Astrobio.net

A microbe's fountain of youth

The yeast S.pombe is one of the best-studied microbes in the world. First isolated from East African millet beer over a century ago, it's been used as a model organism in molecular and cell biology for the ...

Oct 04, 2013 5 / 5 (2) 1 | with audio podcast

Pluto's hidden ocean

When NASA's New Horizons cruises by Pluto in 2015, the images it captures could help astronomers determine if an ocean is hiding under the frigid surface, opening the door to new possibilities for liquid water ...

Nov 24, 2011 4.9 / 5 (17) 11 | with audio podcast

The overprotection of Mars?

A recent commentary paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience argues that planetary protection policies and practices designed to guard solar system bodies from biological contamination from spacec ...

Nov 19, 2013 4.4 / 5 (17) 16 | with audio podcast

When tectonics killed everything

A new paper reveals how the worst extinction in Earth's history may have been tied to the formation of Supercontinent Pangea. The catastrophe wasn't triggered by an impact from above—unlike another well-known ...

Nov 25, 2013 3.9 / 5 (29) 8 | with audio podcast

Life's first taste of phosphorus

Despite its impressive biological resume, phosphorus is relatively inaccessible as elements go. To understand how phosphorus obtained its prominent role, scientists are modeling the early geochemical environment ...

Aug 23, 2012 5 / 5 (4) 1 | with audio podcast