First Mars samples are headed to Earth. What are the risks?

A Mars Space Flight team member warns that people need to be prepared for what's coming.

Image source: Marat Gilyadzinov/unsplash
  • A mission to and from Mars aims to bring back signs or examples of life.
  • Expect material direct from the Red Planet around 2031.
  • A special lab to quarantine the samples is being designed.
Keep reading

What the 3rd Star Wars trilogy was supposed to be about

Spoiler: Microbiomes in space!

Image source: Disney
  • A recent interview reveals the visionary inspiration behind Star Wars.
  • The story was originally an excerpt from the Journal of the Whills.
  • The Whills were the force behind the Force.
Keep reading

Is NASA ignoring proof of Martian life from the 1970s?

One of the scientists with the Viking missions says yes.

Image source: David Williams/NASA
  • A former NASA consultant believe his experiments on the Viking 1 and 2 landers proved the existence of living microorganisms on Mars.
  • Because of other conflicting data, his experiments' results have been largely discarded.
  • Though other subsequent evidence supports their findings, he says NASA has been frustratingly disinterested in following up.
Keep reading

Hypoxia researchers win 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Three scientist friends, working separately, share the prestigious prize.

Photo credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images
  • Nobel recognizes breakthrough insights into cell's perception and response to changes in oxygen levels.
  • Too title oxygen is a problem. Also too much.
  • Their research unveiled a genuine "textbook discovery."
Keep reading

Could Earth have a 'shadow' biosphere?

Some scientists think there may be a hidden, second form of life living right under our noses.

Shutterstock
  • All life on Earth shares some basic characteristics, such as being carbon-based; using DNA, RNA, and proteins to function; and so on.
  • Many of these characteristics are simply the only ones that could work in Earth's environment, but there are also a surprising number of seemingly arbitrary features of life.
  • Under the shadow biosphere theory, some scientists argue that alternative forms of life exist right here on Earth, undetected simply because we don't know to look for them.
Keep reading