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:
TAG: NASA develops nugget search for life space

(Date:11/4/2014)... Temple University School of Medicine announced today that ... initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates ... Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; and Vice Chair ... School of Medicine will pursue an innovative global ... Biomarkers to Assess Fetal Neurodevelopment.", Grand Challenges Explorations ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... – (Nov. 4, 2014) – A majority of Madagascar,s ... that could have serious consequences for the rainforests they ... shows the positive impacts lemurs can have on rainforest ... their disappearance could have on the region,s rich biodiversity. ... have fruits eaten by lemurs. Lemurs in turn ...
(Date:11/3/2014)...  NeuroSigma ® , Inc. (NeuroSigma), a ... on commercialization of its non-invasive Monarch ... neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, announced today that the ... Notice of Allowance for Mexican Patent Application No. ... and the Regents of the University of California ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Temple University School of Medicine receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 3NeuroSigma Receives Notice of Allowance from the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property Covering Subcutaneous Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (sTNS) 2NeuroSigma Receives Notice of Allowance from the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property Covering Subcutaneous Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (sTNS) 3
(Date:11/22/2014)... RURO, Inc., a leading LIMS, ... Limfinity® version 5.1.4. , RURO’s deployment teams have ... ever in RURO’s 8 year history. Many deployments ... Limfinity® version 5.1.4 is the perfect example – ... fixes! , Limfinity® 5.1.4 release highlights – more ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... Respiratory therapy students will soon ... of life-like respiratory ailments using the latest in ... Rapids-based, Michigan Instruments Inc. developers of the world-renowned ... respiratory simulation units to the pro-gram, which cost ... Muskegon Community College are collaborating to offer Muskegon’s ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... -- , Todd Martensen se ... Mariano Rodríguez es elegid vicepresidente senior de desarrollo empresarial y ... marcha para comenzar de forma rápida la comercialización de su ... en Europa   , KLOX Technologies ... siguientes nombramientos: Todd Martensen ha sido ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... 2014 Offering a complete line of ... Balance promotion . The Sartorius Entris Balance is the ... accuracy, and easy-to-maintain balance entry level balance. , The ... designed to help customer’s bridge the gap between a ... is very durable. Sartorius is the second biggest balance ...
Breaking Biology Technology:RURO Announces Limfinity® version 5.1.4 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 3KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 2KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 3KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 4KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 5Pipette.com Announces an Extension on the Sartorius Entris Balance Promotion to the End of 2014 2
Cached News: