Sunday, March 06, 2011

Young star in early stages of planet formation and false claims of ETI contact

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 - Astronomers have gathered new data from a disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of planetary formation. The study can help astrobiologists understand how planets form and where best to search for habitable extrasolar worlds. See article.
g Life - Plants have for the first time been cloned as seeds. The research, published Feb. 18 in the journal Science, is a major step towards making hybrid crop plants that can retain favorable traits from generation to generation. See article.
g Intelligence - A research team has discovered a second form of phototransduction light sensing in cells that is derived from vitamin B2. This discovery may reveal new information about cellular processes controlled by light. See article.
g Message - Non-professional involvement in SETI science, which is encouraged by the nonprofit SETI League, Inc., increases the opportunity for the perpetration of hoaxes. The SETI League has already been peripherally involved in three separate false claims of ETI contact. Two were simple cases of mistaken identity, easily rectified. But the third was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by an Internet hacker who broke into a closed signal verification e-mail list. Such claims call for a prompt but measured response, so as not to subject the SETI community to charges of complicity in conspiracy or cover-up activities. In this presentation SETI League Executive Director H. Paul Shuch explores the dilemma of encouraging grass-roots participation, while avoiding association with fraudulent and pseudo-scientific claims. See article. Note: This article is from 1999.
g Cosmicus - Amid much wrangling over how to allocate funds out of an increasingly out-of-control federal budget, the editors and writers at eight of the TechMediaNetwork's sites sought the advice of dozens of researchers, technologists, futurists, analysts and business owners in fields ranging from space and Earth science to health and technological innovation. See article.
g Learning - San Mateo and Hillsdale high school students have teamed up with their teachers and professors at College of San Mateo to develop a tool to identify star types, a star's radius and its distance from the Earth by analyzing the energy a star emits. See article.

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