Archive for the ‘alien life’ category: Page 10

Sep 27, 2023

Alien life, unlike humans, may not be carbon-based, suggests new study

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry

In a new study, self-sustaining chemical reactions were discovered which carry the potential to support alien life, which is very different from the elements present on Earth.

The biology of Earth hinges on organic compounds which comprise carbon along with elements like phosphorus, sulphur, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Scientists believe that alternative chemical frameworks can lead to the existence of alien life forms.

For long, scientists have wondered if alien life might evolve on the basis of significantly different chemistry. Researchers have speculated if silicon may work as a backbone for biology.

Sep 26, 2023

A robust, agnostic molecular biosignature based on machine learning

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, robotics/AI

The search for definitive biosignatures—unambiguous markers of past or present life—is a central goal of paleobiology and astrobiology. We used pyrolysis–gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to analyze chemically disparate samples, including living cells, geologically processed fossil organic material, carbon-rich meteorites, and laboratory-synthesized organic compounds and mixtures. Data from each sample were employed as training and test subsets for machine-learning methods, which resulted in a model that can identify the biogenicity of both contemporary and ancient geologically processed samples with ~90% accuracy. These machine-learning methods do not rely on precise compound identification: Rather, the relational aspects of chromatographic and mass peaks provide the needed information, which underscores this method’s utility for detecting alien biology.

Sep 21, 2023

Fermi Paradox: The AI Farm Hypothesis

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks, robotics/AI, sustainability

An exploration of The AI Farm Hypothesis and what it might mean for alien life and the Fermi Paradox.

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Sep 20, 2023

‘Big Bang of Numbers’‘s book club explores how math alone could create the universe with author Manil Suri

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics

A book-length thought experiment uses math to investigate some of life’s big questions.

Sep 19, 2023

Fact Check: Do Warp Drive Engines Violate the Laws of Physics?

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics, physics

The universe is bigger than you think.

This means any deep-space future awaiting humanity outside our solar system will remain beyond the span of a single life until we develop a means of propulsion that outclasses conventional rockets. And, when three studies rocked the world earlier this year, it felt like a dream come true: Warp drive was no longer science fiction, potentially unlocking a theoretical basis to build faster-than-light warp drive engines that could cut a trip to Mars down to minutes.

However, a recent study shared in a preprint journal cast doubt on the theory, pointing to a gap in the math that could put the viability of a physical warp drive back into the realm of speculation.

Sep 17, 2023

Scientists suggest use of data-driven approach to look for life on other planets

Posted by in category: alien life

A large team of scientists with a wide variety of backgrounds has joined together to suggest that a data-driven approach to search for life elsewhere in the universe should replace methods now in use. In their paper posted on the arXiv preprint server, the group explains how a data-driven approach could help prevent human-centered biases from overlooking potential signs of life.

Over the past few decades, scientists have become much more open to the possibility of discovering life in places other than on Earth. And because of that, more work has been done to find life—or at least signs of it. But, as the group on this new effort points out, most such approaches tend to expect that other forms of life will resemble those found on Earth. And that could be blinding scientists to signs of life that might be there but are being missed.

To overcome such a problem, the researchers suggest a more data-driven approach be used. They note that a lot of data have been obtained regarding various parts of the night sky. They also note that the data are in different formats. Some are radio wave graphs, while others describe the attributes of light emitted by a section of the sky, or even a given planet.

Sep 6, 2023

The Berserker Hypothesis: The Darkest Explanation Of The Fermi Paradox

Posted by in categories: alien life, existential risks

Look, we write rather a lot about the Fermi Paradox, so trust us when we say that the Berserker Hypothesis may be the darkest explanation out there. Not only would it mean that the universe is a dead, lifeless husk, but it would also imply that our own destruction is imminent.

The Fermi Paradox at its most basic is, given the high probability that alien life exists out there (bearing in mind the vastness of space and that we keep finding planets within habitable zones), why has nobody got in touch yet?

Sep 5, 2023

Low-oxygen planets may impede advanced civilisations

Posted by in categories: alien life, futurism

The existence of an oxygen bottleneck has significant implications for future searches of technological activities on exoplanets.

Astrobiologists theorise that low-oxygen planets would be unlikely to produce advanced civilisations, as the discovery of fire requires easy access to open air combustion, which is only possible when oxygen partial pressure is above 18%.

When the Earth formed around 4.6 billion years ago, its atmosphere consisted mostly of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, and water vapour – with a lack of free oxygen making it totally inhospitable for aerobic life.

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Sep 4, 2023

Why We Can Never Find a Type-7 Civilization!

Posted by in categories: alien life, computing, quantum physics

We are about to leap into the age of quantum computing and possibly our technological capabilities will evolve rapidly as a result.

Does this mean we are on the threshold of developing a Type 2 civilization?
If so, we should soon be able to make first contact with other intelligent life forms and slowly conquer space.

Continue reading “Why We Can Never Find a Type-7 Civilization!” »

Aug 31, 2023

9000 Feet Deep — Magnetic Bacteria Discovered in Deep-Sea Vents

Posted by in categories: alien life, habitats

Bacteria that can align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field have been found in a new habitat. Previously spotted on land and in shallow waters, these magnetotactic bacteria have now been confirmed to thrive in the depths of a hydrothermal vent. Despite the challenging conditions, the bacteria were able to adapt and survive in an environment that was not ideal for their typical needs.

Magnetotactic bacteria are of interest not only for the role they play in Earth’s ecosystem but also in the search for extraterrestrial life. Evidence of their existence can remain in rocks for billions of years. Their magnetic inclinations can also provide a record of how magnetic poles have shifted over time. This new discovery brings hope to researchers that the magnetic bacteria might be found in yet more unexpected locations, on Earth and perhaps even on Mars.

Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. It is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars’ surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname “The Red Planet.” Mars’ name comes from the Roman god of war.

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