Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Extinct group of slug-like animals and ‘Phantom Quest’

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 Life - A new fossil specimen has helped solve an evolutionary puzzle about the origins of an extinct group of slug-like animals. The finding is providing insights into annelid evolution on Earth, and highlights how the study of paleobiology can help scientists understand the evolution of our planet’s biosphere. See article.
g Cosmicus - Researchers have gathered this week in wintery Wisconsin to test a robotic probe under ice. Astrobiology Magazine’s Henry Bortman submits his second report on the probe’s progress in the field. See article.
g Aftermath - If, as “The X-Files'” Fox Mulder might say, "The truth is out there," then the researchers running the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program are likely to be the first ones to find it. On the other hand, there are numerous people who believe they've already been in contact with aliens. National Geographic's video ”Phantom Quest: The Search for Extraterrestrials” studies the claims of both groups, ultimately seeking to reveal precisely what an encounter with beings from another planet could mean for humanity. See article.

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