surface. In a talk at given for the STScI Astrobiology Lecture Series, Jan Amend discussed how his team is taking
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    Two new studies based on data from NASA's Curiosity rover are helping to explain how Mars lost much of its original atmosphere. Studying the atmospheric history of Mars can provide clues as to whether or not the planet could have been capable of supporting life
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    A new study shows that binary stars could be more hospitable to habitable planets than single-star systems.
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    Observations of a gamma-ray burst last month reveal that it resulted from the collision of two neutron stars. The event was followed by a faint glow that indicates that a substantial amount of heavy elements were created.
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    Two NASA spacecraft, one studying the Saturn system, the other observing Mercury, are maneuvering into place to take pictures of Earth.
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    Planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than those around hotter star due to interactions between a star's light and ice and snow on a planet's surface.
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