Thursday, February 02, 2006

Exiled stars, Martian terriers and designer genes

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Today’s news:
g Stars - TV reality show contestants aren't the only ones under threat of exile. Astronomers using the MMT Observatory in Arizona have discovered two stars exiled from the Milky Way galaxy. Those stars are racing out of the galaxy at speeds of more than 1 million miles per hour - so fast that they will never return. See article.
g Abodes - Travel with Aaron Gronstal on a drilling expedition in Chesapeake Bay, the site of a 35 million-year-old impact crater. This portion of his journal is part 2 of a 4-part series. See http://www.
g Life - A single unifying physics theory can essentially describe how animals of every ilk, from flying insects to fish, get around, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Pennsylvania State University have found. The team reports that all animals bear the same stamp of physics in their design. See http://
g Intelligence - Certain species of ant use a technique known as “tandem running” to lead another ant from the nest to a food source. This is believed to be the first time a demonstration of “formal” teaching that has been recognized in any non-human animal. See
g Message - The Earth's radio emission is now comparable to or stronger than the Sun's. So for aliens looking in the radio frequency, we should be the brightest spot in the solar system. See http://
. Note: This article is from 2005.
g Cosmicus - Imagine strolling between vineyard rows thriving in the rusty red soils of Mars, or sipping that maiden Martian vintage. Since humans have advanced from rudimentary cave dwellers to explorers of space, Leonie Joubert considers whether the next fashionable terrier might, quite literally, be out of this world. See http://www.
. Note: This article is from 2005.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity: “Designer Genes for a Designer World.” In this series of guided inquiry activities, students explore how organisms adapt to their environments through changes in their genetic codes. See
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read John W. Campbell’s (writing as Don A. Stuart) short story, "Who Goes There?" it first appeared in August 1938’s Astounding magazine.
g Aftermath - How would humans react the day after ET landed? A nationwide survey by the Roper Organization in 1999 found that the following: “ out of four Americans think most people would “totally freak out and panic” if such evidence were confirmed. See