Sunday, February 27, 2011

Earth’s oldest water and ethics of contacting alien life

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 - Stars are balls of glowing gas, with a nearly spherical shape. Accordingly, one would expect that when some stars explode as supernovae at the end of their lives, the resulting colossal fireballs should share this spherical symmetry. However, recent investigations are revealing that some of these events are not round. New data gathered at Calar Alto Observatory reinforce this surprising finding. See article.
g Abodes - New evidence shows that saline groundwaters in South Africa may be the oldest known water on Earth. Fractures in rocks in the Witwatersrand Basin that are filled with this water also support the deepest known microbial ecosystem on Earth. See article.
g Life - Scientists have identified a pheromone produced by female squid that triggers immediate and dramatic fighting in male squid that come into contact with it. The aggression-producing pheromone, believed to be the first of its kind discovered in any marine animal, belongs to a family of proteins found in vertebrates, including humans. See article.
g Intelligence - The Stripe of Gennari develops even in those who are blind from birth and does not degenerate, despite a lack of visual input, in a new discovery. This bundle of nerve fibers, which is approximately 0.3 mm thick, is not exclusively responsible for optic information. See article.
g Message - Is it even ethical for us to contact alien life. See article.
g Cosmicus - A new Mercury probe has survived a scorching test run in a giant oven, showing that the craft can withstand the hellish heat near the solar system's innermost planet. See article.

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