Thursday, February 19, 2009

Plate tectonics a necessity for life and what may change in the years ahead

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 - Planetary scientists have been considering the potential importance of plate tectonics. Some believe that this geological process is essential for the development of complex lifeforms, and in the future could even be used as a biosignature to detect habitable worlds. See article.
g Life - A unique bacterium living 2,500 meters below the surface of the ocean is providing clues about how life adapts to extreme environments. Scientists have identified genetic adaptations that allow the microorganism to survive in the waters surrounding deep-sea hydrothermal vents. See article.
g Cosmicus - Last December, following an annual tradition, the Edge Foundation asked a select group of intellectuals, researchers, artists and visionaries to reply to this brief question. Their answers, totaling 151 contributions and an estimated 107,000 words, are posted online at the Web site of the World Question Center under this year's heading: "What will change everything?" See article.

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