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View Full Version : NASA to announce major astrobiology discovery



Philbert
11-29-2010, 10:42 PM
NASA to announce major astrobiology discovery Thursday 11AM EST

"...to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2010/M10-110.html

hdace
11-30-2010, 02:50 AM
bleedin' 'eck! It's life Jim, but-- I think I peed my pants...

biliousfrog
11-30-2010, 04:10 AM
ooooooh...why am I not surprised that this hasn't been mentioned in the newspapers or TV?

SaturnX
11-30-2010, 04:34 AM
Man, I love the Newtek forums... heh

Thanks for the heads up!

robertoortiz
11-30-2010, 06:44 AM
Thanks for the heads up!

cresshead
11-30-2010, 10:56 AM
ooh hope it's interesting news!

Nangleator
11-30-2010, 12:47 PM
Crap. They found my campsite on Mars.

Matt
11-30-2010, 06:03 PM
We're all expecting E.T. but I bet it's a microbe or something! I hope it's E.T. :D

Ty Whitaker
11-30-2010, 06:47 PM
Now i can't wait!

pooby
12-01-2010, 02:59 AM
A microbe would be pretty spectacular, to be honest.

I imagine it's more likely to be something disappointingly indirect, relating to discoveries of possible clues of combinations of elements that could have potentially formed life in hypothetical situations, or something like that.

silviotoledo
12-01-2010, 04:34 AM
Blue people? at Pandora Planet?

cresshead
12-01-2010, 05:22 AM
Nasa finds evidence of 'unobtainium' :D

allabulle
12-01-2010, 06:29 AM
A microbe would be pretty spectacular, to be honest.

I imagine it's more likely to be something disappointingly indirect, relating to discoveries of possible clues of combinations of elements that could have potentially formed life in hypothetical situations, or something like that.

Yeah, but with a laser-beam-something in 'it.'

prometheus
12-01-2010, 06:37 AM
uhhm..my dollars probably on intelligent life finally found on earth:)

No ..actually probably a newly discovered planet that has been analysed and they found spectral evidence of some sort of chemicals cloroform or oxygen atmosphere perhaps.

or could it be related to the newly fly by next to a comet and some findings there perhaps?

Michael

cresshead
12-01-2010, 08:17 AM
i hope it's related to the Saturn based Cassini mission

bazsa73
12-01-2010, 08:30 AM
beyond any known spectrum and space time continuum where the chances are converging to zero and all physical law gains new interpretation

Skonk
12-01-2010, 08:51 AM
If it's going to "impact the search for" then it's obviously not the discovery of any actual life.

It will probably just be some new way of detecting something that could potentially be some sort of evidence that some sort of biological process is happening.

pooby
12-01-2010, 08:57 AM
In anticipation of what it might be, I have decided to change my avatar to reflect the wonder of space.

jasonwestmas
12-01-2010, 09:11 AM
I guarantee it's a conference about micro biology and the potential meanings thereof.

COBRASoft
12-01-2010, 09:27 AM
Well, they say 'biology', so I guess it has to do with live (extinct or not).

cresshead
12-01-2010, 10:08 AM
maybe nasa found some evidence of fossils with their mars rover?

jasonwestmas
12-01-2010, 10:20 AM
maybe nasa found some evidence of fossils with their mars rover?

Fossils would be really interesting.

JohnMarchant
12-01-2010, 10:59 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334628/Astrobiology-findings-Alien-bacteria-lives-arsenic-Californian-lake-opens-search-life-planets.html

LazyCoder
12-01-2010, 11:55 AM
Be awesome if it was like in Dan Brown's Deception Point, where they find fossils in a meteor.

allabulle
12-01-2010, 12:07 PM
Talking about books, your post made me remember when as a teenager I read "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke; what a read!

JohnMarchant
12-01-2010, 12:16 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8174714/Commentary-alien-life-could-exist-under-our-noses.html

Elmar Moelzer
12-01-2010, 12:30 PM
Here is what Phil Plait had to say about it:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/11/30/snowballing-speculation-over-a-nasa-press-conference/

erikals
12-01-2010, 08:28 PM
what's toxic to earth creatures might not be toxic to aliens, i thought that would be obvious...

cresshead
12-02-2010, 04:27 AM
hope it's a discovery of life not some lab based possible calculation scenario poop :hey:

bazsa73
12-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Total disappointment. Some arsenic microba H E R E on this planet...

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 09:35 AM
Total disappointment. Some arsenic microba H E R E on this planet...

Seriously? Wow it's more boring than I originally thought. I can just watch the history channel for that kind of thinking.

bazsa73
12-02-2010, 10:46 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335050/NASA-arsenic-Alien-biology-clue-scientists-discover-mysterious-bacteria.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 10:49 AM
I thought the odds were always in favor of ET life on other planets, lol. That's why this isn't anything new even mathematically speaking.

Elmar Moelzer
12-02-2010, 11:25 AM
This is quite exciting actually. It is the first organism to use a completely different structure of their DNA with an arsenic group in its backbone instead of a phosphate group. This is very exciting, because it proofs that life does not necessarily need DNA exactly as we know it. This opens possibilities for it to exist in to date unsuspected places on earth and in the cosmos.

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 11:41 AM
But in the context of probability of ETs it doesn't really change my mind, which is what these articles are proclaiming it should do. Was I supposed to think that ETs were unlikely to exist on other planets?

In a context of biology it is of course very fun thing to think about and examine on this planet.

Philbert
12-02-2010, 11:51 AM
Just like NASA to get us all excited, then give us something most people wouldn't find interesting.

Nangleator
12-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Just another tiny refinement of the Drake equation, I guess.

cresshead
12-02-2010, 12:09 PM
really..."THAT" it?

i'll tell you something about BIG NEWS...really BIG news will always BREAK before any self imposed deadline a publisher has set up...and things that keep secret until the deadline are usually pretty lame....example 1....today...yeh i 'get it' but honestly it's such a tenuous link to what they wrote as a teaser headline...mr vague must have wrote it...

Philbert
12-02-2010, 12:11 PM
Actually it leaked out yesterday. Still not very exciting.

cresshead
12-02-2010, 12:11 PM
This is quite exciting actually. It is the first organism to use a completely different structure of their DNA with an arsenic group in its backbone instead of a phosphate group. This is very exciting, because it proofs that life does not necessarily need DNA exactly as we know it. This opens possibilities for it to exist in to date unsuspected places on earth and in the cosmos.


it's life Jim, but not as we know it :D

Elmar Moelzer
12-02-2010, 12:25 PM
Ahh, the people. I guess it is hard these days to still excite the public with new discoveries. Everything has to be big, loud, full of action and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in order to be interesting, I see.

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 12:29 PM
Ahh, the people. I guess it is hard these days to still excite the public with new discoveries. Everything has to be big, loud, full of action and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in order to be interesting, I see.

It is big, but only in the context of planet earth.

robertoortiz
12-02-2010, 12:30 PM
I guess some people would have love to have NASA bring to the cameras a greay alien named Chuck who has been in the US since his unfortunate crash in the 40's.


Bacteria, for the general public is not sexy, after all.
And lets face it what has science ever given us?
:)

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 12:31 PM
I guess some people would have love to have NASA bring to the cameras a greay alien named Chuck who has been in the US since his unfortunate crash in the 40's.


Bacteria, for the general public is not sexy, after all.
And lets face it what has science ever given us?
:)

Yeah building blocks of life, who needs it lol.

robertoortiz
12-02-2010, 12:42 PM
I all seriousness this is huge,
but i do wonder how this will play with the rest of the puclic

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 12:47 PM
I all seriousness this is huge,
but i do wonder how this will play with the rest of the puclic

It will play a positive note to all interested in microbiology. Which is pretty cool stuff. Tiny little animals that nobody notices.

Nangleator
12-02-2010, 12:48 PM
You'll notice them when they come for your arsenic!

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 01:11 PM
You'll notice them when they come for your arsenic!

And now that I know that I'll have to be more careful not to leave my arsenic laying around. That or find out a way to create an antidote made from arsenic eating micro-organisms for living in poisonous atmospheres. Then we could live on poisonous planets.

pooby
12-02-2010, 02:01 PM
A microbe would be pretty spectacular, to be honest.

I imagine it's more likely to be something disappointingly indirect, relating to discoveries of possible clues of combinations of elements that could have potentially formed life in hypothetical situations, or something like that.

Not a million miles off..

(literally)

danielkaiser
12-02-2010, 02:14 PM
In other science news; biologists have discovered a form of life in Tennessee that survives on nothing but Jack Daniels.

Cryonic
12-02-2010, 02:41 PM
The more we learn about how good life is at living here on Earth, the more we learn about the environments that we should be able to find it out there :)

Oedo 808
12-02-2010, 02:58 PM
Not a million miles off..

(literally)

I think your change of Avatar was entirely appropriate for the news received, not to mention being classy at that.

3-2-1 Blast Off! :thumbsup:

SBowie
12-02-2010, 03:20 PM
This is very exciting, because it proofs that life does not necessarily need DNA exactly as we know it. This opens possibilities for it to exist in to date unsuspected places on earth and in the cosmos.Exciting, I suppose, is subjective. I'd go so far as 'interesting', as in "Very interesting - life on this planet is more diverse than previously imagined by many ".

One can arguably extend that to encompass a view that life elsewhere, if there is any, might well be just as diverse, if not more so. In turn, those who are interested in ET might feel justified to broaden their search criteria. OK ... but the notion that 'if there is alien life, it could be different than here' doesn't seem exceedingly novel. In fact, I'm pretty sure everyone (except the creators of a lot of seriously lame sci-fi) accepted that premise a very long time ago. :D

Iain
12-02-2010, 03:21 PM
I think your change of Avatar was entirely appropriate for the news received, not to mention being classy at that.


Dusty Bin!
Will he ever top his performance in Rain Man?

Elmar Moelzer
12-02-2010, 03:29 PM
but the notion that 'if there is alien life, it could be different than here' doesn't seem exceedingly novel.

True, but for the first time we have been able to actually observe life that is fundamentally different from what we have known so far. That is novel and PROOFS that life CAN be very different. Until now it was only suspected.

SBowie
12-02-2010, 03:46 PM
True, but for the first time we have been able to actually observe life that is fundamentally different from what we have known so far.You've never been to L.A., then?

erikals
12-02-2010, 03:54 PM
Ahh, the people. I guess it is hard these days to still excite the public with new discoveries. Everything has to be big, loud, full of action and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in order to be interesting, I see.

always knew life on other planets can be based on entirely different materials /structure, so no, it wasn't that exiting, but more like a confirmation.
it's good to have it confirmed, but i do miss a proper study of how life could evolve on other planets, starting from scratch.

Elmar Moelzer
12-02-2010, 03:56 PM
but i do miss a proper study of how life could evolve on other planets, starting from scratch.
Just like it did here, I would assume.

erikals
12-02-2010, 04:19 PM
not sure, i hope so,...
interestingly though, we now have found bacterias that,

-don't require oxygen
-can survive in over 100C
-can survive in under 0C, for then to be defrosted again
-can live on arsenic

so i'm quite sure there is something /someone out there... it's just logic.

jasonwestmas
12-02-2010, 04:34 PM
not sure, i hope so,...
interestingly though, we now have found bacterias that,

-don't require oxygen
-can survive in over 100C
-can survive in under 0C, for then to be defrosted again
-can live on arsenic

so i'm quite sure there is something /someone out there... it's just logic.

There are even some bacteria that can't live in oxygen. Obligate anaerobes die if oxygen is present.

safetyman
12-03-2010, 05:15 AM
This means that if intelligent arsenic-based aliens try to invade our planet, we can't shoot them because their bodies will release the arsenic into our atmosphere! What do we do?

erikals
12-03-2010, 05:50 AM
surrender

cresshead
12-03-2010, 06:05 AM
This means that if intelligent arsenic-based aliens try to invade our planet, we can't shoot them because their bodies will release the arsenic into our atmosphere! What do we do?

simple, get a apple mac laptop or ipad, borrow one of the alien scout ships and head off to their mothership and upload a computer virus that will take down their shields;D.

erikals
12-03-2010, 06:20 AM
hehe, how hard can it be, really... :]

biliousfrog
12-03-2010, 06:24 AM
I read about this a while back, the NASA report is just a bunch of stuff that was theorized and researched by a couple of scientists...they even told various news sources that it was what NASA was going to reveal earlier in the week, hardly the big reveal they expected.

Personally I find it bizarre that scientists see this as revolutionary. It only proves that their previous theories are wrong, something which any historian could have predicted. To believe that all life in the universe must conform with our very limited knowledge of biology seems extremely arrogant and ignorant. What NASA have discovered is that extra terrestrial life might be beyond our current understanding...no sh!t sherlock!

Kuzey
12-03-2010, 06:26 AM
simple, get a apple mac laptop or ipad, borrow one of the alien scout ships and head off to their mothership and upload a computer virus that will take down their shields;D.

You don't need a scout ship.....wi-fi will do nicely :hey:

Kuzey

Skywatcher_NT
12-03-2010, 06:46 AM
I read about this a while back, the NASA report is just a bunch of stuff that was theorized and researched by a couple of scientists...they even told various news sources that it was what NASA was going to reveal earlier in the week, hardly the big reveal they expected.

Personally I find it bizarre that scientists see this as revolutionary. It only proves that their previous theories are wrong, something which any historian could have predicted. To believe that all life in the universe must conform with our very limited knowledge of biology seems extremely arrogant and ignorant. What NASA have discovered is that extra terrestrial life might be beyond our current understanding...no sh!t sherlock!

Couldn't have said it better :thumbsup:

erikals
12-03-2010, 07:20 AM
we had a documentary that included scientists "science" some time ago...
it's interesting how many of them that lack common sense...

(though luckily there are some geniuses out there as well... :]

 

Elmar Moelzer
12-03-2010, 07:26 AM
It only proves that their previous theories are wrong
Actually it proof previous theories that predicted this right. I dont think that there was much of a consensus in regards to every life form having to have the exact same DNA that we have.
So it does confirm a theory, not disproof one.

clagman
12-03-2010, 07:45 AM
Not much of a big news release if you ask me. If one thing can be said about what we know is that the more we discover the more we find we don't know anything.

Philbert
12-03-2010, 10:18 AM
Ahh, the people. I guess it is hard these days to still excite the public with new discoveries. Everything has to be big, loud, full of action and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in order to be interesting, I see.

I'm sure NASA knew exactly what they were doing by mentioning extra-terrestrials in their initial press release. If they had said "we've found a new form of life on earth" it would have been big news all over, but they kind of misled people.

allabulle
12-03-2010, 10:55 AM
I guess that if I know for a fact (beyond "my" logic) that a different kind of life exists (on Earth is OK) then I can search for it elsewhere too knowing what I'm looking for. I mean, I can imagine a vapor of some sort life form that thinks, but I can't search for it right now, I wouldn't know what to search. But this fact can help build a complementary search scheme.

On the other side, finding a substantially different kind of life helps in another direction: understanding what is life, what makes 'a life.' This in turn would help in the search of life outside LA (as some seem to suggest in this very forum) and even outside earth.

I'm clearly no expert on the subject, but I found the discovery quite interesting indeed.

cresshead
12-03-2010, 01:56 PM
I read about this a while back, the NASA report is just a bunch of stuff that was theorized and researched by a couple of scientists...they even told various news sources that it was what NASA was going to reveal earlier in the week, hardly the big reveal they expected.

Personally I find it bizarre that scientists see this as revolutionary. It only proves that their previous theories are wrong, something which any historian could have predicted. To believe that all life in the universe must conform with our very limited knowledge of biology seems extremely arrogant and ignorant. What NASA have discovered is that extra terrestrial life might be beyond our current understanding...no sh!t sherlock!
:agree:

you certainly rocked on that summary! :jam: :beerchug:

pooby
12-03-2010, 05:56 PM
Yeah , stupid scientists! They should start reading CGI software forums and wise up a bit.

erikals
12-03-2010, 06:04 PM
...based on that documentary i saw some months ago, some should...

Nangleator
12-04-2010, 06:37 AM
XKCD. (http://xkcd.com/829/)

erikals
12-04-2010, 08:07 AM
hehe, so many good ones at that site... http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif
http://xkcd.com/736/

 

Philbert
12-04-2010, 11:11 AM
That's funny but I'm glad I read the strip before I saw the title, it kind of gives away the joke.

Nangleator
12-04-2010, 11:25 AM
Heh. (http://xkcd.com/481/)

tischbein3
12-04-2010, 01:52 PM
But this fact can help build a complementary search scheme.

Not really. In fact they just added more hay to find the needle....

What makes me a bit itchy is the term "mayor discovery":
Imho it isn't- its "just" another, although very interesting, adaption of a bacteria to its enviroment. And it goes _very_ conformal to our evolutionary theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile

(Darwin spoiled everything)

Philbert
12-04-2010, 02:23 PM
Not so much more hay, but different kinds of needles in the same hay stack.

jasonwestmas
12-04-2010, 02:28 PM
and that life can exist on humanly poisonous planets :D more hay for those needles.

Philbert
12-04-2010, 02:31 PM
Maybe on some planets the hay is the intelligent life.

jasonwestmas
12-04-2010, 02:58 PM
Maybe on some planets the hay is the intelligent life.

haha, that's far less hay from our perspective any way we look at it. ;)

erikals
12-04-2010, 05:39 PM
...maybe they'll find a needleman