SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY
Life May Have Begun in Upper Atmosphere
An experiment that simulated chemical reactions in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan suggests that life could have begun in the sky. It was the first experiment to produce amino acids and the nucleotide bases without the need for liquid water, researchers said.
In other space news, astronomers have gotten a rare view of a recent asteroid collision. It was the first time scientists have been able to observe such a collision while it was happening.
Elsewhere, scientists enlisted teenagers to scan thousands of computerized "star plots" in a galactic treasure hunt for pulsars in which two students have hit the jackpot.
And Virgin Galactic's suborbital spaceship Enterprise recently made its first solo test flight. If all continues to go well, it will soon take people on short trips above the atmosphere. The ticket price: $200,000.
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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones
The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.
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