March 2016 Blog Posts (3)

Why humans rule the Earth

Humans are the world’s most dominant species.

 

I think this is something that most people would agree with, but probably for different reasons. While other organisms may be more numerous (like the Pelagibacter ubique bacteria, thought to number ~10^28 [1]), or contributing more total mass (also probably the Pelagibacter ubique bacteria, which is estimated to have a collective mass more than…

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Added by Harrison on March 25, 2016 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

The Gray Area of Life

The Problem of Defining Life

The question "what is life?" seems at first to be a strange one with clear answers. You typically know it when you see it, and everyday examples are easy to list: people, dogs, grass, trees, ants, and so on. All of those things appear to have something special that a rock or a screwdriver does not. However, it takes more than a few examples and a vague special something to form a rigorous universal definition for life. In practice,…

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Added by Greg Vance on March 18, 2016 at 6:32pm — 3 Comments

Solid, Liquid, Gas…. Life.

“What we use to call biophysics often is just physics of biological material or the dynamics of the material processes involved. …. I am asking for a ‘physics of biology’.” -Manfred Eigen 2000.

What is a Phase of Matter?

    In school, we are taught about states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Normally people graduate high school with the impression that those represent the only examples of states of matter- you may remember hearing something about a…

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Added by Cole Mathis on March 4, 2016 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

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Alexis Templeton is the Principal Investigator of the Rock-Powered Life team with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). She is a geomicrobiologist with expertise in microbe/mineral interactions, biomineralization, chemical imaging, spectroscopy, and isotope geochemistry.

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