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Researchers are developing field-friendly tools that collect data from the planet's surface to determine how life began on Earth

Researchers

NMSU researchers are opening up new frontiers for understanding the extreme environments in which life on Earth can be found.

Through an interdisciplinary grant, colleagues in the departments of astronomy, electrical and computer engineering and geological sciences have combined their expertise to analyze the chemical composition and the structure of minerals using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and an Acoustic-Optic Tunable Filter spectrometer.

With a $40,000 Interdisciplinary Research Grant from NMSU's Office of the Vice President for Research, they hope to make their instrumentation portable so it can be taken into the field for rapid, accurate analysis.

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