Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finding ETI with a screensaver and meteorites linked to life's origin

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 - Scientists have discovered large amounts of ammonia in samples of a primitive meteorite. Ammonia in meteorites could have provided the early Earth with a sustained source of reduced nitrogen, which is essential for the chemistry of life. This study provides further evidence that meteorites may have been linked to life's origin on Earth. See article.
g Life - Calling it the "new periodic table for flies," researchers have mapped the evolutionary history of flies, providing a framework for further comparative studies on the insects that comprise more than 10 percent of all life on Earth. See article.
g Intelligence - Learning a foreign language literally changes the way we see the world. According to new research, bilingual speakers think differently to those who only use one language. See article.
g Message - Book alert: As many earthlings already know - including more than 2 million computer users with firsthand experience - our best hope for finding extraterrestrial intelligence might just lie with an ingenious little screensaver. So it's not surprising that “Beyond Contact: A Guide to SETI and Communicating with Alien Civilizations (by Brian S. McConnell), an introduction to searching for and communicating with intelligent life, begins with some of the details behind UC Berkeley's groundbreaking, massively distributed SETI@home project, which processes intergalactic noise for pennies on the teraflop. But that's just the start of the story. Inventor and software developer Brian McConnell continues with an overview of whether and why we might find something out there, who's doing what to look for it (including the folks at Berkeley), and - once some ET picks up on the other end--what we might say and how we might say it. See reviews.

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