Saturday, November 17, 2007

Origin of Mars' Medusae Fossae Formation, Yellowstone's extremophiles and space radiation

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 - Mars Express has uncovered new details about the origin of Mars' Medusae Fossae Formation. The materials in this region may be some of the youngest on Mars, and could yield information about the history of water on the planet. See article.
g Life - When bacteriologist Thomas Brock started probing the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park in the 1960s, he was not looking to overthrow a ground rule of biology. See article. Note: This article is from 1999.
g Cosmicus - Space radiation can cause many problems inside the cells of astronauts, damaging DNA and potentially leading to illnesses like cancer. Scientists are studying how the human body naturally repairs this damage in order to develop better ways of protecting humans in space. See article.
g Learning - Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere has earned a top award from NASA for its ongoing data processing work on the CloudSat satellite orbiting Earth. See article.