Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yet more proof of evolution and phoning home intergalactically

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - Book alert: What lies beneath Europa's icy crust? Richard Greenberg has been pondering this question for 30-odd years. His new book, "Unmasking Europa", describes his view that Europa's hidden ocean and the life forms it may support are not that far below the surface. A professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, Greenberg was one of the first to formulate how tidal forces could shape the geology on Jovian moons. Greenberg's research on Europa was highlighted in another recent Abodes entry.
g Life - A 21-year Michigan State University experiment that distills the essence of evolution in laboratory flasks not only demonstrates natural selection at work, but could lead to biotechnology and medical research advances, researchers said. See article.
g Message - Phoning home intergalactically may have one natural prerequisite if a civilization is hoping to connect: timing their precursor signal or “ring” so that we might know that they're broadcasting. Dr. Robin Corbet, of the Universities' Space Research Association, discusses his research findings on Synchronized SETI. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Cosmicus - Tiny crystals could hold the key to creating computers with massive storage capacity, scientists believe. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a great NASA Web site for kids: Astro-venture, where children can search for and design their own planet..
g Aftermath - Here’s one futurist’s thoughts about what will happen to humanity when we make first contact with aliens. I offer this site not for its scientific rigor but as an example of something all of us who care about astrobiology should consider: What are the trends in popular culture about first contact? Such thinking will greatly influence public reaction when first contact actually does occur. See article.

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