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  • Galactic Habitable Zones
    Our Milky Way Galaxy is unusual in that it is one of the most massive galaxies in the nearby universe. Our Solar System also seems to have qualities that make it rather unique. These qualities make the Sun one of the few stars in the
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  • The Birth and Death of Embryonic Planets
    Researchers study how planets form around stars in the Orion Nebula, hoping to understand better how planets in our own solar system formed.
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  • Life’s Baby Steps
    Billions of years ago, amino acids somehow linked together to form chainlike molecules. Now scientists have discovered what may be a key step in this process - a step that has baffled researchers for more than a half a century.
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  • How Jupiter Got Big
    How did the largest planet in our solar system form? New theories on how planets like Jupiter form put traditional theories to the test.
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  • Unpuzzling Proteins
    Thanks to a new supercomputer, scientists may be a step closer to understanding one of nature's more difficult puzzles.
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  • Reflections From a Warm Little Pond
    Scientists theorize possible scenarios on how life could have first originated on Earth.
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  • Roses for the Red Planet
    Scientists discuss the importance and the possible risks of seeding the Red Planet.
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  • Life’s Chemical Fingerprints
    Using a technique called Raman spectroscopy, researchers are developing instruments that may one day search for life on Mars, Europa, or Callisto.
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  • Return to the Red Planet
    On Saturday, April 7, NASA's next mission to Mars is set to launch. The 2001 Mars Odyssey will investigate the history of water on the Red Planet.
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  • Taking the Temperature of a Martian Meteorite
    A chunk of Mars that was hurled to Earth remained cool enough to preserve any microorganisms aboard. So says a group of researchers who have examined martian meteorite ALH84001.
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  • Can Liquid Water Exist on Present-day Mars?
    Scientific consensus holds that liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars. But now a pair of scientists argue that liquid water in limited amounts and for limited times may indeed be present on Mars' surface.
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  • Evo Devo Learns a Larval Lesson
    Scientists have studied the life history of animals, part of a field called development, for many decades. Other scientists have studied how life arose and evolved on Earth.
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  • Through Thick or Thin: Exploring Europa’s Outer Layer of Ice
    When NASA's Galileo spacecraft sent back images and data of the Jovian moon Europa, scientists began thinking seriously that life just might exist on this enigmatic, frozen world.
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  • TNA World
    DNA is the building block for life on Earth. But it is a highly complex molecule, and could not have arranged itself spontaneously. What did it develop from? Astrobiologists examine possible ancestors of DNA: nucleic acids called PNA, p-RNA, and TNA.
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  • Some Like it Hot
    NASA astrobiologist Jack Farmer studies microorganisms.
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