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Scientists have taken another step in their quest to understand the bare genetic essentials of life. This minimal number is lower than in any known free-living bug in nature.
 bacteria evolution genetics life programming
Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy. Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth.
 interstellar space life chemistry
Traces of animal life have been found in rocks dating back 635 million years. The evidence takes the form of chemical markers that are highly distinctive of sponges when they die and their bodies break down in rock-forming sediments. The discovery in Oman pushes back the earliest accepted date for animal life on Earth by tens of millions of years.
 sponge Oman ancient life Earth animal
The discovery of more than 330 planets outside our solar system in recent years has helped refine the number of life forms that are likely to exist. The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.
 philosophy life extraterrestrial astronomy
An 8-million-year-old bacterium that was extracted from the oldest known ice on Earth is now growing in a laboratory, claim researchers. If confirmed, this means ancient bacteria and viruses will come back to life as ice melts due to global warming.


 life ancient bacterium
Large quantities of methane gas have been detected on Mars, Nasa scientists have announced in Science journal. The gas could be produced either by geological activity or by life.


 Mars life methane
Formic acid, a molecule implicated in the origins of life, has been found at record levels on a meteorite that fell into a Canadian lake in 2000.


 meteorite evolution astronomy life space biology organic panspermia
We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before". ... Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. Bacteria could be created, he speculates, that could help mop up excessive carbon dioxide,...
 genetics evolution DNA artificial life
Of related interest, in the light of recent research, is recognition that the source of energy in biological motion -- the capacity of muscles to generate pulling force -- may be explicable in terms of quantum tunnelling. Living cells are indeed capable of "burning" biological fuel to generate energy for muscle contraction. It is enzymes which accelrate the rate of chemical reactions -- with billion-fold enhancements of chemical...
 physics enzyme life quantum
The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis proposing that the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth (atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) are closely integrated to form a complex interacting system that maintains the climatic and biogeochemical conditions on Earth in a preferred homeostasis. Originally proposed by James Lovelock as the earth feedback hypothesis, it was named the Gaia Hypothesis, after the...
 Gaia theory philosophy science ecology environment Earth life sustainability Wikipedia
In the beginning, we just drop a robot into a space. But they don't know anything, so they don't do anything," Professor Der said. The neural network eventually picks up on electronic noise, which causes small motions. It eventually tries larger motions as it learns about its range of movement. "It's like a newborn baby—it doesn't know anything but tries motions that are natural for its body. Half an hour...


 robot artificial intelligence life intelligence
The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the...


 insurance life
We like to distinguish synthetic life from artificial life. With synthetic life, we're re-designing the cell chromosomes; we're not creating a whole new artificial life system.


 artificial life biology evolution genetics