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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Could a Whiff of Methane Revive The Exploration of Mars?
21 June 2012 2:10 pm
In 2003, three independent groups reported detecting methane in the atmosphere of Mars. Whether the reported methane is from microbes eking out a living beneath the surface or from deep stirrings of the geologically moribund planet, no one can say. Either prospect would excite scientists, but only martian biology could rejuvenate a troubled NASA Mars program. The first group reported that they had detected a few tens of parts per billion by volume of martian methane. They found it by reading the squiggly lines of infrared spectra recorded by ground-based telescopes. Two other independent groups backed up that work with their own reported spectroscopic detections. But some planetary scientists now see no credible signs that there ever was any methane on Mars.