Friday, December 24, 2010

Continuing arsenic in life controversy and changing an asteroid's course

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 - Researchers have uncovered a clue that may help to explain why the earliest evidence of complex multicellular animal life appears around 550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels on the planet rose sharply from 3% to their modern day level of 21%. See article.
g Life - First, NASA hinted at a finding tied to extraterrestrial life. But it was just the discovery of arsenic-eating bacteria in Mono Lake. Then came the skeptical scientists. See article.
g Intelligence - A 30,000-year-old finger bone found in a cave in southern Siberia came from a young girl who was neither an early modern human nor a Neanderthal, but belonged to a previously unknown group of human relatives who may have lived throughout much of Asia during the late Pleistocene epoch. Although the fossil evidence consists of just a bone fragment and one tooth, DNA extracted from the bone has yielded a draft genome sequence, enabling scientists to reach some startling conclusions about this extinct branch of the human family tree, called "Denisovans" after the cave where the fossils were found. See article.
g Message - We’ve all heard of SETI, bit what about METI — “Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” or sending both scientific and artistic messages to the stars? See article.
g Cosmicus - A flotilla of solar sail spacecraft could change the course of the asteroid Apophis — which is headed a little too close to Earth for comfort — by shading the space rock from solar radiation, according to a French researcher. See article.
g Learning - The European Space Agency invites you to get inspiration from our images of stars, planets, spaceflight and of our own planet Earth seen from space and to create your own work of art. Choose your favorite image from the selection on our Wall, let your imagination run wild, create your art and share it with us. The creations that collect the most “Likes” will win the competition. See rules.

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