Friday, December 17, 2010

First carbon-rich exoplanet and what do we do after contact?

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 - Astronomers have discovered the first carbon-rich exoplanet. The discovery reveals new information about the diversity of worlds that exist beyond our solar system and could help astrobiologists understand where best to look for habitable worlds around distant stars. See article.
g Life - The P-T mass extinction may have been instigated by populations of algae dying. According to one group of scientists, this die-off of large numbers of relatively simple life forms caused a crash in the ocean's entire food web. See article.
g Intelligence - Medical researchers have found a missing link that explains the interaction between brain state and the neural triggers responsible for learning, potentially opening up new ways of boosting cognitive function in the face of diseases such as Alzheimer's as well as enhancing memory in healthy people. See article.
g Aftermath - Though an older Web posting, “After Contact, Then What?” shows how little we’ve thought about this question.

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