Like this one, about microbialites:
In “Looking for the origins of life in a B.C. lake” (CBC News, Jul 30, 2011), Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, “NASA and the Canadian Space Agency see research implications for planetary exploration”:
The researchers are examining the origins of a specific and very ancient sedimentary formation formed by algae and a certain type of bacteria, in the process fine-turning exploratory techniques and clues that they feel might be useful on future space missions.
“There are these rocks in the lake called microbialites that are built in some way by the bacteria living on the surface of the rock structure,” explains principal investigator Darlene Lim, a limnologist, or lake scientist, at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California.
From about 2.5 billion years ago until about 500 million years ago, microbialites were very common, and they remain among the earliest remnants of life on the planet.
As it happens, Pavilion Lake and Kelly Lake have an unusual amount and diversity of microbialites, in shapes ranging from artichoke-like to columns.
Vid. All this said:
There is currently much uncertainty in the U.S. about space exploration, particularly now that the shuttle program has ended.
Yes, the game changer. Maybe we are at the end of an era. Hereafter, crackpot cosmologies rule? Profs get fired in greater numbers for not believing undemonstrable nonsense?