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Category Archives: Planet Scoop

Image: Science/AAAS

A team from the NASA Astrobiology Institute found bacteria that use arsenic in cells in place of the phosphorous in Mono Lake, California. The breakthrough reveals new possible forms of life on other planets that scientists might have failed to research because it didn’t contain the six known elements to support life on Earth: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus.

The research article, published in ScienceMag at the beginning of November, anticipates the find of the GFAJ-1 bacterium to ‘have profound evolutionary and geochemical significance’.

Earlier this week a robot reproducing itself without human intervention was revealed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute, taking us one step closer to a computer dominated world.

I wonder what all these discoveries lead to; surely they must converge somewhere.

via Wired


Photo by Paul/ FreeDigitalPhotos

Carbon dioxide emissions are on the rise again now that economy has recovered, while a study at the University of Exeter claims this year’s figures are reaching record levels. Apparently there has been a decrease in 2008 and 2009, however it is believed only because of the economic downturn.

We should get used to this: there just can’t be a problem-freeĀ  world. Life can only exist on a solid yet vulnerable balance.

via Wired

Photo from NYTimes


It looks like the glaciers are melting at a greater speed than predicted. While we’re all doing our bit to fight global warming, my hunch is that it’s up to the geoengineering squad to come up with a solution that will ease up the future rise in the sea levels.

via NYTimes


Following the biggest offshore oil spill earlier this year, oil moguls have restarted pushing for their slot in the Arctic Ocean drilling raffle. Pew Trust recently released a report expressing their concern with the risks that the Arctic is facing in case of a similar unfortunate event as the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

Already an unstable ecological system and with far less possibilities to reabilitate a possible spill, it looks rather like a risk not taking. Perhaps the lobbying battle should be fought on the research field for clean energy, in an attempt to decrease the ever growing crave for oil. I guess it’s up for the geoengineering experts to stand as pawns on this chess table.

via Pew Trust

via New Scientist