Are the Building Blocks of Life From A Hydrothermal Vent? How studying hydrothermal systems gives us a window into our past

When scientists think of a very early Earth, they think of a hot, hostile place not too long after the birth of the solar system more than 4 billion years ago. This time in the Earth’s history is called the READ MORE

Beyond the grapes: what influences the flavor of different wines? Rocks, microbes and climate all impact the taste of your favorite wine

You sit down at a restaurant and peruse the menu for the best wine to pair with your dinner. Do you choose a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, or something crisper and lighter like Riesling? Do you choose the cheapest READ MORE

A crater on Mars may be a future landing site Rock formations on the Jezero Crater on Mars give us clues that there were probably active rivers there at some point.

Here on Earth, scientists study layers of sediment like dirt and sand to better understand how rocks form. The same contextual clues geologists use to explain how sedimentary rocks form on Earth can also be applied to extraterrestrial planets. Recent READ MORE

New understanding of an ancient man and his tools The remains of an incredibly well-preserved man and his toolbox taught scientists that specialized labor and trade have been around for thousands of years.

During the last days of the summer of 1991, tourists hiking in the Ötztal Alps near the Italy – Austria border found the remains of an incredibly well-preserved man. This man, dubbed Ötzi, was dated back to the “Copper Age”: READ MORE

Life May Be Even Older Than We Thought! Careful analyses of the composition of ancient rocks betrays the presence of life

How long has life been around on Earth? Is life an inevitable part of planet formation? The second question is tough to answer, but if life formed soon after the planet formed, then this has important ramifications for the abundance READ MORE