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Some Alien Planets May Be Like Saturn's Moon Titan

Alien planets in orbit around red dwarfs, and even rogue planets with no stars to call home, might have surface oceans loaded with organic compounds, making them similar to Saturn's moon Titan, a new study suggests. Full story

Itching for info from 50-million-year-old skin

We mostly know of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals by their now lifeless fossils. But the remains of a 50-million-year-old reptile from Utah have just yielded organic compounds that scientists have imaged in vivid detail, according to new research. Full story

Next up for Mars missions: the search for life

After more than four decades of humans sending robotic missions to the Red Planet, Mars science is entering a new phase, coinciding with the launch of NASA's Curiosity rover planned for this later this year, according to experts who spoke at a panel discussion last week. Full story

Paper or (Bio)plastic?

   Soybean oil and other organic compounds are being used as a replacement for petroleum in so-called bioplastics, with Frederic Scheer, Biodegradable Products Institute founder.

Organic molecules found ... on the moon?

Indian researchers say they have found organic matter on the moon, a discovery that may be seconded by U.S. teams analyzing a plume of debris kicked up by the deliberate crash of a rocket body into a lunar crater. Full story

Dinosaur mummy yields organic molecules

The extremely well-preserved remains of a 66-million-year-old hadrosaur, known as a "dinosaur mummy," have just yielded soft-tissue skin structures and organic molecules. Full story

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Related Photos

Enceladus plume
Enceladus plume

This false-color Cassini photo of Enceladus was enhanced to reveal the individual jets that make up the plumes spurting ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds from the surface of the moon.

Max Planck Institute | Ethyl FormateThis illustration shows a molecule of ethyl formate, one of the most complex organic molecules ever discovered in interstellar space. It was found in the giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2, near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Max Planck Institute | Ethyl FormateThis illustration shows a molecule of ethyl formate, one of the most complex organic molecules ever discovered in interstellar space. It was found in the giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2, near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Max Planck Institute | Ethyl FormateThis illustration shows a molecule of ethyl formate, one of the most complex organic molecules ever discovered in interstellar space. It was found in the giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2, near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Enceladus
Enceladus

In this false-color image of Saturn's moon Enceladus, taken by a camera aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft, geysers of ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds can be seen spewing from the moon's southern polar region.