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Mice embryos successfully grown in space, a promising milestone for human space exploration

Most of the recent news about the International Space Station (ISS) hasn’t been very positive recently, from Russian cosmonauts dodging a cooling leak during a space walk to NASA’s ongoing plan to crash the ISS into the ocean (which will largely benefit private space exploration companies). Yet in a major leap forward for biological sciences, a new study in the journal iSciences reveals that humans were able to successfully culture mouse embryos while aboard the ISS....

Originally posted on salon.com

Mars rover detects chemicals of life — but it doesn’t prove aliens just yet, scientists caution

A recent study published in the scientific journal Nature reveals the existence of organic compounds on Mars. The good news is this could indicate the existence of life — the bad news is that there are other possible explanations.

Organic compounds are molecules formed from carbon, although they often include other life-associated elements like phosphorus, oxygen, sulfur, hydrogen and nitrogen....

Originally posted on salon.com

NASA is looking for microbial life on the Moon. We might have left it behind

With the exception of a few Moon landings, as far as Earth-bound life is concerned, our closest neighbor has remained utterly lifeless for as long as we’ve known. As our species overheats and pollutes the planet (but at least can make some entertaining movies about it), our celestial companion has presumably remained as dead as the very Cold War that started the Space Race....

Originally posted on salon.com

Which planets – and planetary moons – could actually have life?

Science fiction is filled with stories of humans traveling to other planets — and, of course, quite often those planets are inhabited. Whether it’s explorers having romantic adventures in “Star Trek” or determined scientists trying to save humanity in “Interstellar,” people instinctively want to believe that our universe might allow us to casually planet-hop....

Originally posted on salon.com