Origins

  • Primordial Recipe: Spark and Stir
    No single experiment, according to Carl Sagan, has done to convince scientists that life is 'likely abundant in cosmos' than work fifty years ago by then graduate student, Stanley Miller. This week celebrates his milestone publication, and Astrobiology Magazine interviewed him about his work and
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  • Big Red Boosts Biodiversity
    As hard as it might be to surprise those who have collected and classified the estimated 30 million species on Earth, deep sea divers off the coast of California have added a new species to the planetary tally.
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  • Atlantis Diaries II: First Dive
    Diving near the North Atlantic ridge, a team of 24 scientists have begun exploring the deep, hot vents where the Earth's inner mantle meets the crust. Their spectacular world --discovered just two years ago--will be chronicled in their online journal account, the Atlantis Diaries.
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  • Ice Diary Encore: Thawing Out
    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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  • Water: The Molecule of Life
    Philip Ball, author of "Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water," says that liquid water is essential for the kind of delicate chemistry that makes life possible. In an interview with Astrobiology Magazine, he discusses his thoughts on the role of liquid water for life on
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  • Photosynthesis in the Abyss
    In 1977, scientists discovered thriving communities surrounding deep-sea hydrothermal vents, an environment seemingly without light. The 1989 discovery of an eyeless vent-dwelling shrimp with a novel light detector hinted at some kind of light coming from the vents.
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  • Dinner with Darwin
    "Which 5 historical figures would you invite to dinner, and how would you seat them?" In mock interview format, today's feature in this "Dinner With..." series, excerpts answers from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, as an initial historical 'guest' to sit down and discuss how
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  • Atlantis Diaries I: Leaving Port
    Diving near the North Atlantic ridge, a team of 24 scientists have begun exploring the deep, hot vents where the Earth's inner mantle meets the crust. Their spectacular world --discovered just two years ago--will be chronicled in their online journal account, the Atlantis Diaries.
    more...
  • 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
    more...
  • 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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