June 16, 2010

New Mars Rover Will Look For Life in One of Four Places
NASA is closing in on the end of a long process which began three years ago to poll the Mars science community for potential landing sites, then weigh the pros and cons of each. Now, out of some 60 possible sites considered at different stages of the process, the list has been whittled down to four. (JR Minkel, Space.com)

“Water May Be Ubiquitous Within the Lunar Interior”
In a new paper, Francis McCubbin, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and his colleagues describe a new analysis of moon rocks showing the interior of our satellite contains far more water than previously believed. (Daniel Cressey, The Great Beyond, Nature)

Did a Blast of Ultraviolet Light Trigger Life?
The research demonstrates a scenario for creating RNA that would not require lots of heat or standing pools of liquid water. The finding could also mean conditions for life elsewhere in the solar system may not be as stringent. (Irene Klotz, Discovery News)

Promoting Civility
Alan Leshner: Increased civil dialogue between scientists and religious leaders suggests a path toward common ground, whether the topic is human origins or climate change. (The Huffington Post)

Fix It!
How should we respond to a situation like the BP oil spill that seems too complex to solve, much less understand? (William McKenzie, Texas Faith, Religion Blog, The Dallas Morning News)

Chicago Bus Ads Urge People to “Sleep in on Sundays”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation started advocating sleep after the slogan was deemed too controversial in Australia. (Manya Brachear, The Seeker, Chicago Tribune)

BOOKS
The Shallows

John Horgan: Nicholas Carr’s most disturbing proposition is that we are not choosing all our cool new information technologies of our own free will. (Guest Blog, Scientific American)

Category: Field Notes

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