Ecosystems in Space Habitats

By Luke Concollato People have been observing how ecosystems function since humans first began hunting. When our primitive ancestors began cultivating land they embarked on a journey to work with nature. This journey continues today as modern ecologists unravel nature’s complex relationships.   Ecologists invented a way to quantify how nature contributes to our quality of life with a concept called “ecosystem services.” Ecosystem services have been developed to describe the various ways nature benefits our lives. Ecosystem services are divided […]

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Black holes

By Ishani Singh One of the most baffling mysteries of the universe for cosmologists are black holes, something that has not been directly seen yet and the study of which has been rather difficult. The twist in the story is that the existence of all that we see, discover, or imagine about space is greatly dependent upon black holes. They are in a way representative of the extremes of nature and the most bewildering aspect is that even after much […]

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Settlement of Mars Using Synthetic Biology

By Prakriti Karki  Will the dreams of those who wish to see humans settle Mars be limited to dreams only or will they turn out to be a reality some day? There are several signs that the latter may come to fruition — some important technologies like those of synthetic biology (SynBio) are even giving more hope to making Mars settlement a reality within our lifetimes.  Synthetic biology is a new trending engineering approach in biology which has made engineering […]

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Analytical chemistry in space exploration

By Nipun Chandrasiri  To answer some of the biggest questions of life, such as how life began on Earth or if there is life out there, we need to understand what the universe is made up of. From the beginning of the space exploration era, scientific measurements were made to understand the composition of various planetary bodies. Analytical chemistry, the realm of scientific exploration that includes using instruments and methods to explore the chemical makeup of a sample or a […]

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Extremophiles: defining the physical limits at which life can exist

By Jaqueline Ramirez  Understanding the origins of life and the first evolutionary events on Earth is an integral part of our quest to find life forms on other planets. For this, and although it is a complex concept, it is important to try to establish a definition of life (or, at least, a characterization of life) and to consider the limits and physical parameters in which it can develop. Starting from a prevalent working definition of life accepted by NASA […]

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