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Silica deposits on Mars with features resembling hot spring biosignatures at El Tatio i... - 0 views

shared by fichbio on 24 Nov 16 - No Cached
Paul N liked it
    Hydrothermal deposits on Mars may provide the best opportunity to find Martian biosignatures. Ruff and Farmer report that silica structures created by biotic and abiotic process in hot springs at El Tatio, Chile resemble those found in Gusev crater, thus making it an ideal location for future missions.
Nina Nadine Ridder

Why is life left-handed? The answer is in the stars - 2 views

    While most humans are right-handed, our proteins are made up of lefty molecules. In the same way your left and right hands mirror one another, molecules can assemble in two reflected structures. Life prefers the left-handed version, which is puzzling since both mirrored types form equally in the laboratory.
Thijs Versloot

A Groundbreaking Idea About Why Life Exists - 1 views

    Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.

    The simulation results made me think of Jojo's attempts to make a self-assembling space structure. Seems he may have been on the right track, just not thinking big enough
    :-P Thanks Thijs...
    I do not agree with the premise of the article that a possible correlation of energy dissipation in living systems and their fitness means that one is the cause for the other - it may just be that both go hand-in-hand because of the nature of the world that we live in. Maybe there is such a drive for pre-biotic systems (like crystals and amino acids), but once life as we know it exists (i.e., heredity + mutation) it is hard to see the need for an amendment of Darwin's principles. The following just misses the essence of Darwin: "If England's approach stands up to more testing, it could further liberate biologists from seeking a Darwinian explanation for every adaptation and allow them to think more generally in terms of dissipation-driven organization. They might find, for example, that "the reason that an organism shows characteristic X rather than Y may not be because X is more fit than Y, but because physical constraints make it easier for X to evolve than for Y to evolve." Darwin's principle in its simplest expression just says that if a genome is more effective at reproducing it is more likely to dominate the next generation. The beauty of it is that there is NO need for a steering mechanism (like maximize energy dissipation) any random set of mutations will still lead to an increase of reproductive effectiveness.
    BTW: what does "better at dissipating energy" even mean? If I run around all the time I will have more babies?
    Most species that prove to be very successful end up being very good at conserving energy: trees, turtles, worms.
    Even complexity of an organism is not a recipe for evolutionary success: jellyfish have been successful for hundreds of millions of years while polar bears are seem to be on the way out.
Luís F. Simões

The Amazing Trajectories of Life-Bearing Meteorites from Earth - Technology Review - 0 views

  • That raises another interesting question: how quickly could life-bearing ejecta from Earth (or anywhere else) seed the entire galaxy?

    Hara and co calculate that it would take some 10^12 years for ejecta to spread through a volume of space the size of the Milky Way. But since our galaxy is only 10^10 years old, a single ejection event could not have done the trick.

    However, they say that if life evolved at 25 different sites in the galaxy 10^10 years ago, then the combined ejecta from these places would now fill the Milky Way.

  • Ref: Transfer of Life-Bearing Meteorites from Earth to Other Planets


How The Cost of Computation Restricts The Processes of Life - Technology Review - 1 views

    "That's why silicon chips operate at temperatures hot enough to fry eggs."
    I stopped reading after this sentence... is the remaining part of the article equally scientifically (in)accurate?
Dario Izzo

Proposed mission to Jupiter system achieves milestone - 1 views

    Understanding life is the scientific focus of the next Europa/Ganimede mission!
    the objective is rather the study of "emergence of habitable worlds", which of course includes understanding of life and what habitability is ...
Dario Izzo

File Compression: New Tool for Life Detection? - 4 views

    As mentioned today during coffee .... we could think to link this to source localization
  • ...3 more comments...
    Not sure by what you mean by source localisation, but this using gzip to discern "biological" from "non-biological" images seems to me *very* tricky... I mean, there's a lot of other factors that may affect compressibility of an image than just mere "regularity" of the pattern, and if they haven't controlled for these, this is just bullsh1t... (For instance did they use the same imaging device to take those images? What about lighting conditions and exposure? etc).

    The apostle of sometimes surprising uses of compression is prof. Shmidhuber from IDSIA...
    I completely agree with you..... still if you have one instrument on board the spacecraft and your picture compressibility is a noisy indicator of some interesting source .... we could try to perform some probabilistic reasoning
    I think they (IDSIA-Schmidhuber) are planning on putting something about that also inside the Acta Futura paper...
    Really, you think they'd target such a low impact factor publication? ;-P
    you will all soon be begging to publish in Acta Futura! We will be bigger than Nature.
Joris _

Enceladus: Nasa discovers new evidence that Saturn moon 'may contain life' - Telegraph - 2 views

  • Saturn's sixth-largest moon could have the conditions necessary to sustain life.
    Isn' it a candidate for Terraforming ?
Christos Ampatzis

Evidence of life on Mars lurks beneath surface of meteorite, Nasa experts claim - Times... - 1 views

    Is there life on Mars?
    - We should try to compress those images!
    "Is there life on Mars?"

    Yes, mostly on Saturday night...

search for other life forms! - Alternative Solvents as a Basis for Life supporting Zone... - 2 views

    like the idea ....
Tobias Seidl

Journal of the Royal Society Interface - Focus: Synthetic Biology - 0 views

    A toc of a spcial issue on synthetic biology: How to assemble organisms from scratch. Could one day be intersting for large scale deterministic self assembly or some other crazy idea...
evo ata

Future Human Evolution - 1 views

    Scientific and speculative articles about the future of human evolution regarding to artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, transhumanism, nanotechnology, space colonization, time travel, life extension and human enhancement
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