Humans in Space!

What happens when astronaut teams don’t get along?

Professor Contractor Noshir knows how to help you get along better with your coworkers. He studies the interpersonal dynamics of crews in extreme environments,…


Microbes from extreme environments help us study space

Space is a hostile place. It has numerous stressors which make it seem impossible for Earth-like life to thrive there. Some of these stresses include harmful…


Building a better spacesuit for a trip to Mars

An intra-vehicular space suit and a storm shelter will help protect astronauts from radiation during a trip to Mars. Infusing the suit material with graphene…


How does the human body react to being in space?

Is going to space safe for human health? Two astronauts, who were twins, volunteered for a research study to look at how the body changes when it goes into…


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Harmful algal blooms are becoming an increasing problem in areas around the world, including the Great Lakes, where drinking water is obtained from surface water sources, such as lakes and rivers. When agricultural nutrients and urban waste runoff enters these bodies of water, microbes such as cyanobacteria can consume…

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by Nicole Jacobs Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Young Scientist Program Before a baby is born in Taiwan, both the development of its brain and its intellectual performance are already at risk. A 2014 study of 545 pairs of both mothers and infants living in North Taiwan has shown that harmful chemicals and…

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Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are important in our lives as we use them frequently in our smartphones, laptops, tablets, power tools, and electric vehicles. They are even used to help power the Mars Curiosity rover! Typically, graphite, the form of carbon found in pencils, is commonly used as an active anode…

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You just came back from a romantic night out at your favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the meal tasted a little off. None of the ingredients had gone bad, but they tasted weird together. This feeling is difficult to describe in words.. The meal just didn’t come together the way all the…

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When studying the origin of life on Earth, scientists must rely on past data, physical laws, and models  instead of direct observations. After all, we can’t know for sure what the world was like 4 billion years ago, when the first microscopic life was formed from a mixture of non-living molecules. But knowing about…

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Cars are everywhere. They are essential for our day to day lives, but these vehicles are a double-edged-sword. Cars emit exhaust gases, and those gases contain hydrocarbons. These molecules, as their name suggests, contain both carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hydrocarbons from cars result from gas that has not been…

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How does a cell stay alive? How do molecules in a cell “know” how to react with one another? Does this chemistry become more complex over time, and if so, why? In Dr. Betül Kacar’s lab at Harvard University, scientists look for answers. In order to understand how a complex communication system…

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All life on Earth survives because of the sun. Plants use a process called photosynthesis to transfer energy from the Sun’s rays into the sugars that build their stems and leaves. Animals either eat the plants directly, or eat other animals that have eaten plants. Countless other organisms, like bacteria, algae, and…