Monday, March 28, 2005

Law of inheritance, Project Target and alien blood

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars – Book alert: Some people sit in the tub, yell "Eureka" and come up with a brand new view of matter. Others can be riding a trolley home and at the sight of a clock initiate a whole new concept of time. Yet another more pedantic method is to follow government procedures to resolve riddles. Steven Dick and James Strick in their book, “The Living Universe - NASA and the Development of Astrobiology,” narrate how this occurred for the new academic field of astrobiology. Though perhaps not as film worthy as instantaneous flashes, the four decades of meetings, workshops and programs described therein show that this distinct academic area had an eventful and exciting coming of age. See article.
g Abodes – Some of Earth's oldest rocks contain intriguing layered structures. Were living organisms responsible, or was it merely a random chemical process? The answer, says one researcher, may be a simple matter of compressing a computer file. See article.
g Life – Challenging a scientific law of inheritance that has stood for 150 years, scientists say plants sometimes select better bits of DNA in order to develop normally even when their predecessors carried genetic flaws. See article.
g Intelligence – Development of the brain involves a babel of messages that must speak to the formation and integration of hundreds of different types of nerve cells. If such messages could be separated from the "noise" of other brain activity and clearly understood, researchers would be closer to repairing damage caused by a number of nervous system diseases, paralyzing injuries and combat wounds. See article.
g Message – Here’s something neat: A site about Project Target, or the Telescope Antenna Researching Galactic Extraterrestrial Transmissions, from Hay River Radio, which boldly proclaims that such signals indeed exist! See article.
g Cosmicus – Since March 19, the study entitled Women International Space Simulation for Exploration has been fully under way. All participants in the first of two campaigns have been lying in bed, tilted head down at an angle of 6ยบ below horizontal, so that their heads are slightly lower than their feet. See article.
g Learning – A team of master teachers, university faculty, and NASA researchers have created a series of Web-based astronomy and astrobiology lessons for the CERES Project. These classroom-ready activities for K-12 students represent a robust combination of contemporary teaching/learning strategies from the National Science Education Standards, exciting and current NASA science data, and Internet pointers to an endless supply of accurate and timely resources. Here’s one of them: “Sky Paths.” By using these activities in K-4 students will have the concrete experiences of observing, organizing, comparing and describing the movement of objects that they observe in the sky. See article.
g Imagining – In Star Trek, Klingons have purple blood and Vulcans green. But what might extraterrestrial blood really look like? See article.
g Aftermath – Search for Life in the Universe: In this two-part essay, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson, reflects on the scientific and cultural implications of finding life elsewhere in the cosmos. See Part II. Note: This article is from 2003.

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