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Microbes on Earth have adapted to survive in some pretty extreme locations. The extreme dryness of deserts, high salinity in salt deposits, cold temperatures of glaciers, and even high pressures of the deep ocean don’t stop some life forms. Another extreme environment is created by a rock known as serpentinite. This…

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The airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a flying observatory aboard a modified Boeing 747 that takes infrared astronomy readings at approximately 41,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. It recently observed a mini-eclipse of the extrasolar planet named “GJ 1214b”. Scientists wanted…

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Unlike humans, who depend on oxygen to breathe, bacteria have the ability to breathe many other molecules besides oxygen. While most of our Earth is soaked in oxygen, there are areas that have little to none. In sediments at the bottom of lakes, oceans and marshes, oxygen is consumed rapidly within few centimeters…

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If intelligent aliens exist somewhere in the depths of space, then should we see signs of their technology? This question has motivated scientists involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) to hunt for evidence of tell-tale signs of alien civilizations. But space is enormous, and any real effort to…

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Detecting life on a planet beyond Earth would be one of the coolest things ever! In our paper, we talk about detecting signs of life on other planets that breathe out oxygen. While this strategy would only detect Earth-like life, it is a good starting point. To accomplish this, we want ask two questions. Does this…