Thursday, May 08, 2008

New technique for finding sister Earths and talking math with ETI

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 home star system of Star Trek’s Gorgan: Epsilon Indi ABC? See article.
g Abodes - Using an optical space telescope and a mathematical method, astronomers are hoping to find Earth-like watery worlds around distant stars. Their technique may one day help astrobiologists discover another planet suitable for life as we know it. See article.
g Life - Do germs communicate? Many scientists think so and are betting the chatter may hold the key to developing the next generation of drugs to fight killer superbugs. See article.
g Message - How's your math? Well, you may want to brush up on it - that is, if you hope to be conversant with ET. Scientists say that any signal we receive from intelligent life is rather unlikely to be in English, but in the language of math. Find out why algebra truly may be an alien concept - just as you suspected in high school - and what a message from another planet might be. See podcast of this SETI Institute “Are We Alone?” program.
g Cosmicus - A team of scientists have been investigating how signs of life on Mars can be spotted. See article.
g Learning - Video games and virtual worlds are a great way to inspire kids' interest in science and technology. The President's Commission on Implementation of US Space Exploration Policy reports that " and simulation games are not only a multi-billion dollar industry, they are proving to be effective as learning devices for people of all ages" ... "The potential for converting hobbies and amusements to more educational pursuits is enormous." See article.

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