"Will Humans and Extraterrestrial Life Share DNA Roots?"

4135600234_af67be9981 A recent mathematical analysis says that life as we know it is written into the laws of reality.  DNA is built from a set of twenty amino acids - the first ten of those can create simple prebiotic life, and now it seems that those ten are thermodynamically destined to occur wherever they can.

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Is "The DNA Code" a Constant of the Universe?

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A recent mathematical analysis says that life as we know it is written into the laws of reality.  DNA is built from a set of twenty amino acids - the first ten of those can create simple prebiotic life, and now it seems that those ten are thermodynamically destined to occur wherever they can.

Continue reading "Is "The DNA Code" a Constant of the Universe?" »


"Finding a Second Earth Could Happen Anytime Now": NASA/Harvard Teams (A Daily Galaxy 2009 Top Post)


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"It could happen almost any time now. We now have the technological capability to identify Earth-like planets around the smallest stars."

David Latham -Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

To date, Planet hunters have spotted more than 400 planets beyond our solar system, but the vast majority are hot, Jupiter-sized planets that would dwarf the Earth and are almost certainly lifeless.

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Was Inorganic Life Observed in Interstellar Dust Clouds? -A Holiday Classic

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This summer, an international research team announced a breakthrough in self-replicating plasma crystals which could be an early form of inorganic life. New studies of dust that form lifelike structures suggest that extraterrestrial life may not be carbon-based at all. Researchers at the Russian Academy of Science, the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, and the University of Sydney observed particles of inorganic dust form helical structures and go through other "lifelike" changes.

If you think that's the plot of a movie with a special effects budget and an extremely expendable cast of extras, congratulations, you just thought of something far more likely than what they claim.

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Titan's "Earthscape" - A New Look at Saturn's Moon

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Saturn's Titan has been considered a “unique world in the solar system” since 1908 when, the Spanish astronomer, José Comas y Solá, discovered that it had an atmosphere, something non-existent on other moons.

It seems perfectly appropriate that one of the prime candidates for life in our solar system, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, should have surface lakes, lightning, shorelines, relatively thick nitrogen atmosphere -and seasons. Titan can be viewed as an early-model Earth.  And 100% of all known Earths have awesome life on them.  The significantly lower temperature is a bit of a stumbling block (it's ten times as far from the sun as us), but there's a strong possibility of subterranean microbial life - or even a prebiotic "Life could happen!" environment.

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Will an "Intelligence Niche" be a Constant in the Search for Life Beyond Earth?

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Charley Lineweaver, a cosmologist with The Australian National University, believes the "Planet of the Apes Hypothesis" -a theory subscribed to by Carl Sagan and the astronomers involved with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), that human-like intelligence is a convergent feature of evolution  -that there is an intelligence niche, into which other species will evolve if the human species goes extinct is based on a flawed notion of evolution, a notion that could have serious implications for our search for intelligent life elsewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy.

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Planetary Recycling: Critical to Life on Earth & Beyond?

Thumb-galactic_habitable_zone If Earth had been slightly smaller and less massive, it would not have plate tectonics - the forces that move continents and build mountains. And without plate tectonics, complex life might never have had the climate stability needed gained a foothold on our world, according to research by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 

"Plate tectonics are essential to life as we know it," said Diana Valencia of Harvard University. "Our calculations show that bigger is better when it comes to the habitability of rocky planets. Recycling is important even on a planetary scale."

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Is Water Common in the Universe? New Search for the Building Blocks of Life

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Although we don't know yet whether life exists any place beside Earth, we do know that there are three key pieces of evidence  that point to the fact that life should be common in the universe. One, the chemical elements that created life on Earth -hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and almost two dozen other key elements are found nearly everywhere in the universe, and complex, carbon-bearing elements appear to form easily under conditions that should be common on many planets and moons; two, life thrives in a vast range of extreme conditions that are likely to be found in our Solar System and beyond; three, life appeared early in Earth's history, make it probable that life is "easy."

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Is Life Embedded in the Cosmos? New Analysis Says "Yes"

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A recent mathematical analysis says that life as we know it is written into the laws of reality.  DNA is built from a set of twenty amino acids - the first ten of those can create simple prebiotic life, and now it seems that those ten are thermodynamically destined to occur wherever they can.

Continue reading "Is Life Embedded in the Cosmos? New Analysis Says "Yes"" »