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"astrobiology"

Weird Biology Fact of the Day: Mirror-image Amino Acids

Weird Biology Fact of the Day: Mirror-image Amino Acids

In her fascinating and wide-ranging talk on multi-dimensional spaces and human consciousness, Tauba Auerbach briefly mentioned the fact that after an organism dies its molecules will gradually change "handedness" — from an entropy defying left-handed favoritism back to 50-50 over many thousands of years.

September 29, 2014 — Christina Agapakis
Rock-Eating Martian Microbes?

Rock-Eating Martian Microbes?

A recently published study of a 30-pound martian meteorite found in Antarctica suggests the presence of indigenous carbon-rich material, ancient water erosion, and a number of tiny structures that resemble the sort of features that we see rock-eating microbes leaving in basaltic glasses here on Earth.

February 28, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

NASA Goes Big and Bold for Exoplanet Science

                  A United States federal agency is not necessarily the first place you think of when it comes to answering some of the deepest existential questions for our species.

April 24, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf

Is AI Dangerous? That Depends…

Somewhere in the long list of topics that are relevant to astrobiology is the question of ‘intelligence’. Is human-like, technological intelligence likely to be common across the universe?

February 13, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
Lost And Found On Mars

Lost And Found On Mars

Lost, presumed crashed, the Beagle-2 lander is finally located on Mars. Back in December 2003 a bold and decidedly British robotic device was released from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter.

January 16, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Cusp of Knowing and the Evolution of Science

The Cusp of Knowing and the Evolution of Science

In a nice piece on his Scientific American blog ‘Cross-Check‘, John Horgan recently gave me some much appreciated praise, whilst provoking discussion on a contentious subject – whether or not big science as we’ve known it ‘may be coming to an end’ (John’s words).

November 25, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

Are Scientists on the Cusp of Knowing How Weird We Are?

I’m writing this post for two reasons. One is to recommend a new book by Columbia astrobiologist Caleb Scharf (who also writes a terrific Scientific American blog, “Life, Unbounded“), and the other is to defend an old book of mine.

November 21, 2014 — John Horgan

Deep Space, Branching Molecules, and Life’s Origins?

If biologically important organic molecules like amino acids could form in interstellar space, the implications would be enormous. On the Earth we find plenty of amino acid species inside certain types of meteorites, so at a minimum these compounds can form during the assembly of a proto-stellar, proto-planetary system (at least this one) and end [...]

September 30, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Great Alien Debate (Part 1)

This post is one in a series covering, and expanding on, topics in the book The Copernicus Complex (Scientific American/FSG).           The conversation usually goes like this: Do you think we’re alone in the universe?

August 26, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Live Chat at Noon Today on “Dreams of Other Worlds” and NASA’s Next Mars Mission

Live Chat at Noon Today on “Dreams of Other Worlds” and NASA’s Next Mars Mission

Robotic exploration of space is fascinating, complex and quite important to our understanding of the universe. To learn more about how scientists and engineers overcome challenges of robotic space exploration for successful data collection, join us for a live chat today (Tuesday, October 29) at noon EDT with Chris Impey, astronomer and author of Dreams of [...]

October 29, 2013 — THE EDITORS

Astrobiology Roundup

                      Lots of new scientific results in the past couple of weeks feed directly into the central questions of astrobiology – from the search for life, to the environment of interplanetary and interstellar space, and the grand cosmological terrain we find ourselves in.

September 25, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf

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