Monday, February 01, 2010

Universe more run down than thought and the dangers of signaling ETI

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Cars run out of petrol, stars run out of fuel and galaxies collapse into black holes. As they do, the universe and everything in it is gradually running down. But how run down is it? Researchers from The Australian National University have found that the universe is 30 times more run down than previously thought. See article.
g Life - Biologists have discovered the secret to the evolutionary longevity of bdelloid rotifers. These microscopic organisms are able to avoid parasites by drying up until they are exposed to a fresh drop of water. These unique lifeforms are helping scientists understand the complexities of life on Earth and the various methods that organisms have evolved for survival. See article.
g Message - Calling all aliens, this is Earth. Are you receiving me?" Rather than simply listening for signals of extra-terrestrial life, some scientists are preparing to take a proactive approach to finding alien intelligence on other planets. They believe we should start beaming regular signals into space specifically to find intelligent life, even as other scientists believe it could be an invitation to danger. See article.
g Learning - The field of astrobiology is young enough to still have vocal critics; in particular, those who think that "astrobiology" is nothing more than a hope that life will someday be discovered beyond Earth. See article.
g Imagining - Will aliens be super-smart predators, glass-veined acid-dwellers or giant microbial blobs? We asked astrobiologists for their best guesses. See article.

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