Feature Stories

  • At this year's Oscars, there was a great deal of buzz surrounding the science fiction epic, Avatar. The movie focuses on human explorers virtually immersing themselves in the environment of a distant world through the eyes and body of an avatar. The movie may be
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  • Is our Sun part of a binary star system? An unseen companion star, nicknamed "Nemesis," may be sending comets towards Earth. If Nemesis exists, NASA´s new WISE telescope should be able to spot it.
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  • Although they're not nominated for an Academy Award, plants play a central role in the blockbuster movie "Avatar." A botanist provided the science behind how these unusual organisms may have evolved.
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  • Although they're not nominated for an Academy Award, plants play a central role in the blockbuster movie "Avatar." A botanist provided the science behind how these unusual organisms may have evolved.
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  • Microbe mats in Yellowstone's hot springs may be living analogs of the primordial microbe communities that constructed the oldest rock fossils on Earth.
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  • High-impact lab experiments simulate whether the building blocks of life could have survived the rough arrival on Earth via meteorite impact.
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  • A new technique is being developed to detect water in the protoplanetary disks of other solar systems. If successful, it would help in our understanding of how habitable planets form.
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  • The possibility that life was shared between Earth and Mars could be tested with a DNA analyzer. One research team has built a prototype and plans field tests on a South American volcano.
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  • In the search for life beyond Earth, we should not expect to find life forms we´re familiar with. Determining whether something completely alien is 'alive´ could be a challenge, so a universal definition of life is needed. Biologists have yet to agree on a definition,
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  • In the search for life beyond Earth, we should not expect to find life forms we´re familiar with. Determining whether something completely alien is 'alive´ could be a challenge, so a universal definition of life is needed. Biologists have yet to agree on a definition,
    more...