Making simulated cosmic dust—in the microwave

Cosmic dust is the key to the chemical evolution of stars, planets, and life itself, but its composition is not well understood, and we can't currently collect samples for analysis. A few examples have arrived on Earth as ...

Why is the Earth's F/Cl ratio not chondritic?

Primitive chondrites, un-molten stony meteorites, are believed to be the building blocks of the Earth. Because terrestrial planets have experienced chemical differentiation in the core, mantle, and hydrosphere, the elemental ...

Sex or food? Decision-making in single-cell organisms

Unicellular diatoms are able to adapt their behavior to different external stimuli based on an evaluation of their own needs. This was discovered by scientists of the Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute ...

The odor of stones

Diatoms are unicellular algae that are native in many waters. They are a major component of marine phytoplankton and the food base for a large variety of marine organisms. In addition, they produce about one fifth of the ...

How the air we breathe was created by Earth's tectonic plates

How is it that Earth developed an atmosphere that made the development of life possible? A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience links the origins of Earth's nitrogen-rich atmosphere to the same tectonic forces ...

Study suggests space dust carries water and organic compounds

Researchers from the University of Hawaii-Manoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and University of California – ...

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