Monday, July 12, 2010

Venus may have harbored life billions of years ago and the Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts

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 - Venus, currently one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system, may once have had an ample supply of water – possibly even oceans – and been a potentially habitable place when it was young, a new study suggests. See article.
g Life - The view that life will emerge with high probability on Earth-like planets is shared by many scientists, although opinions differ on just how like Earth an Earth-like planet needs to be. One planet known to be 100 percent Earth-like is Earth itself. If life originated on Earth, rather than being brought here from somewhere else, the question then arises as to whether life may have arisen more than once. If that is the case, then it is of interest to ask what evidence might exist for such a second genesis of life. See paper. This paper is from 2005.
g Intelligence - Stem cells in the brain remain dormant until called upon to divide and make more neurons. However, little has been known about the molecular guards that keep them quiet. Now scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified the signal that prevents stem cells from proliferating, protecting the brain against too much cell division and ensuring a pool of neural stem cells that lasts a lifetime. See article.
g Message - To subject the Fermi Paradox to needed experimental testing, a researcher has offered the Artifact Hypothesis: A technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization has undertaken a long-term program of' interstellar exploration via transmission of material artifacts. See article.
g Cosmicus - Work towards realizing space tourism has moved forward a lot in the last few years. Until recently only a few research papers had been published over the previous decade, and largely ignored. Recently however the number of publications and degree of media interest in the subject has increased greatly, and work is now advancing in many directions. See article.

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