Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reacting to our first phone call from ETI and molecules choosing left- or right-handedness

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 - Is the expansion of the universe accelerating for some unknown reason? This is one of the mysteries plaguing astrophysics, and somewhere in distant galaxies are yet unseen supernovae that may hold the key. Now, thanks to a telescope calibrated by scientists, astrophysicists can be more certain of one day obtaining an accurate answer. See article.
g Life - Certain molecules do exist in two forms which are symmetrical mirror images of each other: they are known as chiral molecules. On Earth, the chiral molecules of life, especially amino acids and sugars, exist in only one form, either left-handed or right-handed. Why is it that life has initially chosen one form over the other? See article.
g Intelligence - Babies, even those too young to talk, can understand many of the words that adults are saying - and their brains process them in a grown-up way. See article.
g Imagining - The group #Xenobiology-Club is a hub for and a collective gallery for thoseinterested in that subset of speculative fiction that comprehends the development of hypothetical extrasolar worlds and their biological denizens according to current scientific knowledge. See article.
g Aftermath - How will humanity react when we receive our first interstellar phone call from ET? Though not a new piece, SETI astronomer Seth Shostak offers some intriguing thoughts. This article is from 2004.

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