If recent research is correct, Astronomers have explained how the outer gas giant planets in our solar system were able to achieve their current orbits without harming the inner rocky planets.
Scientists have recently discovered the first planet orbiting a binary star after analyzing data collected from the Kepler Mission. It was previously thought only single stars would have planets due to the gravitational changes imposed by binary stars (extreme gravitational change would likely cause unstable orbits for any planets able to form). The discovery is significant since most Sun-like stars are members of binary systems and it suggests we will be finding more Earth-like planets than previously thought.
Dr. Hugh Ross has released another informative article examining some of the properties the Milky Way galaxy possesses which make it suitable for life. People who believe life is common throughout the Universe often point to the vast number of galaxies to support their position. But the devil is in the details.
An Israeli Scientist has won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Dan Shechtman was awarded the prize for his work on quasicrystals – a form of crystal where the atoms are ordered, but not repeating. The story proves that long held scientific beliefs can be overturned in an instant.
A research study conducted by Dave Waltham, a British geophysicist, has lent considerable support to people who believe the Earth is rare. The researchers set out to provide a method for testing the anthropic principle – the idea that the Universe and Earth have been designed for humans. The study showed that the probability of Earth possessing it’s Milankovitch cycle frequency is less than 0.00001.
Proponents of evolution assume the order of genes along the DNA serves no functional purpose (how could there be a purpose if random chemical processes created the order arbitrarily?). However, researchers at UC Berkley have shown a correlation between the amount of protein produced by a gene and the gene’s location in the sequence.
Researchers have discovered an extremely large amount of water circling a distant quasar. While it’s not particularly novel for Astronomers to find water or water vapor outside of our solar system, this finding is particularly interesting due to the quantity, density and extreme distance.
The Scientific American has a recent story on a researcher, Ryan Summers, at the University of Iowa, who has discovered a new strain of bacteria called Pseudomonas Putida CBB5 that apparently has the ability to live off of caffeine. This is the first time a bacteria with this capability has been identified which naturally leads to the question, have we just witnessed an example of evolution?