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Archive – January 2012

The 2012 EAG Science Innovation Award has been announced in honor of Professor Daniel Sigman for his work in Biogeochemistry. The award is given to scientists who have currently made a significant and visionary breakthrough in geochemistry. This award is given in honor of Heinz Lowenstam, a pioneer in biomineralization, and one of the first biogeochemists.
A world class radiometric geochronology laboratory has now opened in Guyot Hall, with facilities equipped to date Earth’s oldest rocks. Assistant Professor Blair Schoene proposed the new laboratory when he joined the faculty in June 2009, and has since overseen its design and preparation.
One of the liveliest, contentious, and long-running scientific debates began over three decades ago with the discovery of an iridium anomaly in a thin clay layer at Gubbio, Italy, that led to the hypothesis that a large impact caused the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. For many scientists the discovery of an impact crater near Chicxulub on Yucatán in 1991 all but sealed the impact-kill hypothesis as proven with the impact as sole cause for the mass extinction.
A rare and exotic mineral, so unusual that it was thought impossible to exist, came to Earth on a meteorite, according to an international team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists. The discovery provides evidence for the extraterrestrial origins of the world's only known sample of a naturally occurring quasicrystal.