Monday, March 22, 2010

Scientists develop prime directive for Earth and how Mars expands astrobiological research

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 - New observations on Mars have greatly expanded the scope of astrobiological research topics. It is clear that much greater emphasis should be placed on evaporite minerals (including sulfates and carbonates), as well as iron oxides. See article.
g Life - You don’t have to go far to see extremeophiles here in northern California, Rocco Mancinelli, once told a crowd of astronomy lovers in a Bay Area lecture hall. People giggled. But Mancinelli wasn’t talking extreme life styles or fashion; he was talking about microbes. Specifically, salt-loving halophiles that thrive in the crimson patchwork of evaporation pools - those commercial salt extraction ponds clustered along southern portions of the San Francisco Bay. Tiny creatures that thrive in harsh conditions on Earth are of great fascination to astrobiologists. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Message - SETI scientists speculate on whether or not the first extraterrestrial intelligence they contact will be machine intelligence or biological intelligence. See article. Note: This article is from 2000.
g Cosmicus - Space begins 100 kilometers up, according to the federal government. That’s obviously an arbitrary definition. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Aftermath - Scientists from NASA and the SETI Institute are boldly going where no bureaucracies (real or fictional) have gone before—drawing up the safety protocols we Earthlings will use as we explore new worlds, and the social and ethical guidelines we'll turn to if we ever do find life on other planets. See article.

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