Thursday, November 18, 2010

Universal fear leads to Great Silence and New Mexico spaceport set to open next year

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 - Earth is constantly manufacturing new crust, spewing molten magma up along undersea ridges at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The process is critical to the planet's metabolism, including the cycle of underwater life and the delicate balance of carbon in the ocean and atmosphere. See article.
g Life - Coral reefs suffered record losses as a consequence of high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean in 2005 according to the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date. Collaborators from 22 countries report that more than 80 percent of surveyed corals bleached and over 40 percent of the total surveyed died, making this the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. See article.
g Intelligence - In the November 12th issue of Cell, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and their collaborators report on a novel human pain gene. People with minor variations in this gene showed clear differences in susceptibility to acute heat pain and chronic back pain. Corroborating mouse studies give some clues as to how the gene controls pain sensitivity. The gene was uncovered in a genome-wide hunt for pain genes in fruit flies, which revealed hundreds of other candidate pain genes that await further study. See article.
g Message - Will universal fear doom SETI to a continuation of the Great Silence? See David Brin’s Zoo Hypothesis argument. This article is from 1982.
g Cosmicus - Work on Spaceport America is in full swing, with the state-of-the-art space launch facility near Truth or Consequences, N.M., expected to become fully operational in 2011. See article.
g Aftermath - Many scientists believe our best chance of discovering alien life will be a human or robotic mission in our own solar system — probably to Mars — targeted at detecting extraterrestrial microbial life. But the controversy begins with the small but vociferous group of scientists who use radio telescopes to search the sky for a signal from other civilizations. See article.

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Fowl Ideas said...

I was 8 years old when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Since that time I've been repeatedly shocked by how dull witted the average American can be.

My sarcastic opinions of human folly can be found on my blog: Why the Aliens Don't Land.

Rob Bignell said...

Sounds like a great idea for a blog, F.I. The link didn't come through, though - could you resend it?