Friday, October 03, 2008

Microbes from 300 million years ago and NASA awards astrobiology grants

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 - Where should scientists hunt for evidence of Martian life? On Earth, at least, they should scout for white-colored meteorites made of sedimentary rock, a new study suggests. See article.
g Life - Limestone from Namibia has biomarkers that indicate a community of microbes oxidized methane at least 300 million years ago. Such biomarkers can provide clues to the history of life on Earth, and could help scientists search for signs of life on other worlds. See article.
g Intelligence -Quote of the Day: “We are continuing to navigate through the modern world with a Stone Age mind.” – Hank Davis
g Message -The Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts, or SETA, is about delineating between the artificial and the real. In the case of radio detection from other stellar systems, the artificial is what is labeled the real signal that intelligent communications are on-air. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Learning -NASA has awarded five-year grants, averaging $7 million each, to 10 research teams from across the country to study the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s a neat transcription of a video conference interview with Dr. Frank Drake (whose famous equation this site is organized after), conducted by the class members of Penn State’s "Space Colonization” class. Drake touches on a variety of SETI topics, including the philosophical implication of extraterrestrial contact. Note: The interview took place in January 2001.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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