Monday, November 19, 2012

Life before RNA

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Life - Early forms of life on Earth may have used RNA to encode genetic instructions before the advent of DNA. But what sort of genetic molecules did life rely on before RNA? A new study may help answer this question. See article.
g Message - In 2001, California astronomers broadened the search for extraterrestrial intelligence with a new experiment to look for powerful light pulses beamed our way from other star systems. Scientists from the University of California's Lick Observatory, the SETI Institute, UC-Santa Cruz, and UC-Berkeley used the Lick Observatory's 40-inch Nickel Telescope with a new pulse-detection system capable of finding laser beacons from civilizations many light-years distant. Unlike other optical SETI searches, this new experiment is largely immune to false alarms that slow the reconnaissance of target stars. See article.
g Cosmicus - In his latest diary entry from Expedition 31, Don Pettit discusses daily life in microgravity on the International Space Station. See article.

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