Saturday, January 29, 2011

SETI, USC joins forces and new group of algae discovered

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 - The sun unleashed two powerful solar eruptions Friday in a spectacular double blast caught on camera by a NASA spacecraft. See article.
g Life - A team of biologists has discovered an entirely new group of algae living in a wide variety of marine and freshwater environments. This group of algae, which the researchers dubbed "rappemonads," have DNA that is distinctly different from that of other known algae. In fact, humans and mushrooms are more closely related to each other than rappemonads are to some other common algae (such as green algae). Based on their DNA analysis, the researchers believe that they have discovered not just a new species or genus, but a potentially large and novel group of microorganisms. See article.
g Intelligence - Psychologists have found that infants less than one year old understand social dominance and use relative size to predict who will prevail when two individuals' goals conflict. See article.
g Message - An affiliation between the University of Southern California and the SETI Institute will create formal ties between one of America's premier research universities and one of the most innovative and highly regarded scientific research institutions. See article.
g Cosmicus - If you need a place to launch a rocket or put together a spaceship, you may be in luck: NASA is looking to rent out many of the facilities at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida. See article.
g Imagining - The students of Prof. Joan Slonczewski, who taught “Biology 103: Biology in Science Fiction” at Kenyon College in 2003, in a class project used astrobiological principles to create a number of plausible alien civilizations and worlds. Here’s one, called the seaswallower.

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