Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Signal verification protocols and missions to Mars, Europa recommended

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 - Scientists have announced the discovery of a new cosmic explosion: a gamma-ray burst and its associated supernova. See article.
g Abodes - There's an old saying that if you don't like the weather in New Mexico, wait five minutes. Maybe it should be amended to 10,000 years, according to new research. See article.
g Life - Scientists now have a better understanding of why spider silk fibers are so incredibly strong. Recent research describes the architecture of silk fibers from the atomic level up and reveals new information about the molecular structure that underlies the amazing mechanical characteristics of this fascinating natural material. See article.
g Intelligence - The vast majority of humans - over 90% - prefer to use their right hand for most skilled tasks. For decades, researchers have been trying to understand why this asymmetry exists. Why, with our two cerebral hemispheres and motor cortices, are we not equally skilled with both hands? See article.
g Message - The privatization of SETI has resulted in global participation in signal detection and analysis activities by a wide range of non-professionals. The SETI community welcomes this grass-roots support, every bit as much as the optical observing community honors the significant scientific contributions of the world's amateur astronomers. However, as SETI observatories spring up on college campuses and in home gardens worldwide, a need emerges for establishing rigorous signal verification protocols and stringent standards of proof. See article. This article is from 1999.
g Cosmicus - An expedition to see if some form of life ever existed on Mars and a journey to Jupiter's icy moon Europa to study its underground ocean should be NASA’s highest-priority missions in the next decade, a new report from the National Research Council suggests. See article.
g Learning - The TED Talks series has hosted lectures that challenge viewers to consider the Universe and what humanity is doing to make better sense of it. Ten recent talks featured amazing discussions about the convergence of space science, art and society. See article.

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