Aurelia, sp.1 (moon jellyfish). Photo source: Mike Dawson/UC Merced.
The animal phylum known as cnidaria includes an abundant and colorful variety of anenomes, jellyfish, corals and hydroids—all categorized as having tentacles with stinging cells for defense and capturing prey.
It turns out that across the life stages of even just one species of jellyfish, tentacles can present a great number of functional and anatomical differences. In “Structural and Developmental Disparity in the Tentacles of the Moon Jellyfish Aurelia sp.1,” researchers examined two types of tentacles of the moon jellyfish: the oral tentacles of the polyp (post-larval ...Today / Written by: Miki Huynh
The 2015 Astrobiology Strategy Identifies Priority Research for the NASA Astrobiology Program in the Next Decade
Over the past two years 800 members of the astrobiology community have contributed, through in person meetings, white papers, a series of webinars and reviews, to define a new strategy for the next decade of astrobiology research. Mary Voytek, the Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, and Michael New, the Astrobiology Discipline Scientist, described the goal of the endeavor to create an “inspirational and aspirational” document. The strategy will replace the 2008 Astrobiology Roadmap.
The six major research areas in the field of astrobiology described are:
Yesterday / Posted by: Shige Abe
- Identifying abiotic sources of organic compounds
- Synthesis and function of macromolecules in the origin of life ...
Dr. David Blake presents the Chemistry and Mineralogy Instrument (CheMin) currently operating on NASA’s Curiosity rover, helping scientists to study the mineral composition of Mars’ surface.
Blake is the principal investigator for the CheMin project and serves as a senior scientist in the Exobiology branch of NASA Ames Research Center. A previous interview in which he discusses his work in astrobiology, exobiology, CheMin and the Curiosity mission can be found in the Astrobiology Magazine.
The video is part of NASA’s My Martian Moment series.October 2, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
The Institute for Planets and Life presents the Planets, Life, and the Universe Lecture Series, an opportunity to hear scientists share their insights on current topics of interest in astrobiology. More information on the series schedule and links to live and archived webcasts are available at: http://www.stsci.edu/institute/smo/ipl/lecture.
Series Schedule (all lectures are 12:00PM-2:30PM EST)
Oct 2 – Steven Benner (Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution) – Searching for, or Creating Ourselves, a Second Example of Life
Nov 6 – Sarah Hörst (Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences) – ...September 30, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Overhead image of smoke from the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic eruption and nearby lake and mountains acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. The gray area inside the lake is floating pumice. Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory
During and following the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in southern Chile in 2011, large quantities of ash and pumice filled the air and landed into neighboring lakes. Small pieces of pumice in Lake Espejo and Lake Nahuel Huapi stayed afloat for months to years after landing, and researchers who examined these two lakes found that the ...September 29, 2015 / Written by: Miki Huynh
These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, corroborating their original hypothesis that the streaks are indeed formed by liquid water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks are thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the ...September 28, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Image Credit: NASA
Searching for Life on Mars With PIXL and the Mars 2020 Rover Mission
Presenter: Abigail Allwood (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
When: September 21, 2015 1:00PM PDT
Finding conclusive evidence of primitive microbial life in multi-billion-year-old rocks is exceptionally difficult, as illustrated by doubt surrounding the interpretation of Earth’s earliest fossil record. Seeking evidence of ancient life on Mars is an even greater challenge – one that will be taken up by NASA’s ambitious new 2020 rover mission. 2020 builds on the success of the 2011 Curiosity rover and 2004 Mars Exploration Rovers, and is informed ...September 17, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Overhead shot of mountains of Barberton, South Africa. Photo credit: Earth Observatory NASA/MODIS imagry of modern day ocean cyanobacterial growth. Photo credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD
By analyzing iron isotopes against the uranium content in the jasper rock from the ancient ocean of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa, scientists have found a defined vertical redox gradient, called a redoxcline, showing a change in the level of oxygenation from the deeper part of the ocean leading to the shallower portion.
While the seawater at deeper level is depleted of oxygen, samples in the photic zone of ...September 17, 2015 / Written by: Miki Huynh
Illustration of the interior of Saturn's moon Enceladus showing a global liquid water ocean between its rocky core and icy crust. Image Credit: JPL
Source: [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
A global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s geologically active moon Enceladus, according to new research using data from NASA’s Cassini mission.
Researchers found the magnitude of the moon’s very slight wobble, as it orbits Saturn, can only be accounted for if its outer ice shell is not frozen solid to its interior, meaning a global ocean must be present.
The finding implies the fine spray of water vapor ...September 16, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Researchers created "chemical gardens"—chimney-like structures normally found at bubbling vents on the seafloor—in the laboratory. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Source: [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
One of the key necessities for life on our planet is electricity. That’s not to say that life requires a plug and socket, but everything from shrubs to ants to people harnesses energy via the transfer of electrons — the basis of electricity. Some experts think that the very first cell-like organisms on Earth channeled electricity from the seafloor using bubbling, chimney-shaped structures, also known as chemical gardens.
In a new study, researchers report growing ...September 15, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Student Omar Perez Carrillo explains his research on air pressure collected using a weather sensor during the Montana Apprenticeship Program (MAP). Credit: Adrian Sanchez-Gozales/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
In Bozeman, Montana, NAI scientists, including Eric Boyd of the NAI CAN 7 University of Colorado Boulder team and professor at Montana State University, took part in the Montana Apprenticeship Program.
The program aims to motivate Native American and underrepresented high school students to pursue college degrees, especially in STEM fields, through engaging lessons that place students alongside scientists and their teams. This summer’s research projects included how to clone genes and ...September 2, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Geronimo Villanueva receives the Harold C. Urey Prize, Yuk Yung receives the Gerard P. Kuiper Prize, and Andrew Knoll becomes a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Credits: NASA Goddard/Jose Aponte, DPS AAS, Royal Society.
Two NAI Recipients of 2015 Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) Awards
[Source: Divison of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society]
Geronimo Villanueva of the NAI CAN 7 NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center team received the Harold C. Urey Prize, which recognizes early career scientists who have made outstanding achievements in planetary science. His work has ranged from instrument design to spectroscopy to observational astronomy ...August 28, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Please join us in welcoming the newest Affiliate International Partner of the NAI, the Japan AstroBiology Consortium (JABC). The Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan have partnered to establish the JABC, whose mission is to develop the field of astrobiology, establish a community of researchers in astrobiology, support young researchers, and to be the hub for international relationships. Other organizations in Japan conducting research related to astrobiology are expected to join the JABC in the future.
For more information, see https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/international-partners/japan-astrobiology-consortium-jabc/.
The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) 2014 Annual Science Report is now available. The report details the accomplishments of NAI members from the September 2013 to December 2014 reporting period, including Team Executive Summaries, research progress and findings, and publication citations focused around compelling questions in astrobiology. Of particular note are several interdisciplinary and integrated science themes that reflect numerous inter-team collaborations. Reports also include field site information, seminars and workshops, education program overviews, and more.
Browse the 2014 Annual Science Report by NAI Team reports, NAI Central reports, Astrobiology Roadmap Objectives, or by using the search function to explore the ...August 25, 2015 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Cassini VIMS/RADAR hybrid image of filled and dry lakes south of Titan’s methane sea Ligeia Mare. Blue arrows indicate current lakes, while the white arrows point to evaporates on dry lakes. Credit: NASA / JPL / UA
Saturn’s moon, Titan, is the only object in the Solar System other than Earth known to have liquid on its surface. While most of the hydrocarbon lakes are found around the poles, the dry regions near the equator contain signs of evaporated material left behind like rings on a bathtub that, when combined with geological features, suggest that the ...
- October 6 - Registration Deadline for Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Meeting
- October 6 - Registration Deadline for 2nd International Planetary Caves Conference
- October 16 - Abstract Submission Deadline for 2016 Gordon Research Conference & Seminar "Origins of Life"
- October 20 - Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) Meeting
- October 23 - Abstract Submission Deadline for Paneth Kolloquium: First 10 Million Years of the Solar System
- October 28 - International Meeting: Missions to Habitable Worlds
- October 31 - Application Deadline for 2016 Vatican Observatory Summer School in Astrophyics on Water in the Solar System and Beyond
- October 31 - Application Deadline for the 2016 Exploration Postdoctoral Fellowships at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University
- November 1 - Application Deadline for NASA Astrobiology Postdoctoral Program Fellowshi[
- November 1 - Geological Society of America (GSA) 2015 Annual Meeting
- November 2 - K2 Science Conference (K2SciCon)
- November 5 - Application Deadline for 2016 Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships
- November 11 - Paneth Kolloquium: First 10 Million Years of the Solar System
- November 16 - French Astrobiology Society Young Researchers Congress
- NAI 2014 Annual Science Report