Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Habitable zone for Procyon AB and creating and artificially evolving unique proteins in the lab from scratch

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 - What is the habitable zone for the “Star Trek’s home star for the Andorians: Procyon AB?
g Abodes - NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a new stereo view of Mars' largest moon, Phobos. The image could yield new information about Mars and its unique moons. See article.
g Life - Scientists have managed to create and artificially evolve unique proteins in the lab from scratch. The research can help answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of proteins, and can ultimately yield clues about the origin of life. See article.
g Cosmicus - At the Astrobiology Science Conference 2008 Nick Wolfe of the University of Arizona said recently that the best way to tell whether an exoplanet may harbor water — and life — is for us to launch a mission into space that will look back at Earth. Ever since Voyager I launched we've had a chance to gaze from afar at the homeworld, but for some reason we've passed up the chance. Wolfe said that's a critical oversight. As we search for new planets that might harbor life around far-off stars, it might be useful to know about what our own planet looks like from a distance. See article.
g Imagining - What is panspermia, a concept that appears in a number of science fiction stories, and how plausible is it? See article.

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