Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Baby stars’ chaos, hazy skies on early Earth and “The Case for Space”

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Stars - NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have teamed up to expose the chaos that baby stars are creating 1,500 light-years away in a cosmic cloud called the Orion nebula. See article.
g Abodes - Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. See
g Life - Mice genetically altered to literally live a cooler life also lived longer, scientists now report. See
g Intelligence - Young children like lucky kids more than the unlucky, according to a new study that hints at one possible reason why social inequality persists. See
g Cosmicus - Book alert: Paul Hardersen has written a rare and important book about the exploration of space in “The Case for Space: Who Benefits from Explorations of the Last Frontier (Frontiers in Astronomy and Earth Science, Vol. 3)”. While there is plenty of grand vision and high technology here, his book also shows how space technology makes very personal contributions to the quality of life of people around the world. This book shows how individuals can be a part of advancing the space frontier no matter where they are, as Paul invites you to join the great adventure. See
g Imagining - Our eyes constantly flit around, but rather than producing a shaky image like that in a jostled video camera, we perceive a coherent scene. The mechanism behind our steady view has mystified scientists for decades. Now researchers have identified what could be the brain circuit responsible. See