Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pulsar devours companion, life gets off to easy start and New Mexico’s new spaceport

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 - The European Space Agency's Integral space observatory, together with NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer spacecraft, has found a fast-spinning pulsar in the process of devouring its companion. This finding supports the theory that the fastest-spinning isolated pulsars get that fast by cannibalizing a nearby star. See article.
g Abodes - In a twist to the proverbial snowball effect, warmer Arctic temperatures are stimulating plant growth, which darkens the landscape and causes more sunlight to be absorbed rather than reflected. The result: Winter heating could increase by 70 percent, according to a new study. See article.
g Life - Life was easier to start than originally thought: An international team of scientists, leaded by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researchers, has discovered that RNA early molecules were much more resistant than was thought until now. According to the conclusions of the study, they may have developed enough to contain around 100 genes, which is considered to be the minimum quantity required for the most basic forms of primitive life, similar to the bacteria we have today. The research was published in Nature Genetics. See article.
g Intelligence - Schizotypes are people able to walk the fine line between creativity and insanity and a new study confirms that they rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the rest of us. See article.
g Message - Any nonreproducing alien probes discovered in the Solar System during the normal course of future SETI research would most likely have been sent by extraterrestrial civilizations located within a 1000 light-year radius of the Sun, whereas any self-reproducing devices similarly detected probably originated far outside this exploration sphere. See article.
g Cosmicus - New Mexico state officials foresee a Southwest Regional Spaceport as a boon for business. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat Web site for elementary students: History of the Universe site tells the story of the history of the universe. Click “Earlier” and “Later” to follow the story. See site.
g Imagining - Are there any alternatives to DNA or RNA, as an “X-Files” episode said there was? See article.
g Aftermath - How might we characterize the political significance of any announcement of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence? How about using the Torino Scale, which characterizes asteroid impacts, as a model to assist the discussion and interpretation of any claimed discovery of ETI? See article.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: