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What is life? Even as we send robotic explorers into space to look for signs of life and answer eternal questions of life beyond Earth, scientists lack a coherent definition of the phenomenon. A theoretical underpinning of life is needed, and expeditions to the planet’s most extreme environments are helping to broaden our understanding of biological possibilities.

Jeffrey Marlow is a Geobiologist and Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University, where he studies deep-ocean microbiology and the inner workings of methane-metabolizing microorganisms. In addition to his scientific research, Marlow writes for Discover Magazine, and is the founder of the Mars Academy, a global education project that brings the excitement and inspirational power of exploration to some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.


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What Is Life?

What Is Life?

What is life? Even as we send robotic explorers into space to look for signs of life and answer eternal questions of life beyond Earth, scientists lack a coherent definition of the phenomenon. A theoretical underpinning of life is needed, and expeditions to the planet’s most extreme environments are helping to broaden our understanding of biological possibilities.

Jeffrey Marlow is a Geobiologist and Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University, where he studies deep-ocean microbiology and the inner workings of methane-metabolizing microorganisms. In addition to his scientific research, Marlow writes for Discover Magazine, and is the founder of the Mars Academy, a global education project that brings the excitement and inspirational power of exploration to some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.