Genomics and Cell Biology
Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly. But in recent decades, some researchers have been putting the letters of the genetic code to a different use: making tiny nanoscale computers.
Why are we now? We know that the universe is roughly 14 billion years old, and that someday it is likely to end -- perhaps because of a Big Freeze, Big Rip or Big Crunch.
A new generation of dedicated Doppler spectrographs will attempt to detect low-mass exoplanets around mid-late M stars at near infrared (NIR) wavelengths, where those stars are brightest and have the most Doppler information content.
Genomics and Cell Biology
A new study provides insight into base pair bonding in artificial DNA polymerase. Researchers focused on a previously unknown base pair: iso-guanine and methyl-pyrimidinone.
The long awaited second edition of the Astrobiology Primer is now published in the journal Astrobiology.
Biosignatures & Paleobiology
The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second "Goldilocks," according to a Yale University researcher.
We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (roughly 20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (less than 2-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (roughly 10 Myr).
The habitability of planets in binary star systems depends not only on the radiation environment created by the two stars, but also on the perturbations to planetary orbits and rotation produced by the gravitational field of the binary and neighbouring planets.
Physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded in detecting a time-resolved supernova signal in the Earth's microfossil record.
Collisions of ice particles play an important role in the formation of planetesimals and comets. In recent work we showed, that CO2 ice behaves like silicates in collisions.
Habitable Zones & Global Climate
The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy? New research suggests the latter is much more likely.
Recent Status Reports