Sunday, January 23, 2011

Galaxy population grows by 20% and metabolic tricks

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 - An international team of scientists using data from NASA's Swift satellite confirms the existence of a largely unseen population of black-hole-powered galaxies. Their X-ray emissions are so heavily absorbed that little more than a dozen are known. Yet astronomers say that despite the deeply dimmed X-rays, the sources may represent the tip of the iceberg, accounting for at least one-fifth of all active galaxies. See article.
g Life - Scientists have discovered a unique method by which a marine bacterium recycles iron and uses the essential nutrient to perform completely different cellular functions. This metabolic trick has major implications for the Earth's biosphere because the bacterium's survival is vital for the ocean food web. See article.
g Message - A team of American scientists note that recent astrophysical discoveries suggest that we should find ourselves in the midst of one or more extraterrestrial civilizations. Moreover, they argue it is a mistake to reject all UFO reports since some evidence for the theoretically predicted extraterrestrial visitors might just be found there. See article. This article is from 2005.
g Cosmicus - Want to build a really tough robot? Forget about Terminator. Instead, watch a tadpole turn into a frog. See article.

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