Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looking for life in the coolest places and expect most ET to score lower on SATs than you

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 - By studying life in the coldest places on Earth, scientists are learning about the potential for life on other planets in our solar system. Researchers are returning this year to the arctic island of Svalbard where they will test equipment for future missions to Mars. See article.
g Life - A simple sponge is revealing mysteries about the evolution of life on Earth. Scientists have sequenced the genome of a sponge from Australia. The information is now helping biologists search for DNA sequences shared by multicellular animals. See article.
g Intelligence - There may be a lot of life in the universe. If so, it’s a safe bet that most of it will score lower on the SATs than you. See article. This article is from 2002.
g Message - A message from a hypothetical ET was designed in 1962 by astronomer Frank Drake after an early SETI conference in Green Bank, West Virginia. The message started out as a string of binary digits1s and 0s. Can you decode it? See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - Scientists at NASA and the European Space Agency have picked the all-important instruments for their joint Mars mission set to blast off in 2016. See article.
g Learning - Book alert: One thing can be said about astronomy and its related sciences: the questions they try to answer are literally as big as the universe they study. Some of the most fundamental questions of our existence fall into their realm: How was the universe created? How did our solar system form? Is there life out there beyond the Earth, intelligent or otherwise? And what is the ultimate fate of the universe? Those are among the questions that British astronomer Stuart Clark examines—but can’t always answer—in the aptly named book “The Big Questions: The Universe.” See review.
g Aftermath - Should we really expect extraterrestrials to be sympathetic to our pleas to be altruistic because of the symbolic kinship we might share with them? See article. This article is from 2003.

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