HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
NASA develops a 'nugget' to search for life in space

Astrobiologists, who search for evidence of life on other planets, may find a proposed Neutron/Gamma ray Geologic Tomography (NUGGET) instrument to be one of the most useful tools in their toolbelt.

As conceived by scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., NUGGET would be able to generate three-dimensional images of fossils embedded in an outcrop of rock or beneath the soil of Mars or another planet. Tomography uses radiation or sound waves to look inside objects. NUGGET could help determine if primitive forms of life took root on Mars when the planet was awash in water eons ago.

Similar to seismic tomography used by the oil industry to locate oil reserves beneath Earth's surface, NUGGET would look instead for evidence of primitive algae and bacteria that fossilized along the edges of extinct rivers or oceans. As on Earth, these remains could lie just a few centimeters beneath the surface, compressed between layers of silt. If a mechanical rover that explores planet surfaces were equipped with an instrument like NUGGET -- capable of peering beneath the surface -- then it might be able to reveal evidence of life beyond Earth.

"This is a brand new idea," said Sam Floyd, the principal investigator on the project, funded this year by Goddard's Director's Discretionary Fund. If developed, NUGGET would be able to investigate important biological indicators of life, and quickly and precisely identify areas where scientists might want to take samples of soil or conduct more intensive studies. "It would allow us to do a much faster survey of an area," Floyd said.

The proposed instrument, which could be carried on a rover or a robot lander, is made up of three fundamentally distinct technologies -- a neutron generator, a neutron lens, and a gamma-ray detector.

At the heart of NUGGET is a three-dimensional scanning instrument that beams neutrons into a rock or other object under study. When the nucleus
'"/>

Contact: Rob Gutro
Robert.J.Gutro.1@gsfc.nasa.gov
301-286-4044
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
27-Jul-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. N.C. A&T food scientist develops process for allergen-free peanuts
2. MIT develops nanoparticles to battle cancer
3. UC develops new approach to Web-based drug withdrawal warnings
4. Engineer ramps up protein production, develops versatile viral spheres
5. Hopkins develops online tool to aid research on certain orphan diseases
6. U of I scientist develops enzyme inhibitor that may slow cancer growth
7. West develops taste for primates
8. OHSU researcher develops first animal model to treat devasting head and neck cancers
9. Novel stem cell technology develops a new cell for repairing spinal cord injuries
10. Interdisciplinary team develops guidelines for treating severely injured patients
11. Georgia Tech develops technology for more compact, inexpensive spectrometers

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access ... 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by ... and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the ... that its Anzo Smart Data Lake has been named a KMWorld Trend-Setting ... that help organizations succeed in surpassing their knowledge management goals. KMWorld searches for ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... ... September 12, 2017 , ... PhysIQ, ... cloud-based platform for ambulatory patient monitoring and clinical trial support, earned DPharm Idol ... conference in Boston. , Launched in 2005, PhysIQ leverages artificial intelligence (AI) ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... September 12, 2017 , ... It ... few months, it has been hot, hot, hot, as Lajollacooks4u has had a record-breaking ... , Guests came from far and wide to celebrate company outings, family get-togethers, ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... VetStem Biopharma, Inc. , announced that a major ... full license to that patent. This patent covers methods for isolating ... this stem cell with matrix materials, and incorporating the stem cells in an implant. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: