NAI

  1. FameLab: Looking Ahead to Stony Brook


    Finalists from FameLab Season 3 Regional Competition #1, held during AbGradCon 2014 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Credit: NASA Finalists from FameLab Season 3 Regional Competition #1, held during AbGradCon 2014 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Credit: NASA

    The Regional Heat #3 for Season 3 of the FameLab competition will be held at Stony Brook University on Long Island from April 16-17, 2015.

    Are you an early career scientist who is passionate about science communication…or simply looking to improve your skills? Visit the FameLab site for more information and to register!

    This regional heat is being hosted in partnership with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

    Source: [FameLab]

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  1. Titan’s Atmosphere Created as Gases Escaped Core


    Artist’s conception of Huygens approaching Titan. Credit: NASA Artist’s conception of Huygens approaching Titan. Credit: NASA

    A decade after landing on Titan, data from the Huygens probe is helping scientists understand how the atmosphere of Saturn’s mysterious moon was formed.

    The study, “Noble gases, nitrogen, and methane from the deep interior to the atmosphere of Titan,” was published in the journal Icarus by lead author Christopher Glein. Glein was member of the former NAI Team at Arizona State University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto in Canada.

    Source: [astrobio.net]

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  1. Astrobiologists Named Geochemistry Fellows


    Timothy Lyons (left) and Ariel Anbar (right) have been named Geochemistry Fellows. Credit: NASA Astrobiology Timothy Lyons (left) and Ariel Anbar (right) have been named Geochemistry Fellows. Credit: NASA Astrobiology

    Congratulations to Timothy Lyons and Ariel Anbar, who have each been named Geochemistry Fellows by the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry.

    Timothy Lyons is the NASA Astrobiology Institute Team PI at the University of California, Riverside. Ariel Anbar, Principal Investigator (PI) in the Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology (Exo/Evo) element of the NASA Astrobiology Program, is also a Co-Investigator for the NAI team at UC Riverside.

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  1. Chris Reinhard, 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow


    Researchers Chris Reinhard (right) and Noah Planavsky dig into a shale exposure. Credit: Chu Research Group, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Researchers Chris Reinhard (right) and Noah Planavsky dig into a shale exposure. Credit: Chu Research Group, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Congratulations to Chris Reinhard, an institutional leader of the NASA Astrobiology Institute team at Georgia Tech, who has been named a 2015 Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that provides grants in support of original research and education in science.

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  1. Mars Once Had More Water Than Earth’s Arctic Ocean


    NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC

    A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA scientists who, using ground-based observatories, measured water signatures in the Red Planet’s atmosphere. Scientists have been searching for answers to why this vast water supply left the surface. Details of the observations and computations appear in Thursday’s edition of Science magazine.

    Study authors include members of ...

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  1. NASA Ames Reproduces the Building Blocks of Life in Laboratory


    Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. Image Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. Image Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

    NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces these essential ingredients of life.

    The research was funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and the NASA Origins of Solar Systems Program.

    Source: [NASA Ames]

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  1. Surviving the Anthropocene


    On the radio program Big Picture Science, David Grinspoon recently joined a discussion about the impacts of humankind on planet Earth. Right now, the Earth is in a geological epoch known as the Holocene. However, some scientists believe we have moved into a new epoch dubbed the 'Anthropocene,’ or the age of man.

    To listen to the program, visit: https://radio.seti.org/episodes/Surviving_the_Anthropocene

    David Grinspoon is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, and was the first Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. During his time as chair, Grinspoon studied the ...

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  1. 2015 Santander Summer School – the Origin of Life: From Monomers to Cells


    The 2015 International Summer School in Astrobiology will be held at the summer campus of the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander, Spain on June 29 – July 3, 2015.

    This year’s theme will be The Origin of Life: From Monomers to Cells. The school will provide an interdisciplinary examination of the chemical, physical and geological processes that are required to develop cellular life, and discuss the different environmental settings that would support these processes. Topics covered will include an introductory overview of origin of life research and future directions, planetary environments for life’s origin ...

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  1. FameLab Online Competition


    FameLab regionals in December 2014 at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, CA. Credit: NASA Astrobiology FameLab regionals in December 2014 at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, CA. Credit: NASA Astrobiology

    Calling all early career scientists! Passionate about science? Love to Communicate. . .or want to learn how? Been wanting to do FameLab but couldn’t make any of the in-person heats? THIS is your chance… join us for the FameLab USA Season 3 Online Competition! Submit a YouTube video of your 3-minute, powerpoint-free presentation by March 16th, then join our live, online event on March 18th to get feedback directly from the judges. Can’t make it on the 18th? We’ll email you a ...

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  1. First Prize of Planetology and Astrobiology


    Rubén Campanero (center left) is recognized with the First Prize of Planetology and Astrobiology for his work during the online Spanish course, "Planetología y Astrobiología." Honorable Mention went t Rubén Campanero (center left) is recognized with the First Prize of Planetology and Astrobiology for his work during the online Spanish course, "Planetología y Astrobiología." Honorable Mention went to Verónica Casanova (center right). Credit: ICOG

    Organizers of last year’s successful online Spanish course, “Planetología y Astrobiología,” have awarded the first Prize of Planetology and Astrobiology to recognize the contributions of two outstanding students.

    First Prize was awarded to Ruben Campanero, a Geologist specializing in chondritic meteorites. Honorable Mention went to Verónica Casanova, a student of Physics at the National Distance Education University.

    The course was attended by over 100 ...

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  1. Habitable Evaporated Cores


    Strong irradiation from the host star can cause planets known as mini-Neptunes in the habitable zone to shed their gaseous envelopes and become potentially habitable worlds.Credit: Rodrigo Luger / NAS Strong irradiation from the host star can cause planets known as mini-Neptunes in the habitable zone to shed their gaseous envelopes and become potentially habitable worlds.Credit: Rodrigo Luger / NASA images

    A new study supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) indicates that some terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of low mass stars could be the evaporated cores of small Neptune-like planets.

    University of Washington (UW) graduate student Rodrigo Luger, professors Rory Barnes and Victoria Meadows, and collaborators published results from an interdisciplinary model that show photoevaporation can remove hydrogen and helium from small, gaseous exoplanets, transforming them into ...

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  1. Water, Ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe


    The third Nordic-Hawaii Summer School will be held July 1-14, 2015, in Iceland. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC The third Nordic-Hawaii Summer School will be held July 1-14, 2015, in Iceland. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

    Applications for the third Nordic-Hawaii astrobiology Summer School are due March 15 at 23:59:00 UTC. The course will take place in Iceland from July 1 to 14, 2015.

    Participants will receive a high-level introduction into water’s role in the evolution of life in the cosmos, starting from the formation of water molecules in space and ending with the evolution of the first organisms.

    The program comprises:
    - Lectures by internationally leading scientists covering a broad range ...

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  1. Ancient Organisms That Have Not Evolved


    Deep-sea microorganisms are unchanged over more than 2 billion years. Credit: UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life Deep-sea microorganisms are unchanged over more than 2 billion years. Credit: UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life

    Scientists have discovered 1.8 billion-year-old fossil microorganisms in fossilized deep-sea mud from Western Australia. It appears that the sulfur-cycling microbial community is almost identical to microbial fossils from 2.3 billion-years-ago, and to modern communities found off the coast of South America.

    The stability of these communities could be evidence of a long-term lack of evolution, which reflects the lack of change in their environment. This would be an example of a theory known as evolution ...

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  1. FameLab USA Online Competition


    FameLab Regional Heat in San Francisco, December 2014

    Passionate about science? Love to communicate…or want to learn how? Missed the in-person regional heats? THIS is your chance. Join us for the FameLab USA Season 3 Online Competition!

    Unlike our in-person events, in this heat you will record yourself giving a 3-minute, powerpoint-free presentation, create a YouTube video of it, and submit that to us no later than March 16th. Then join us for the live, online judging event on March 18th to receive feedback from the judges. We are also planning a live, online science communications workshop, still TBA.

    More info, and plenty of how-to’s, tips ...

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  1. Guiding Our Search for Life on Other Earths


    Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell University Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell University

    A telescope will soon allow astronomers to probe the atmosphere of Earthlike exoplanets for signs of life. To prepare, Lisa Kaltenegger and her team at Cornell’s Institute for Pale Blue Dots are modeling the atmospheric fingerprints for hundreds of potential alien worlds. They are building a database of atmospheric fingerprints that will then be used as “ID cards” to guide the study of exoplanet atmospheres with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future large telescopes.

    Kaltenegger described her approach in a talk for the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Director Seminar Series last December.

    Source ...

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