Wow! Signal Podcast: Cells & Planets

A new episode of the Wow! Signal Podcast features an interview with our own Betul Kacar about her astrobiological research and educational outreach. The Wow! Signal Podcast series features speculative science conversations that explore the past, present, and future of sentient beings in the universe, and this episode features discussions with Steven Dick (Library of Congress chair in astrobiology) and Betul Kacar about their own perspectives on the nature of intelligent life in the universe. Betul’s segment begins 29 minutes […]

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A Fuel Cell Model for the Origin of Life

Dr. Laurie Barge has published a paper suggesting a novel way to study the origin of life by using fuel cells. Although fuel cells carry the potential to create cleaner-burning cars, Dr. Barge and her co-authors suggest that fuel cells are also an ideal laboratory for probing one of astrobiology’s deepest mysteries. This research is published in the journal Astrobiology, and news coverage appears on the NASA JPL website. [Read the article at JPL]

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NAI Seminar with Dr. Jim Cleaves

Our own Dr. Jim Cleaves will be featured Feb. 10th @ 11 AM (Pacific) on the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s director’s seminar. Dr. Cleaves will discuss his ongoing research in his talk titled, “Amino Acid Analysis of Titan Tholins and Comparison With Other Prebiotic Reaction Systems”, where he explores the various pathways that abiotic chemistry might ultimately lead to organic living processes. NAI Director’s Seminar with Dr. Jim Cleaves February 10th @ 11:00 AM (Pacific) Join via Adobe Connect: http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/nai_directors_seminar

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Search for the Origin of Life – The Movie

Search for the Origin of Life is a new documentary movie made in collaboration with the NASA Astrobiology Institute and Montana State University and distributed by PBS International. Featuring 8 astrobiologists, including BMSIS scientist Dr. Betül Kacar, the show takes a personal look at individual researchers who, through their experiments and field work, seek to understand the very beginnings of life on Earth. [Watch the full video at Montana PBS]

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Podcast: Chemistry of the Possible

March’s edition of “Beer with BMSIS” features a conversation with Dr. Jim Cleaves titled The Chemistry of the Possible. Dr. Cleaves discusses his calculations of the number of biologically possible molecules, and speculates as to the reasons that Earth life uses only a small subset of these molecules. Should we expect life elsewhere to use the same set of amino acids as Earth life, or would extraterrestrial life be based on a notably different set of molecules? These questions will […]

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