Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fizzy ocean on Enceladus and imagining ETI

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 - In 2005, Cassini spotted plumes erupting from Saturn's moon Enceladus. Since then scientists have debated whether or not the tiny moon has a liquid ocean beneath its surface. New data indicates that not only does Enceladus have a liquid ocean, but it may be fizzy like a soft drink and friendly to microbial life. See article.
g Life - Physicists and bioengineers have developed an optical instrument allowing them to control the behavior of a worm just by shining a tightly focused beam of light at individual neurons inside the organism. See article.
g Intelligence - Artifacts unearthed in the United Arab Emirates date back 100,000 years and imply that modern humans first left Africa much earlier than researchers had expected, a new study reports. In light of their excavation, an international team of researchers suggests that humans could have arrived on the Arabian Peninsula as early as 125,000 years ago - directly from Africa rather than via the Nile Valley or the Near East, as researchers have suggested in the past. See article.
g Cosmicus - Coming soon: hopping moon robots for private lunar landing. See article.
g Imagining - Here’s a neat thought experiment: What might a intelligent alien that evolved from a stingray-like creature look like? See article.
g Aftermath - Look for an intriguing book to read: “Space, the Final Frontier?” by G. Genta e M. Rycroft. Published in 2003. The book primarily examines how we can become a spacefaring civilization, but it does include an interesting chapter about life in the universe, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, the Drake Equation, intelligent lifeforms, whether other lifeforms will be more like ET or Alien, and the possible humanoid characteristics of extraterrestrials. See commentary and table ofcontents.

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