Survival of Life: Something Resembling It–a brief return.


SilentAstronomerII

Panspermia is a topic that falls into and out of favor often. It is not that there is no substance to the paradigm, revolutionary and normal science will find other ‘grails’ worthy for investigation. However, the present research problems surrounding panspermia deal in areas of survivability–can life survive long periods of radiation and an extreme cold–or can life survive the multi-megaton impact upon reaching Earth?

Perhaps one measure of how life’s molecularity can survive cometary impacts is the near-extinction event of early Earth history. Dinosaurs became extinct when a large NEO impacted the Yucatan peninsula. Generations afterward, the first mammals took over the Earth–life didn’t quite resemble the previous generations. Genetic analysis seemingly points towards an abrupt but distinct lineage. Thus–it may be posited that life’s molecular nature, once established, is not readily displaced from its ‘beachhead.’

With this prefatory comment in place, I now discuss the issue of comets…

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Talk: “Finding Alien Life: On Earth, on Mars, and throughout the Cosmos” (05/22/14)


I thought it appropriate to re-post this blog—inviting the public to a thought provoking lecture.

UW Integrated Sciences Blog

Steven Benner UW Astrobiology & The NASA Astrobiology Institute present:

Finding Alien Life: On Earth, on Mars, and throughout the Cosmos

with Dr. Steven Benner— Director, Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution
& The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology, Gainesville, FL

When: Thursday, May 22nd, 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Where: 120 Kane Hall, University of Washington

How do we define “life”? This fundamental question has remained largely philosophical, because it has been asked for so long, by so many, and with so few concrete conclusions. In this talk, Dr. Benner will take a different tack. He will show how laboratory studies to create a second example of life help us develop a firmer scientific understanding of what life is. The challenge of “synthetic biology” is on! Dr. Benner will discuss how we are hitchhiking on rockets, rovers, and telescopes to find life elsewhere in the Solar System, and…

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Debt of Gratitude—


I owe a large debt of gratitude to the BALDSCIENTIST, professor Oné R. Pagán. He kindly acknowledged me in his new book, The First Brain  The Neuroscience of Planarians. It is published by Oxford University Press, 2014.

All too often, it is hard to understand the meaning of gratitude.

Thank you very much, Oné.

 

NASA Releases Over 1000 of Their Computer Software Codes Hoping to Spark Innovation


One of the blogs which i follow —posted this excellent find from NASA—releasing code to spark innovation —much credit is due–

Higher Learning

Yesterday (4/10/14), NASA officially launched their Tech Tansfer program, making the computer codes for over 1000 different NASA programs available to the public.

NASA published the codes in an open-access software catalog, in the hopes that independent coders or software designers will provide innovations to the NSA.

Front cover of the Tech Transfer catalog (Image: NASA)

Here’s Jim Adams, deputy chief technologist at NASA:

“NASA is committed to the principles of open government … By making NASA resources more accessible and usable by the public, we are encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Our technology transfer program is an important part of bringing the benefit of space exploration back to Earth for the benefit of all people.”

According to NASA, the new catalog will include codes for:

  • project management systems
  • design tools
  • data handling
  • image processing
  • life support functions
  • aeronautics
  • structural analysis robotic and autonomous systems

Read more from NASA here. If you…

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THOUGHTS on STEM EDUCATION


When one enters the technical field (also known as STEM), there are certain guiding principles that are significant for one’s success. The biggest factor is having appropriate and good role models or mentors. Truth being, it is very hard to lift oneself with one’s bootstraps. The worst is the ‘dumbing down’ that mainstream media portrays as real science or who scientists really are.

For a lot of us, our teachers throughout the formal education process are and were good role models. It isn’t too hard to find a good role model—the main trick is to overlook what you or I might perceive as flaws. In my years of observing human behavior, everyone has ‘clay feet.’ No matter how perfect on the outside, we all battle demons or will fall prey to fads or fallacies from time to time.

To borrow an ‘oft-turned phrase,’ we should keep our eyes on the prize. All too often, that prize resembles an ideal that is ‘borrowed’ from dreams, goals, aspirations and noblest part of ourselves. Once one loses sight of the prize, you or I will find the flaws and discouragements inherent to any undertaking.

The reasons for my seeking and attaining my BA—are fairly mundane in hindsight: I wanted to make a difference. However, as young man or any young person, it is too easy to lose sight. Life is full of distractions and our current media-driven society makes it very difficult to keep a long chain of thought on anything but tomorrow—let alone how one can make a difference in life.

Perhaps, it is best put—what would you want your best friends to say about you after all is said and done—

 

John

Wave of the Future


Presently I am being published at decodedscience.com  & I am inviting anyone who would be interested in subscribing to the site to stop by and first take a look. Things being as they are with the publishing world—paper subscriptions are certainly not dead–but many of us spend time and our personal resources to find, write and self-publish. In the not-so-distant-past, much of the content that is presented would fetch a decent living for science writers and writers in general. The present model of piling ‘ads to pay for content’  cannot go ad nauseam.

Peruse the content at decodedscience and perhaps you will agree that content that is worthy of pay —is justified.

Here are their links: (just copy and paste to your browser if needed)

http://www.decodedscience.com/

http://decodedeverything.com/

 

PLEASE NOTE: I will continue to post my regular content approximately once to twice per month on this site and silentastronomerII.com

I do apologize if anyone feels that this is spam—> it isn’t and I will see you in a week with new content here as well!!  for free!