Origins

  • Ice Diary 11: Indiana Jones on Ice
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
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  • Redundant Evolution
    Gene duplication in plants has led to new species, but scientist haven't known why and when such "carbon copies" of genes come to exist. A University of Georgia study published in the journal Nature tries to uncover why this divergence happens.
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  • Beaming a Lifeform Musically
    This week's celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the DNA double-helix highlights the rapid advances in genetic sequencing. These breakthroughs have allowed comparisons previously unavailable to those scientists who try to understand how such a complicated structure as DNA might have evolved.
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  • Ice Diary 10: Frostbitten
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
    more...
  • Lost City Expedition
    During their 32 day expedition, 24 scientists onboard a research vessel, the Atlantis, will dive deep into the North Atlantic and explore active limestone chimneys that rise eighteen stories above the seafloor. The team will sample and grow microorganisms reminiscent of early life on Earth,
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  • Ice Diary 9: Climbing the Mountains of Mars
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
    more...
  • Life’s Working Definition
    Finding life elsewhere in the universe depends on knowing when you see it, according to Colorado professor Carol Cleland. She gives a view of how life might not need a working definition as much as a theory of life -- at least until scientists
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  • Ice Diary 8: Where No One Has Gone Before
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
    more...
  • Life Under A Spanish Red River
    The Rio Tinto, a polluted, acidic river in Spain, offers astrobiologists a chance to look for exotic life. As part of the search for Mars analogs, the blood-red river is an expedition target to drill for core samples and test satellite links in preparation for
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  • Ice Diary 7: Summer Christmas
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
    more...
  • Extreme Lifeforms: Nothing to Sneeze At
    With more than 3500 viruses classified, a great mystery still remains as to whether they are alive at all. For examples like polio and rhinovirus, they present the only known examples of self-replication without using DNA for code storage.
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  • Ice Diary 6: Contacting The Mother Pod
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The team reports back on the first 214 meteorites, and their daily
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  • Ghost Hunters
    A recent expedition to Australia followed the trail of the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Astrobiology Magazine had the opportunity to interview one of the expedition participants, New York-based artist, Alexis Rockman, as he reflected on global biodiversity.
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  • Small World
    A discovery from the early 1990s continues to be controversial today. Are the tiny, mineralized particles called nanobacteria the world's smallest organisms or mere crystal growth? Skeptics remain unconvinced that nanobacteria are alive, but nanobacteria researchers say evidence in their favor is mounting.
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  • Ice Diary 5: MacAlpine Hills or Bust
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
    more...