To the multitude of arguments for protecting rainforest biodiversity, here’s a new addition: An Amazonian fungus could eat our most durable landfill waste. A group of students from Yale found the fungus during an expedition to Ecuador and learned it breaks down polyurethane.
Scientists at Glasgow University are on a mission to create a form of life from inorganic molecules. The team, led by Professor Lee Cronin, has demonstrated a way of creating an inorganic cell, in which internal membranes control the movement of energy and materials, just as in a living cell. These cells can also store electricity and could be used in medicine and chemistry as sensors or to contain chemical reactions.
We've already bid our fond farewell to the space shuttle Endeavour, but as it blasted into the great blue yonder for the last time Monday, the astronauts were accompanied by a different sort of companion: the first cephalopod ever to enter space.
A nanosatellite no bigger than a loaf of bread -- and named after cookies -- is set to launch today to study the origins of life in the universe.
Its name stands for Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses, but the mission is as much about proving small-payload satellites’ viability as it is about studying space microorganisms.
The "life is persistent" argument is often used to bolster the idea that life exists elsewhere in the universe. While that remains to be seen, the notion certainly keeps proving true here on the home planet. Scientists have found life thriving in near superheated ocean vents, in inhospitable parts of Antarctica, and in the depths of subterranean oil reservoirs.
Tiny organisms such as algae offer great promise for a clean energy future by creating biofuels or even hydrogen, if only scientists can figure out how to use them in a cost-efficient way. A startup named Joule Unlimited has hit upon a possible solution, with a genetically tailored organism that sweats out its fuel and lives on to continue making more, New York Times reports. The company broke ground recently on a Texas pilot plant that will house the single-cell plant organisms in flat structures resembling solar panels facing the sun.