Scent of life on Venus

Artist’s impression of Venus, with an inset showing a representation of the phosphine molecules detected in the high cloud decks.
Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser / L. Calçada & NASA / JPL / Caltech

Microbial life may be present in the atmosphere of Venus, according to a paper published in Nature Astronomy today.

(Written by Rohan Byrne, our resident geoscientist. Follow him at @buildmeaplanet)

Traces of a telltale gas called phosphine have been detected in sunlight bouncing off the planet. The gas, a rare chemical sometimes used as a pesticide, has never before been observed on rocky planets other than Earth, where it is almost always a product of life.

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Jobs at EMBL Australia, PhD training course, and new research

Posted on behalf of Nadia Rosenthal, Scientific Head, EMBL Australia

It’s been a pretty exciting time for EMBL Australia lately, with international visitors, new group leaders, and even a Nature paper.

But the one thing which really stood out for me in the past year was our EMBL Australia PhD Course.

At last year’s course at WEHI in Melbourne, we spent two weeks with 60 passionate and enthusiastic PhD students.

Not only did the students learn the tools of the trade from top researchers, they also formed an invaluable network of peers, who will hold their own student-run symposium in Sydney later this year.

This year we’ll bring together another 60 PhD students at ANU in Canberra. Applications are open now – read on for more details.

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