Wednesday, May 05, 2010

ETI would understand interconnectedness of life on Earth and proposed space observatory passes critical test

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 – Greenhouse gases containing fluorine molecules are among the worst environmental offenders because they trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere most efficiently, according to a new NASA study. See article.
g Life – A new study shows that aphids are genetic pioneers and have evolved unique traits. Aphids are the only animals that produce pigments known as carotenoids. They may have acquired this trait by "snatching" genes from fungi. The study can help astrobiologists understand mechanisms behind evolution. See article.
g Message – Recent discussions within the SETI community have thoroughly explored the issue of whether people with access to radio telescopes should send powerful signals to alien civilizations without some process of prior international consultation. In particular, those exchanges have focused on the question of "Active SETI".
g Cosmicus – NASA's hotly-anticipated new space observatory has passed its most significant mission milestone yet – a critical design review that sets the stage for a planned 2014 launch. See article.
g Aftermath – If aliens ever do darken our doorstep, one thing will be readily apparent to them that often escapes us: The creatures that roam this planet, whether they have six legs or two, wings, arms or flippers, belong to the same family. See column.

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