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Native Americans Protest Army’s Dakota Access Pipeline

The Rock Sioux Tribal group had a major success on Sunday in its fight to prevent an oil pipeline being built near its reservation when the Department of the Army announced that it will not admit the pipeline to be built under a protected area of the Missouri River.

The Army said it would look for alternative routes for the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Development of the pipeline a mile from the Rock Sioux conservation has turned out to be a global flash point for environmental and indigenous activism, drawing thousands of people to camp in the neighborhood.

Mr. Darcy, the Army’s personel that is in charge of civil works, responded in a statement that they are yet to find acceptable terms for everyone involved to finish the project efficiently and successfully. The idea could presage a lengthy environmental review that has the potential to block the pipeline’s construction for a very long time.

Although it was not clear how effective the government’s plans would be. Sunday’s announcement came in the dwindling days of the Obama administration, which stated earlier this month that the Army was looking for an alternative route. The projects are handled by Corps of Engineers, a section under the Army.

President-elect Donald J. Trump has taken a different approach to the project and said last week that he supported finishing the 1,170-mile pipeline, which crosses four states and is almost complete.

As the government’s actions call for an environmental research for alternative routes, Mr. Trump could end up going with the original proposal. Mr. Trump owns stock in the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, but he has said that his support has nothing to do with his investment.

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Science

Pluto’s Icy Surface Suggests Human Could Live There

It’s a long shot, but it may still push the boundaries to become a habitable zone.
There’s a small chance that Pluto’s subsurface ocean might harbor primitive life, and that could spread the quest of finding life far out in other areas of the Kuiper Belt.

Latest studies based on a combination of computer modelling and data from the New Horizons mission, suggest that there is a possible ocean hiding under the icy exterior of Sputnik Planitia, it is the flat cold valley found in the western lobe of Pluto’s famed heart-shaped feature.

If that ocean exists, suggests William McKinnon, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University, and co-author on two of the most recent studies. It raises the questions on whether there could be life under the frozen nitrogen that surrounds Pluto’s icy core.

It’s a remote possibility, but it raises very interesting questions about the potential for life in wholly unexpected places on the outskirts of our solar system.

The chances of life existing on Pluto is remote at the moment, it is possible what, but in what form? Will it be based on the chemical composition of its surrounding layer and the ocean.

In a recent Nature paper, planetary scientist James T. Keane at the University of Arizona stated that it is most probably made of hydrocarbons. That makes the chemistry of life possible, and temperatures might be survivable for microorganism. On our planet the entire food chains thrives under ice sheets at temperatures as cold as 23°F.

Of course, water alone isn’t sufficient for life to arise or sustain itself; energy is critical, which could be something similar to the deep-sea hydrothermic vents here on Earth.

The scientists have also hypothesized on Europa and other icy planets. However, there’s no clear evidence to support that idea of life on Pluto as yet.

However, the theory is still hotly debated, but for now we will just have to wait for more concrete evidence, that human could actually live on planet Pluto.