Friday, October 12, 2007

Adenine’s importance, the Coalition for Space Exploration and what would it really mean if scientists found life beyond Earth?

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 Abodes - Astronomers have found three nearby stars that may hold 'embryonic planets' and could provide a missing link in planet-formation theories. Studying them could help flesh out concepts of how habitable planets form and where to look for them. See article.
g Life - Along with oxygen, carbon and water, the organic element adenine is necessary to support life on Earth and U.S. researchers might have found its origin. See article.
g Intelligence - Could we be the oldest civilization in the galaxy? See this discussion on the topic.
g Message - The hunt for ET is revving up to warp speed, thanks largely to an infusion of cash from Seattle's most famous science-fiction fan. On Friday, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen joined scientists from SETI — the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — to unveil the first major telescope devoted full time to answering the question: Is anyone out there? See article.
g Cosmicus - The Coalition for Space Exploration was formed early in 2004 to show industry support for the Vision for Space Exploration. The coalition is a diverse group of companies, nonprofit organizations, trade associations and unions. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom lesson plan on “The United Nations Treaty for the Exploration and Use of Outer Space”.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Arthur C Clarke’s short story, "Before Eden," published in June 1961’s Amazing.
g Aftermath - Alien encounters and science fiction permeate pop culture, but what would it really mean if scientists found life beyond Earth? If even a single-celled organism on another planet was discovered, for many, this would be the last thread of evidence proving that life is simply chemistry. Note: This article is from 2003. See article.