Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Regional variations in Titan’s sand dunes and Planetary Lake Lander update

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 - A new analysis of radar data has revealed regional variations in the sand dunes of Saturn's moon Titan. See article.
g Intelligence - Memories in our brains are maintained by connections between neurons called "synapses." But how do these synapses stay strong and keep memories alive for decades? Neuroscientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered a major clue from a study in fruit flies: Hardy, self-copying clusters or oligomers of a synapse protein are an essential ingredient for the formation of long-term memory. See article.
g Cosmicus - A team of scientists has traveled to remote Laguna Negra in the central Andes of Chile to test technologies that could one day be used to explore the lakes of Titan. While the Planetary Lake Lander (PLL) is positioned in its summer home, researchers study the geology of the Leguna Negra basin. See article.

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