Did comet impacts jump-start life on Earth?

Comets screaming through the atmosphere of early Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour likely contained measurable amounts of protein-forming amino acids. Upon impact, these amino acids self-assembled into significantly ...

Team investigates consequences of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

If you were able to stand on the bottom of the seafloor and look up, you would see flakes of falling organic material and biological debris cascading down the water column like snowflakes in a phenomenon known as marine snow.

'Space butterfly' is home to hundreds of baby stars

What looks like a red butterfly in space is in reality a nursery for hundreds of baby stars, revealed in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Officially named Westerhout 40 (W40), the butterfly is a nebula—a ...

Chemical noses to detect and rid pollutants

Scientists across Europe are joining forces to develop next-gen "chemical noses" that will detect and rid pollutants from the environment as part of a collaborative €2.9 million Horizon2020 FET-OPEN project (INITIO) that ...

Scientists find persistent organic pollutants in animal fur

Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), working as part of an international toxicologists' team, studied fur samples of wild terrestrial mammals in Primorye, Russia. All samples contained persistent organic ...

Fires fueled spread of grasslands on ancient Earth

Ancient wildfires played a crucial role in the formation and spread of grasslands like those that now cover large parts of the Earth, according to scientists at Penn State and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Image: Newborn stars blow bubbles in the Cat's Paw Nebula

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Cat's Paw Nebula, so named for the large, round features that create the impression of a feline footprint. The nebula is a star-forming region in the Milky Way galaxy, ...

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