Evidence for a Martian Ocean

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered evidence for an ancient delta on Mars where a river might once have emptied into a vast ocean. This ocean, if it existed, could have covered much of Mars's northern hemisphere—stretching over as much as a third of the planet.

New Research Sheds Light on M.O. of Unusual RNA Molecules

A team of researchers led by newly arrived Caltech biologist Mitchell Guttman and Kathrin Plath of UCLA, has figured out how some RNA molecules take advantage of their position within the 3-D structure of genomic material to home in on targets.

Psychology Influences Markets

Economists argue that the dominant players in a market almost always make well-informed and objective decisions. Psychologists, on the other hand, say that markets are not immune from human irrationality. Now, a new analysis shows that markets are indeed susceptible to psychological phenomena.

A Stepping-Stone for Oxygen on Earth

For most terrestrial life on Earth, oxygen is necessary for survival. But the planet's atmosphere did not always contain this life-sustaining substance, and one of science's greatest mysteries is how and when oxygenic photosynthesis—the process responsible for producing oxygen on Earth through the splitting of water molecules—first began. Now, a team led by geobiologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has found evidence of a precursor photosystem involving manganese that predates cyanobacteria, the first group of organisms to release oxygen into the environment via photosynthesis.

Beauty and the Brain: Electrical Stimulation of the Brain Makes You Perceive Faces as More Attractive

Researchers, led by scientists at Caltech, have used a well-known, noninvasive technique to electrically stimulate a specific region deep inside the brain, causing volunteers to judge faces as more attractive than before their brains were stimulated.

Keeping Stem Cells Strong

A team of researchers led by biologists at Caltech has found that, in mouse models, the molecule microRNA-146a (miR-146a) acts as a critical regulator and protector of blood-forming stem cells during chronic inflammation, suggesting that a deficiency of miR-146a may be one important cause of blood cancers and bone marrow failure.

Birth of a Black Hole

According to a new analysis by astrophysicist Tony Piro at Caltech, just before a black hole forms, the dying star may generate a distinct burst of light that will allow astronomers to witness the birth of a new black hole for the first time.

Astronomers Discover Massive Star Factory in Early Universe

A team of astronomers, which includes several from Caltech, has discovered a dust-filled, massive galaxy churning out stars when the cosmos was a mere 880 million years old—making it the earliest starburst galaxy ever observed.

Picking Apart Photosynthesis

Chemists at Caltech and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory believe they can now explain one of the remaining mysteries of photosynthesis, the chemical process by which plants convert sunlight into usable energy and generate the oxygen that we breathe.

Counting White Blood Cells at Home

Engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), working with a collaborator from the Jerusalem-based company LeukoDx, have developed a portable device to count white blood cells that needs less than a pinprick's worth of blood and takes just minutes to run.

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