Clays on Mars: More Plentiful Than Expected
Atlanta, GA (SPX) Dec 21, 2012 – A new study co-authored by the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that clay minerals, rocks that usually form when water is present for long periods of time, cover a larger portion of Mars than previously thought. In fact, Assistant Professor James Wray and the research team say clays were in some of the rocks studied by Opportunity when it landed at Eagle crater in 2004. The rover … more

Saturn’s Transit of Venus on Dec. 21, 2012
Huntsville AL (SPX) Dec 21, 2012 – Last June, astronomers urged sky watchers to observe the transit of Venus. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, they said. The black disk of the second planet wouldn’t crawl across the face of the sun again for more than 100 years. In fact, it’s happening again this week–not on Earth, but Saturn. “On Friday, Dec. 21st, there will be a transit of Venus visible from Saturn, and we will … more

Origin of life emerged from cell membrane bioenergetics
London, UK (SPX) Dec 21, 2012 – A coherent pathway which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells, has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week. At the origin of life the first protocells must have needed a vast amount of energy to drive their metabolism and replication, as enzymes that catalys …more

MIT researchers discover a new kind of magnetism
Boston MA (SPX) Dec 21, 2012 – Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, MIT researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism. Ferromagnetism – the simple magnetism of a bar magnet or compass needle – has been known for centuries. In a second type of magnetism, antiferromagnetism, the magnetic fi … more