Astrobiology: May 2007 Archives

Father of 'Origin of Life' Chemistry at UC San Diego Dies

"Stanley L. Miller, an emeritus professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego whose famous laboratory experiments in 1952 demonstrated how the simple organic compounds considered necessary for the origin of life could have been synthesized on the primitive Earth, died yesterday. He was 77."

NASA Mars Rover Spirit Unearths Surprise Evidence of Wetter Past

"This is some of the best evidence Spirit has found for water at Gusev," said Albert Yen, a geochemist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. One possible origin for the silica could have been interaction of soil with acid vapors produced by volcanic activity in the presence of water. Another could have been from water in a hot spring environment. The latest discovery adds compelling new evidence for ancient conditions that might have been favorable for life, according to members of the rover science team. David Des Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., said, "What's so exciting is that this could tell us about environments that have similarities to places on Earth that are clement for organisms."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Astrobiology category from May 2007.

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