BMSIS Scientist Feature: Dr. Rika Anderson

Dr. Rika Anderson specializes in questions concerning the evolution of microbial life with its environment. She is currently an assistant professor at Carleton College in the Biology department, but her lab collaborates with scientists across disciplines to connect biology with astronomy, geology, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences. Her current lab uses bioinformatic techniques to look at microbial and viral evolution in hydrothermal vent environments, investigating how these microbial species arise, spread, and adapt to new environments by looking at their genetic […]

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“When I think of the Earth, I think about…”

By Elisabeth Lee When I think of the Earth, I think about how it is a home for so much life — plants, microbes, fungi, animals, and humans. Technological advances discovered by humans have given us the potential to discover more about our world and uncover its past. While humans are capable of so much positive change, we have the ability to cause so much damage as well. The effects of climate change are permeating into ecosystems, the atmosphere, and […]

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BMSIS Scientist Feature: Dr. Zach Adam

Dr. Zach Adam is interested in origins of life questions, with particular regard for the origin of eukaryotic life. He is currently a staff scientist at Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and a member of the Kacar Research Group, where he specializes in chemical and geological investigations of early life. He works mainly with Precambrian microfossils and conducts experiments with radiolysis reactions, which involve using alpha, beta, or gamma radiation to form complex molecules important for […]

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CALL FOR STORIES – Volume 3 of the BMSIS short story collection

We invite you to contribute a fictional (or “artful” non-fiction) short story to the third volume of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (BMSIS) short story collection, “Tales from Spaceship Earth”, to be published by Habitable Press. As the world reels under the weight of the COVID outbreak, it is becoming apparent many things about society will likely change. These changes will be uneven. Some will be good, some will be bad, depending on one’s perspective.  The goals of […]

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BMSIS Scientist Feature: Dr. Betül Kaçar

Dr. Betül Kaçar uses a unique biochemical and phylogenetic approach to study questions about the origins of life. She and her team at the University of Arizona use phylogenetic tree algorithms to infer the ancestral sequences of modern genes. They focus particularly on the genes of essential enzymes that are common across the domains of life. Once derived, they synthesize these hypothesized ancient genes and insert them in modern bacteria to observe how the ancient forms of enzymes affect the […]

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