Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere and ‘SETI 2020’

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 - Researchers have provided new information about the role of plankton in the oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. The study will help scientists better understand the links between life, the environment and the habitability on Earth. See article.
g Life - Discoveries at a new fossil site in China are filling gaps in our understanding of how life recovered after the greatest mass extinction known in Earth's history. See article.
g Message - Book alert: If you are interested in how researchers plan to search the heavens for signs of intelligent life, you should have “SETI 2020” on your bookshelf. Written by Ronald D. Ekers (editor), D. Kent Cullers and John Billingham, “SETI 2020: is a remarkably comprehensive study of how scientists busy with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence should direct their efforts between now and the year 2020. Distilling the work of dozens of top SETI experts, astronomers and technology mavens, this book gives an overview of the problem of finding evidence for extraterrestrial technologies, and how to best address it. New radio telescopes consisting of large arrays of relatively small antennas are proposed and detailed. So are new types of antennas that can survey the entire sky at once. Of particular interest is the extensive treatment of optical SETI — the search for signals beamed our way using high-powered, pulsed lasers or their equivalent. A book that's interesting for both the layman and the technically sophisticated, “SETI 2020” is the definitive publication in this fascinating field. See reviews.
g Cosmicus - A research group has suggested a fundamentally novel architecture for quantum computation. They have experimentally demonstrated quantum antennas, which enable the exchange of quantum information between two separate memory cells located on a computer chip. This offers new opportunities to build practical quantum computers. See article.

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