Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three smallest known planets orbiting a distant star and increasing the complexity of a molecular machine

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 - With data from Kepler, astronomers have discovered the three smallest known planets orbiting a distant star. All three planets are thought to be rocky like Earth, and the smallest is roughly the size of Mars. See article.
g Life - Scientists have demonstrated how just a few small, high-probability mutations increased the complexity of a molecular machine more than 800 million years ago. See article.
g Message - Here’s a fascinating talk with Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research and the inspiration behind Jody Foster’s character in the movie “Contact.” Find out about the tools and technologies being developed for a multigenerational effort to search for other advanced civilizations beyond our solar system here; scroll to “Listening for the Long Term.”
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. Astrobiology Magazine's Expeditions Editor, Henry Bortman, provides a first-hand account of their progress. See article.

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