Microbiology

How Do Bacteria Adapt?

How Do Bacteria Adapt?

A fundamental prerequisite for life on earth is the ability of living organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Physicists at the Technical University of Munich and the University of California San Diego have now determined that the regulation mechanisms used by bacteria to adapt to different environments are based on a global control process that can be described in a single equation.

Astronomy

Breakthrough Listen Releases Initial Results and Data from Observations of 'Oumuamua

Breakthrough Listen Releases Initial Results and Data from Observations of 'Oumuamua

No evidence of artificial signals emanating from the object so far detected by the Green Bank Telescope, but monitoring and analysis continue. Initial data are available for public inspection in the Breakthrough Listen archive.

Microbiology

Every Grain Of Sand Is A Metropolis for Bacteria

Every Grain Of Sand Is A Metropolis for Bacteria

Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers.

Mars

MAVEN Mission Sheds Light on Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

MAVEN Mission Sheds Light on Habitability of Extrasolar Planets

How long might a rocky, Mars-like planet be habitable if it were orbiting a red dwarf star? It's a complex question but one that NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission can help answer.

Astrochemistry

Chandra Reveals the Elemental Nature of Cassiopeia A

Chandra Reveals the Elemental Nature of Cassiopeia A

Where do most of the elements essential for life on Earth come from? The answer: inside the furnaces of stars and the explosions that mark the end of some stars' lives.

Titan

Atmospheric Circulation, Chemistry, and  Infrared Spectra of Titan-like Exoplanets Around Different Stellar Types

Atmospheric Circulation, Chemistry, and Infrared Spectra of Titan-like Exoplanets Around Different Stellar Types

With the discovery of ever smaller and colder exoplanets, terrestrial worlds with hazy atmospheres must be increasingly considered.

Astrochemistry

Life's Building Blocks Observed in Spacelike Environment - Did life originate in space?

Life's Building Blocks Observed in Spacelike Environment - Did life originate in space?

Where do the molecules required for life originate? It may be that small organic molecules first appeared on earth and were later combined into larger molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates.

Extrasolar Planets

Carbon Cycling and Habitability of Earth-size Stagnant Lid Planets

Carbon Cycling and Habitability of Earth-size Stagnant Lid Planets

Models of thermal evolution, crustal production, and CO2 cycling are used to constrain the prospects for habitability of rocky planets, with Earth-like size and composition, in the stagnant lid regime.

Astrochemistry

Chemical Modeling for Predicting the Abundances of Certain Aldimines and Amines in Hot Cores

Chemical Modeling for Predicting the Abundances of Certain Aldimines and Amines in Hot Cores

We consider six isomeric groups (CH3N, CH5N, C2H5N, C2H7N, C3H7N and C3H9N) to review the presence of amines and aldimines within the interstellar medium (ISM).

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Rare Nitrogen Molecules Offers Clues To Makeup Of Other Life-supporting Planets

Rare Nitrogen Molecules Offers Clues To Makeup Of Other Life-supporting Planets

A team of scientists using a state-of-the-art UCLA instrument reports the discovery of a planetary-scale "tug-of-war" of life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen.

Genomics and Cell Biology

Viruses Share Genes With Organisms Across The Tree of Life

Viruses Share Genes With Organisms Across The Tree of Life

A new study finds that viruses share some genes exclusively with cells that are not their hosts.

More top stories from December.