Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our 20 amino acids only way toward life and Billion-channel ExtraTerrestrial Assay

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 - Using a global circulation model, scientists have determined why Titan has what looks like an enormous white arrow on its surface. See article.
g Life - All life on Earth relies on a standard set of 20 amino acids to build the proteins that carry out life's essential actions. But did it have to be this way? See article.
g Message - The Billion-channel ExtraTerrestrial Assay (BETA) is a radioastronomical search for microwave beacons from intelligent civilizations. It searches the 1400-1720 MHz "waterhole" region with 0.5 Hz resolution for narrow-band carriers. BETA incorporates several systems for terrestrial radio frequency interference mitigation: a terrestrial "veto" feed, two sky feeds to detect sidereal motion, and adaptive filtering to reduce intermittent interference. The search has surveyed the entire sky from +60 deg. to -30 deg. decliniation twice and is starting a third. During this time it has sifted through ~ 1016 frequency bins, followed by ~ 109 candidate features and archived 3500 of these which passed preliminary tests. No candidate has repeated or otherwise presents the assumed characteristics of an extraterrestrial intelligent origin. See article.

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