A large multidisciplinary team of scientists, equipped with advanced underwater robotics and an array of analytical instrumentation, will set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean this August. The team’s mission for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to study the life and death of the small organisms that play a critical role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in the ocean’s carbon cycle.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet’s surface and subsurface.
On larger length scales, bone is known to have a hierarchical structure in which small crystals of calcium phosphates arrange themselves around helices of collagen. These make up larger structures, such as the osteons found in compact bone. However, at smaller lengths, does the hierarchical structure persist? By combining three-dimensional electron tomography with two-dimensional electron microscopy, Reznikov et al. observed structural ordering from the nanoscale upward. At the smallest scale, needle-shaped mineral units form platelets that organize into stacks bridging multiple collagen units.