Thursday, December 23, 2010

Species diversification and will universal fear doom SETI?

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - A new study from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory tells scientists how often the biggest black holes have been active over the last few billion years. The object could help scientists better understand how massive stars explode, which ones leave behind black holes or neutron stars, and how many black holes are in our galaxy and others. See article.
g Abodes - NASA’s IceBite team was in Antarctica this month testing a new drill built by Honeybee Robotics for use on a possible future mission to Mars. In this blog entry, Kris Zacny writes about the successful test of the Icebreaker drill in Antarctica’s remote University Valley. See article.
g Life - New research on lizards in the Caribbean demonstrates that species diversification is limited by the environment. The finding supports and extends the MacArthur-Wilson theory of island biogeography. See article.
g Message - Will universal fear doom SETI to a continuation of the Great Silence? In a response to David Brin’s Zoo Hypothesis argument, here’s a SETI League editorial.
g Cosmicus - team of scientists has discovered Möbius symmetry in metamaterials - materials engineered from artificial "atoms" and "molecules" with electromagnetic properties that arise from their structure rather than their chemical composition. See article.
g Learning - NASA has selected the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corp. of Falls Church, Va., to administer a $1 million career development and educational program designed to address the critical shortage of U.S. minority students in science and engineering fields. See article.

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