Biochemistry

Could There Be Life Without Carbon? (video)

Could There Be Life Without Carbon? (video)

One element is the backbone of all forms of life we've ever discovered on Earth: carbon.

comets

A Family Of Comets Reopens The Debate About the Origin Of Earth's Water

A Family Of Comets Reopens The Debate About the Origin Of Earth's Water

Where did the Earth's water come from? Although comets, with their icy nuclei, seem like ideal candidates, analyses have so far shown that their water differs from that in our oceans.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Enhanced Habitability on High Obliquity Bodies near the Outer Edge of the Habitable Zone of Sun-like Stars

Enhanced Habitability on High Obliquity Bodies near the Outer Edge of the Habitable Zone of Sun-like Stars

High obliquity planets represent potentially extreme limits of terrestrial climate, as they exhibit large seasonality, a reversed annual-mean pole-to-equator gradient of stellar heating, and novel cryospheres.

Mars

Massive Ice Discovery Opens A Window Into Mars' History

Massive Ice Discovery Opens A Window Into Mars' History

Newly discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars' north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona.

Triton

Neptune's Moon Triton Fosters Rare Icy Union

Neptune's Moon Triton Fosters Rare Icy Union

Astronomers using the Gemini Observatory explore Neptune's largest moon Triton and observe, for the first time beyond the lab, an extraordinary union between carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Features That Could Be Used to Detect Life-Friendly Climates on Other Worlds

Features That Could Be Used to Detect Life-Friendly Climates on Other Worlds

Scientists may have found a way to tell if alien worlds have a climate that is suitable for life by analyzing the light from these worlds for special signatures that are characteristic of a life-friendly environment.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Plankton As A Climate Driver Instead Of The Sun?

Plankton As A Climate Driver Instead Of The Sun?

The climate history of the earth is marked by periodic changes that are usually ascribed to the solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth. This insolation is not constant over geological time but modulated by cyclic changes in the earth's orbital parameters.

International Space Station

Detecting Bacteria On The International Space Station

Detecting Bacteria On The International Space Station

Scientists at Université de Montréal and McGill University have pioneered and tested a new genomic methodology which reveals a complex bacterial ecosystem at work on the International Space Station.

Genomics and Cell Biology

Life In Evolution's Fast Lane

Life In Evolution's Fast Lane

Most living things have a suite of genes dedicated to repairing their DNA, limiting the rate at which their genomes change through time.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Ammonium Fertilized Early Life On Earth

Ammonium Fertilized Early Life On Earth

A team of international scientists--including researchers at the University of St. Andrews, Syracuse University and Royal Holloway, University of London--have demonstrated a new source of food for early life on the planet.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Formation Of The Moon Brought Water To Earth

Formation Of The Moon Brought Water To Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis.

More top stories from May.