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Is There Life on Maaaars?

You certainly didn’t hear it here first: today NASA, at a press briefing, announced that minerals analyzed by the Curiosity rover indicate thatĀ life might, in the galactic past, have survived on Mars. The rover’s been poking around anĀ ancient network of stream channels descending from the rim of Gale crater since September of last year; now,…

SETI, Really?

As you may have heard, SETI is in trouble. Funding cutbacks on a state and federal level have forced the Allen Telescope Array — SETI’s new homebase, actually just a part of the U.C. Berkeley’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory (HCRO) — into indefinite hibernation. With U.C. Berkeley losing ninety percent of its NSF University Radio…

Synthetic Life Lives

What do these three quotations have in common? Hint: it lives in a petri dish. “To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, and to recreate life out of life.” — James Joyce “What I cannot build, I cannot understand.” — Richard Feynman “See things not as they are, but as they might be.” —…

As NASA’s Space Shuttle program winds down — Endeavour’s final mission is slated for later this year, then that’s it — let us take a moment and remember the Shuttles. Sure, they had a tendency to explode into balls of fire. Sure, they were expensive, risky, and besieged by problems. But now is not the…

Terrifying Science News Roundup

A large part of my affection for science comes from the thrill of terror I get when a particularly insane piece of science news hits the presses. When an article begins with a sentence like, “there is something strange in the cosmic neighborhood,” or “all the black holes found so far in our universe may…