End of an Era

Guest Contributor – Dr. Lesley Anderson Barbara “Bobbie” John walked up the gangway with intentional steps, recognizing that this was the very last time she would ever board the JOIDES Resolution. After three previous expeditions on the JR, Bobbie found herself one of 20 international scientists embarking one more time on the drilling vessel. This particular expedition is very special to her, because she was onboard the ship that first discovered the Lost City at Atlantis Massif. In fact, she […]

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Galactic Explainer: A History of Cosmic Rays

by Jonathan Keathley Victor Hess was born in Styria, Austria on June 24th, 1883. He conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Graz, where he got his Bachelor’s in 1905 and his Ph.D. in physics in 1910. Hess went on to discover cosmic rays in 1912 by using enhanced ion detectors invented just three years earlier. During his experiments in 1912, Hess produced a series of 7 hydrogen balloon experiments to figure out if some of the high-energy particles […]

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Oxygen on Mars? Don’t hold your breath.

Sarah Treadwell – BMSIS Science Writer Astrobiology asks three fundamental questions: How does life begin, could there be life beyond Earth and, if so, how can we detect it? For decades, NASA’s sights have been set towards Mars for answers. Previous research presented evidence of an oxygen-rich atmosphere in its ancient past; however a new paper released challenges this. A study from researchers at Washington University suggests that we may need to look for signs of life with a new […]

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Reedify Science and Space with Graham Lau

Graham Lau, Research Investigator with Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, joins Builder Nation’s Podcast host Elisa Muñoz to share his thoughts on space exploration and its potential benefits to humanity: “There’s so much that we get from space. It’s not just the investment that we get in business and the return financially. There’s so much that we get from material science, biological science, medicine and technology as well.” Graham Lau, PhD What is Builder Nation? A community of engineering […]

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The Thermophilic Microbes of Yellowstone

By Angela Murphy It is believed that John Colter, former member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was one of the first European explorers to set foot in the area we now know as Yellowstone. One can only imagine the surprise Colter or other early explorers felt upon entering this strange landscape for the first time. After arriving home, these explorers would eagerly tell friends and family stories of “boiling rivers,” “spouting waterfalls,” and  “noxious steam,” stories which, unfortunately, were […]

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Polymers: The Unappreciated Heroes

by Bimal Chopra Polymers are very diverse and their applications are even more diversified in today’s world. Polymers are not just limited to plastics, they also include and can be seen in paints, coatings, adhesives, the rubber industry, textiles, the packaging industry, the medical industry, and more. There are many other fields where we can find them such as the electronic industry — they aren’t very good at conducting electricity, but their contribution in the field of semiconductors has been […]

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Benzonitrile – A Most Exciting Discovery in the World of Astrochemistry

by Shagun Kothari Scientists in the early 20th century were rather dubious about the idea that molecules existed within the vacuum of space, free from being bound to stars or planets. This could be ascribed to the fact that they were able to rationalize how any molecules in space would be destroyed but not necessarily how they were formed. However, with advancements in astronomical facilities and laboratory spectroscopy, simple molecular species, carbon chains, complex organic molecules (COMs), fullerenes, and polycyclic […]

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Ethics of human reproduction on Mars

by Berfin Dağ (written as part of the completion of the BMSIS Young Scientist Program) Regardless of our motivation, we must consider the ethical implications of going and settling on Mars before too many resources and people put into this effort. The mission will undoubtedly be extremely dangerous, like living on Mars. We do not yet know what the long-term effects of living on Mars, low gravity, exposure to high radiation, and living in a confined space with a small […]

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Ladakh Expedition: An Experience of Ancient Mars

By Nidhi Goswami Since the dawn of humanity, we have been wondering about our place in the cosmos. Are we alone in the universe? The answer to this question is obviously in the night sky, beyond the thin atmosphere of our planet. The exploration of space then seems a natural choice to move forward. However, space is vast! With current propulsion technologies, it takes days to reach the Moon, months to reach our neighbouring planets, years to cross the solar […]

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A Planetary Defender

By Sarah Treadwell – BMSIS Science Writer Concerns about how to protect our planet from asteroid impacts have long plagued planetary scientists. While statistically speaking the chances of a disastrous one hitting our planet in our lifetime is very slim, the consequences of being underprepared could be significant. Quite infamously, it did not bode well for the dinosaurs the last time a large asteroid found its way to Earth. While confidence has been high that humans will be able to […]

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