2008-2010

A new era in search for ‘sister Earths’?

A new era in search for ‘sister Earths’?

July 24, 2008

Research presented at a recent astronomical conference is being hailed as ushering in a new era in the search for Earth-like planets by showing that they are more numerous than previously thought and that scientists can now analyze their atmospheres for elements that might be conducive to life.

“This conference was very well timed. People came with new results. It clicked together. There was a lot of excitement,” said Professor of Astronomy Dimitar Sasselov, who heads Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative and who co-chaired the conference’s Scientific Organizing Committee. “What...

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Laser precision added to search for new Earths

Laser precision added to search for new Earths

April 2, 2008

Harvard scientists have unveiled a new laser-measuring device that they say will provide a critical advance in the resolution of current planet-finding techniques, making the discovery of Earth-sized planets possible.

The discovery of planets outside of our solar system, called “exoplanets,” is one of the hottest fields in astronomy and holds great promise to increase our understanding of Earth’s solar system and of how life first took hold on this planet.

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J. Craig Venter named visiting scholar

J. Craig Venter named visiting scholar

February 29, 2008

J. Craig Venter, the visionary biologist and intellectual entrepreneur who was a leading figure in the decoding of the human genome, will join Harvard University as a visiting scholar at the University’s Origins of Life Initiative.

Venter, who left his last academic post in 1982, is founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute. He accepted the one-year appointment last week (Feb. 22). It starts March 1.

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