Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone's built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.
Global Climate & Habitability
Saturn's moon Titan might be in for some wild weather as it heads into its spring and summer, if two new models are correct. Scientists think that as the seasons change in Titan's northern hemisphere, waves could ripple across the moon's hydrocarbon seas, and hurricanes could begin to swirl over these areas, too.
The temperature in the permafrost on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian high Arctic is nearly as cold as that of the surface of Mars. So the recent discovery by a McGill University led team of scientists of a bacterium that is able to thrive at -15oC, the coldest temperature ever reported for bacterial growth, is exciting.
For centuries, humans have pondered what life on other planets beyond our solar system might be like. With the launch of the Kepler spacecraft in 2009 we now have evidence for the widespread existence of such planets.
Following the apparent failure of reaction wheel 4 on May 11, 2013, engineers were successful at transitioning the spacecraft from a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode to Point Rest State at approximately 3:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The spacecraft has remained safe and stable in this attitude and is no longer considered to be in a critical situation.
Genomics and Cell Biology
Astrobiologists funded in part by the NASA Astrobiology Institute have uncovered new information about the role of metalloenzymes in the origins of life. Metalloenzymes are enzymes where metals act as a co-factor or are incorporated as part of the molecule. Phylogenetic analysis of metalloenzymes involved in chemiosmosis suggests that they may have been present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) of life on Earth.
Missions to Mars have only scratched its surface. To go deeper, scientists are proposing a spacecraft that can drill into the Red Planet to potentially find signs of life.
Daily Science News
- KOI-127b: a very low-albedo, Saturn-mass transiting planet around a metal rich solar-like star, astro-ph
- The effect of rotation and tidal heating on the thermal lightcurves of Super Mercuries, astro-ph
- Lucky Imaging of transiting planet host stars with LuckyCam, astro-ph
- The future of the Sun: an evolved solar twin revealed by CoRoT, astro-ph
Daily Science News
- Deep fracture fluids isolated in the crust since the Precambrian era, Nature
- An Understanding of the Shoulder of Giants: Jovian Planets around Late K Dwarf Stars and the Trend with Stellar Mass, astro-ph
- Evidence for Microbial Carbon and Sulfur Cycling in Deeply Buried Ridge Flank Basalt, Science