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Space

Alien contact not likely for another 1,500 years say scientists

There is perhaps no more compelling question for mankind than, are we alone in the universe? Given the odds, with billions of stars in our galaxy similar to our sun and billions of planets orbiting them, it seems unlikely. But, as Fermi's paradox asks, if aliens do exist, why haven't we found any evidence of them yet? Astronomers at Cornell University have done the sums to provide an estimate of when we might expect a call from ET, but don't worry about marking the date on your calendar – they believe contact isn't likely for another 1,500 years.Read More

Space

Essential feature of life detected outside our solar system

A molecule that exhibits a specific property associated with all life on Earth has been discovered in interstellar space for the first time. Displaying the quality of chirality, or "handedness", this molecule has a distinct one-way molecular geometry found only in biological building blocks like amino acids, proteins, and enzymes. This discovery may help provide answers to the origins of homochirality, whereby all a substance's molecules are of the same chiral form, and why it appears so important for biology.Read More

Space

Could life exist around ancient red giant stars?

According to a study carried out by researchers from Cornell University, aged red giant stars could harbor exoplanets suited to the evolution of extraterrestrial life. The team used advanced stellar evolution models to estimate the boundaries of the habitable zones (HZ) of post main sequence (MS) ancient red giant stars, taking into account a wide range of stellar ages and properties.Read More

Space

Is ET dead – and are we next?

With the number of potentially habitable exoplanets in our galaxy alone estimated to be in the billions, many wonder why we are yet to see signs or hear from intelligent alien life. A pair of astrobiologists from the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Earth Sciences hypothesize the reason may be that ET could be long dead. According to Aditya Chopra and Charley Lineweaver, conditions on young planets are so volatile that if life doesn't evolve fast enough to stabilize the environment, it will quickly become extinct.Read More

Space

Boozy comet Lovejoy houses building blocks for life

Astronomers have discovered large quantities of alcohol and sugar, as well as the presence of complex organic molocules, on the comet Lovejoy. The observations, made by the 30 meter (98 ft) radio telescope at Pico Veleta, Spain, support the theory that comets may have played an important role in the formation of life on Earth.
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Space

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects impact glass

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has detected deposits of impact glass on the Red Planet that may provide a fresh avenue for investigating the question of whether life ever existed there. The hope is that glass forged in the intense conditions created by an asteroid impact may have preserved microscopic signs of life, as it has here on Earth.Read More

Science

Frankenstein's simulated worm is alive?

The OpenWorm project is aimed at creating the first artificial lifeform – a bottom-up computer model of a millimeter-sized nemotode, one of the simplest known multicellular organisms. In an important step forward, OpenWorm researchers have completed the simulation of the nematode's 302 neurons and 95 muscle cells and their worm is wriggling around in fine form.Read More

Space

Curiosity dates rock, finds potential good news for astronauts and search for life

The chances of life having once existed on Mars got a boost this week alongside good news for astronauts on any future expeditions to the Red Planet. Six papers from Curiosity team members presented to the autumn meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco revealed that they had directly dated their first Martian rock, gave details of an ancient lake where life may once of existed, and found new evidence about the radiation hazards that explorers and colonists may one day face.Read More

Space

Curiosity finding reduces hopes of finding life on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has detected no methane on Mars after more than a year of extensive testing of the Martian atmosphere using the robot explorer’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory. Since methane is a key indicator for the presence of biological activity, its absence throws into question the notion that there may be life on Mars today.Read More

Science

New evidence supports theory that life may have started on Mars

New evidence presented by Prof. Steven Benner at The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida suggests that, billions of years ago, Mars was a much better place for the first cells to have formed compared to Earth. This gives more weight to the theory that life may have started on the Red Planet and then found its way to Earth aboard a meteorite.Read More

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