Sunday, March 30, 2008

Flight through the icy water jets of Enceladus and molecule closely related to amino acid found at center of galaxy

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 - Earlier this month, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a daring flight through the icy water jets of Enceladus. The data gathered might tell us if the moon harbors a water ocean or organics beneath its surface. See article.
g Life - Researchers have detected a molecule closely related to an amino acid at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The finding provides more evidence that precursor molecules important for the origin of life can be found in interstellar space. See article.
g Intelligence - A small piece of jawbone unearthed in a cave in Spain is the oldest known fossil of a human ancestor in Europe and suggests that people lived on the continent much earlier than previously believed, scientists say. See article.
g Cosmicus - An animal common to marine environments on Earth has shown extreme resistance to radiation. Radiation is one of the greatest dangers for life traveling in space, and the finding could yield clues about how life might survive beyond Earth. See article.

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