Thursday, February 18, 2010

Martians containing hydrogen peroxide and a Galapagos lesson for life spreading across space

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 - The idea that Mars may harbor microbes containing hydrogen peroxide is based in part on the presence of what appears to be that chemical on Mars’ surface. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Life - The iguanas of the Galapagos Islands have evolved many unique characteristics due to their isolation from mainland iguanas. Because they can't swim long distances, biologists believe that the first Galapagos iguanas arrived on natural rafts made from vegetation. The same thing may have happened across the ocean of space. See article.
g Cosmicus - Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. As part of that, it seeks to understand the origin of the building blocks of life, how these building blocks combine to create life, how life affects and is affected by the environment from which it arose, and finally, whether and how life expands beyond its planet of origin. It requires studying fundamental concepts of life and habitable environments that will help us to recognize biospheres that might be quite different from our own. This includes studying the limits of life, life’s phylogeny and effects of the space environment on living systems. Such fundamental questions require long term stable funding for the science community. This means keeping the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and the grants programs funded at healthy levels. See article. Note: This article is from 2006.
g Aftermath - Book Alert: Science fiction writers have given us many fine novels contemplating humankind's first contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. But our nonfiction world has not thought much about what to do if we are actually faced with this situation. Jean Heidmann, Chief Astronomer at the Paris Observatory (and self-styled bioastronomer), offers a book, “Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” on the subject that is at once serious and fun. Heidmann's obvious joy in raw speculation — all of it grounded in real science — is contagious. If aliens send us a message from many light years away, for example, how should we respond? See reviews.

Get your SF book or manuscript edited

No comments: