Monday, March 13, 2006

Dark matter density, biology experiments on Mars and brain networks

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Today’s news:
g Stars - Astronomers have determined the density and speed of dark matter in our corner of the universe. The finding helps bring dark matter out of the realm of the hypothetical and places scientists a few steps to closer figuring out what this invisible stuff that pervades the universe and holds galaxies together is made of. It also settles once and for all the question of which galaxy — our Milky Way or Andromeda — is more massive. And the winner is ...
g Abodes - Everyday ice used to chill that glass of lemonade has helped researchers better understand the internal structure of icy moons in the far reaches of the solar system. See article.
g Life - It's been nearly 25 years since NASA sent biological experiments to Mars. Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, thinks it's time to try again. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Intelligence - In the first study of native African honeybees and honey-making stingless bees in the same habitat, humans and chimpanzees are the primary bee nest predators. See article.
g Message - When looking for ET, we may have to consider other strategies beyond radio waves. See article. As a side note, one of those strategies might by looking for optical signals; see article for more.
g Cosmicus - Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center have discovered a new way to assess how brain networks act together. See article.
g Learning - Here are some great teacher resources on space biology. The modules cover such topics as “Life in the Universe,” “Radiation Biology” and “Life in Space Environments.” Each module includes an introduction, readings and references, teaching resources and research and applications.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Murray Leinster’s short story "De Profundis," which originally appeared in “Thrilling Wonder Stories” (Winter 1945 issue).
g Aftermath - Though an older Web posting, “After Contact, Then What?” shows how little we’ve thought about this question.

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