WorldWideScience

Sample records for extraterrestrial ecology exoecology

  1. Detection of Extraterrestrial Ecology (Exoecology)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Harry; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Researchers in the Astrobiology Technology Branch at Ames Research Center have begun investigating alternate concepts for the detection of extraterrestrial life. We suggest searching for extraterrestrial ecology, exoecology, as well as for extraterrestrial biology, exobiology. Ecology describes the interactions of living things with their environment. All ecosystems are highly constrained by their environment and are constrained by well-known system design principles. Ecology could exist wherever there is an energy source and living I things have discovered some means to capture, store, and use the available energy. Terrestrial ecosystems use as energy sources, light, organic molecules, and in thermal vents and elsewhere, simple inorganic molecules. Ecosystem behavior is controlled by matter and energy conservation laws and can be described by linear and nonlinear dynamic systems theory. Typically in an ecosystem different molecules are not in chemical equilibrium and scarce material is conserved, stored, or recycled. Temporal cycles and spatial variations are often observed. These and other -eneral principles of exoecology can help guide the search for extraterrestrial life. The chemical structure observed in terrestrial biology may be highly contingent on evolutionary accidents. Oxygen was not always abundant on Earth. Primitive sulfur bacteria use hydrogen sulfide and sulfur to perform photosynthesis instead of water and oxygen. Astrobiologists have assumed, for the sake of narrowing and focusing our life detection strategies, that extraterrestrial life will have detailed chemical similarities with terrestrial life. Such assumptions appear very reasonable and they allow us to design specific and highly sensitive life detection experiments. But the fewer assumptions we make, the less chance we have of being entirely wrong The best strategy for the detection of extraterrestrial life could be a mixed strategy. We should use detailed assumptions based on terrestrial

  2. Extraterrestrials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerman, Ben; Hart, Michael H.

    1995-09-01

    1. An explanation for the absence of extraterrestrials on Earth Michael H. Hart; 2. One attempt to find where they are: NASA's high resolution microwave survey Jill Tarter; 3. An examination of claims that extraterrestrial visitors to Earth are being observed Robert Sheaffer; 4. The likelihood of interstellar colonization, and the absence of its evidence Sebastian von Hoerner; 5. Preemption of the galaxy by the first advanced civilization Ronald Bracewell; 6. Stellar evolution: motivation for the mass interstellar migrations Ben Zuckerman; 7. Interstellar propulsion systems Freeman Dyson; 8. Interstellar travel: a review Ian A. Crawford; 9. Settlements in space, and interstellar travel Cliff Singer; 10. Terraforming James Oberg; 11. Estimates of expansion time scales Eric M. Jones; 12. A search for tritium sources in our Solar System may reveal the presence of space-probes from other stellar systems Michael D. Papagiannis; 13. Primordial organic cosmochemistry Cyril Ponnamperuma and Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez; 14. Chance and the origin of life Edward Argyle; 15. The RNA world: life before DNA and protein Gerald F. Joyce; 16. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence Ernst Nayr; 17. Alone in a crowded universe Jared Diamond; 18. Possible forms of life in environments very different from the Earth Robert Shapiro and Gerald Feinberg; 19. Cosmological SETI frequency standards J. Richard Gott, III; 20. Galactic chemical evolution: implications for the existence of habitable planets Virginia Trimble; 21. The frequency of planetary systems in the galaxy Jonathan I. Lunine; 22. Atmospheric evolution, the Drake equation, and DNA: sparse life in an infinite universe Michael H. Hart.

  3. Exploring the Human Ecology of the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennett, D. J.; Erlandson, J. M.; Braje, T. J.; Culleton, B. J.

    2007-05-01

    Several lines of evidence now exist for a major extraterrestrial impact event in North America at 12.9 ka (the YDB). This impact partially destabilized the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets, triggered abrupt Younger Dryas cooling and extensive wildfires, and contributed to megafaunal extinction. This event also occurred soon after the well established colonization of the Americas by anatomically modern humans. Confirmation of this event would represent the first near-time extraterrestrial impact with significant effects on human populations. These likely included widespread, abrupt human mortality, population displacement, migration into less effected or newly established habitats, loss of cultural traditions, and resource diversification in the face of the massive megafaunal extinction and population reductions in surviving animal populations. Ultimately, these transformations established the context for the special character of plant and animal domestication and the emergence of agricultural economies in North America. We explore the Late Pleistocene archaeological record in North America within the context of documented major biotic changes associated with the YDB in North America and of the massive ecological affects hypothesized for this event.

  4. Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, M. J.

    1993-01-01

    Extraterrestrial Intelligence is intelligent life that developed somewhere other than the earth. Such life has not yet been discovered. However, scientific research, including astronomy, biology, planetary science and studies of fossils here on earth have led many scientists to conclude that such life may exist on planets orbiting at least some of the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Today, some researchers are trying to find evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. This effort is often called SETI, which stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. SETI researchers decided that looking for evidence of their technology might be the best way to discover other intelligent life in the Galaxy. They decided to use large radio telescopes to search the sky over a wide range of radio frequencies...

  5. Extraterrestrial Communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deardorff, James W.

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the embargo hypothesis--the theory that Earth is apparently free from alien exploitation because of a presumed cosmic quarantine against this planet--which implies that, instead of being only a few hundred years technologically in advance of earthly civilization, extraterrestrials in charge are likely tens of thousands of years in…

  6. Extraterrestrial Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    Life as we know it, i.e., carbon-based organisms that rely on RNA and DNA for information storage and transfer, requires liquid water. Thus, the search for life elsewhere in the universe generally begins with a search for liquid water. In our own Solar System, Earth is the only planet (or moon) that has liquid water at its surface. Mars and Europa both probably have subsurface water. Researchers from NASA and elsewhere are hoping to eventually probe these subsurface reservoirs and determine whether life exists there. A more promising venue for finding extraterrestrial life is on Earth-like planets around other stars. Such planets can in principle be located and analyzed spectroscopically using large space-based telescopes like NASA's proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) Mission (1). The chances of success for this mission depend critically on the abundance of Earth-like planets with liquid water at their surfaces because only there could a biota exist that would be widespread enough to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that would be detectable. Models of planetary accretion suggest that most terrestrial planets should be endowed with substantial amounts of water (2). Climate models suggest that the "habitable zone" around solar-type stars is relatively wide so that water can remain liquid on a planet's surface for long times (3). Thus, the chances of finding water, and maybe life, elsewhere appear to be good. References: (1) Beichman, C. A., Woolf, N. J. and Lindensmith, C. A. The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF): A NASA Origins Program to Search for Habitable Planets (JPL Publication 99-3) (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 1999). (2) Morbidelli, A., Chambers, J., Lunine, J. I., Petit, J. M., Robert, F., Valsecchi, G. B. and Cyr, K. E. Meteoritics and Planet. Sci. 35, 1309-1320 (2000). (3) Kasting, J. F., Whitmire, D. P. and Reynolds, R. T. Icarus 101, 108-128 (1993).

  7. Searching for extraterrestrial civilizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiper, T. B. H.; Morris, M.

    1977-01-01

    Three interrelated assumptions are critically examined in an attempt to outline a productive strategy for a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Questions concerning the feasibility of interstellar travel are investigated. It is concluded that the probability of interstellar travel is high enough that, given a modest number of advanced civilizations, at least one of them will engage in interstellar voyages and colonize the galaxy. Assuming, however, that technological civilizations are rare the galaxy would be essentially unpopulated. Attention is given to the present lack of contact with extraterrestrial beings and frequencies for interstellar beacons.

  8. Extraterrestrials: Science and alien intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regis, Edward

    Scientific and philosophical issues related to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) are examined. The possible existence and nature of ETI, extraterrestrial epistemology, and a solipsist approach to ETI are discussed. Consideration is given to the detectability and decipherability of extraterrestrial communications, the design of a language for cosmic communication, and the meaning and consequences of contact.

  9. Extraterrestrial Samples at JSC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.

    2007-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on the curation of extraterrestrial samples at NASA Johnson Space Center is shown. The topics include: 1) Apollo lunar samples; 2) Meteorites from Antarctica; 3) Cosmic dust from the stratosphere; 4) Genesis solar wind ions; 5) Stardust comet and interstellar grains; and 5) Space-Exposed Hardware.

  10. Extraterrestrials - Where are they?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, M. H.; Zuckerman, B.

    Explanations for the absence of evidence for extraterrestrial beings are discussed, together with the probabilities of other habitable planets in the universe, programs to detect radio signals from other civilizations, and the processes that can lead to the appearance of life. Probability estimates are presented for the appearance of life, the occurrence of interstellar colonization, and the times involved in interstellar colonization. It is suggested that the first civilization to begin interstellar colonization will be the civilization that colonizes the Galaxy, and calculations are presented for the propulsion methods, techniques for terraforming planets, and the incidence of habitable planets in the Galaxy. Primordial organic chemistry is reviewed, together with nucleosynthesis and evolution in the Galaxy, and consideration is devoted to the rate of formation of DNA strands and other substances by which life forms could exist in the infinite universe. For individual items see A83-41502 to A83-41515

  11. Classification of extraterrestrial civilizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Tong B.; Chang, Grace

    1991-06-01

    A scheme of classification of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) communities based on the scope of energy accessible to the civilization in question is proposed as an alternative to the Kardeshev (1964) scheme that includes three types of civilization, as determined by their levels of energy expenditure. The proposed scheme includes six classes: (1) a civilization that runs essentially on energy exerted by individual beings or by domesticated lower life forms, (2) harnessing of natural sources on planetary surface with artificial constructions, like water wheels and wind sails, (3) energy from fossils and fissionable isotopes, mined beneath the planet surface, (4) exploitation of nuclear fusion on a large scale, whether on the planet, in space, or from primary solar energy, (5) extensive use of antimatter for energy storage, and (6) energy from spacetime, perhaps via the action of naked singularities.

  12. Astrophysics with Extraterrestrial Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nittler, Larry R.; Ciesla, Fred

    2016-09-01

    Extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites, interplanetary dust, and spacecraft-returned asteroidal and cometary samples, provide a record of the starting materials and early evolution of the Solar System. We review how laboratory analyses of these materials provide unique information, complementary to astronomical observations, about a wide variety of stellar, interstellar and protoplanetary processes. Presolar stardust grains retain the isotopic compositions of their stellar sources, mainly asymptotic giant branch stars and Type II supernovae. They serve as direct probes of nucleosynthetic and dust formation processes in stars, galactic chemical evolution, and interstellar dust processing. Extinct radioactivities suggest that the Sun's birth environment was decoupled from average galactic nucleosynthesis for some tens to hundreds of Myr but was enriched in short-lived isotopes from massive stellar winds or explosions shortly before or during formation of the Solar System. Radiometric dating of meteorite components tells us about the timing and duration over which solar nebula solids were assembled into the building blocks of the planets. Components of the most primitive meteoritical materials provide further detailed constraints on the formation, processing, and transport of material and associated timescales in the Sun's protoplanetary disk as well as in other forming planetary systems.

  13. Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vondrak, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics (LEP) performs experimental and theoretical research on the heliosphere, the interstellar medium, and the magnetospheres and upper atmospheres of the planets, including Earth. LEP space scientists investigate the structure and dynamics of the magnetospheres of the planets including Earth. Their research programs encompass the magnetic fields intrinsic to many planetary bodies as well as their charged-particle environments and plasma-wave emissions. The LEP also conducts research into the nature of planetary ionospheres and their coupling to both the upper atmospheres and their magnetospheres. Finally, the LEP carries out a broad-based research program in heliospheric physics covering the origins of the solar wind, its propagation outward through the solar system all the way to its termination where it encounters the local interstellar medium. Special emphasis is placed on the study of solar coronal mass ejections (CME's), shock waves, and the structure and properties of the fast and slow solar wind. LEP planetary scientists study the chemistry and physics of planetary stratospheres and tropospheres and of solar system bodies including meteorites, asteroids, comets, and planets. The LEP conducts a focused program in astronomy, particularly in the infrared and in short as well as very long radio wavelengths. We also perform an extensive program of laboratory research, including spectroscopy and physical chemistry related to astronomical objects. The Laboratory proposes, develops, fabricates, and integrates experiments on Earth-orbiting, planetary, and heliospheric spacecraft to measure the characteristics of planetary atmospheres and magnetic fields, and electromagnetic fields and plasmas in space. We design and develop spectrometric instrumentation for continuum and spectral line observations in the x-ray, gamma-ray, infrared, and radio regimes; these are flown on spacecraft to study

  14. How likely is extraterrestrial life?

    CERN Document Server

    Halley, J Woods

    2012-01-01

    What does existing scientific knowledge about physics, chemistry, meteorology and biology tell us about the likelihood of extraterrestrial life and civilizations? And what does the fact that there is currently no credible scientific evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial biospheres or civilizations teach  us? This book reviews the various scientific issues that arise in considering the question of how common extraterrestrial life is likely to be in our galaxy and whether humans are likely to detect it. The book stands out because of its very systematic organization and relatively unbiased treatment of the main open question. It covers all relevant aspects of many disciplines required to present the different   possible answers. It has and will provide undergraduates with a stimulating introduction to many of these fields at an early stage in their university careers, when they are still choosing a specialty. The difficulties and the range of possible answers to the title question are carefully addr...

  15. Christian Soteriology and Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidemann, C.

    The paper presents an argument for the incompatibility of classical Christian soteriology (doctrine of salvation) with belief in numerous extraterrestrial intelligent life forms (ETI). Four popular answers to the problem are discussed and rejected: a) unlike humanity, extraterrestrial intelligent species are not in need of salvation; b) Jesus of Nazareth has reconciled the entire cosmos to God; c) God or the second person of the Trinity has incarnated (or will incarnate) himself multiple times; d) alien sinners have been or are going to be saved by means different from a divine incarnation. The final section deals with remaining options for rational Christian believers and speculates briefly about consequences for interstellar space flight.

  16. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, T. L.

    2001-02-01

    As far as we know, humanity is alone in the Universe: there is no definite evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, let alone extraterrestrial civilizations (ETCs) capable of communicating or travelling over interstellar distances. Yet popular speculation about the existence of ETCs abounds, including reports of alien visitations either now or in the past. But there is a middle way. It is now possible to put limits on the existence of ETCs of varying capabilities, within arbitrary distances from the Solar System, and conceive of real-world strategies whereby we might communicate with ETCs, or they with us.

  17. Duties to Extraterrestrial Microscopic Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C. S.

    Formulating a normative axiology for the treatment of extraterrestrial microscopic organisms, should they ever be found, requires an extension of environmental ethics to beyond the Earth. Using an ethical framework for the treatment of terrestrial micro-organisms, this paper elaborates a similar ethic for the treatment of extraterrestrial microscopic organisms. An ethic of `teloempathy' allows for the moral considerability of any organism that has `interests', based on rudimentary qualities of conativism, and therefore allows for an identical treatment of all life, related or not related to life on Earth. Although, according to this ethic, individual extraterrestrial microscopic organisms have a good of their own and even `rights', at this level the ethic can only be theoretical, allowing for the inevitable destruction of many individual organisms during the course of human exploratory missions, similarly to the daily destruction of microbes by humans on Earth. A holistic teloempathy, an operative ethic, not only provides a framework for human exploration, but it also has important implications for planetary protection and proposals to implement planetary-scale atmospheric alterations on other bodies. Even prior to the discovery of extraterrestrial life, or the discovery of a complete absence of such life, this exercise yields important insights into the moral philosophy that guides our treatment of terrestrial micro-organisms.

  18. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Barrie W.

    2003-01-01

    Traces the efforts of Searching for Extraterrestrial Technological Intelligence (SETI) since 1960 when a radio-telescope was used to see if any messages were being sent from the vicinity of two nearby stars. Describes attempts to detect microwave/optical signals and technological modification of the cosmic environment. (Author/KHR)

  19. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

    Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.

  20. An independent evaluation of the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surovell, Todd A; Holliday, Vance T; Gingerich, Joseph A M; Ketron, Caroline; Haynes, C Vance; Hilman, Ilene; Wagner, Daniel P; Johnson, Eileen; Claeys, Philippe

    2009-10-27

    Based on elevated concentrations of a set of "impact markers" at the onset of the Younger Dryas stadial from sedimentary contexts across North America, Firestone, Kennett, West, and others have argued that 12.9 ka the Earth experienced an impact by an extraterrestrial body, an event that had devastating ecological consequences for humans, plants, and animals in the New World [Firestone RB, et al. (2007) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104:16016-16021]. Herein, we report the results of an independent analysis of magnetic minerals and microspherules from seven sites of similar age, including two examined by Firestone et al. We were unable to reproduce any results of the Firestone et al. study and find no support for Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact.

  1. An Essay on Extraterrestrial Liberty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C. S.

    The lethal environmental conditions in outer space and the surfaces of other planetary bodies will force a need for regulations to maintain safety to an extent hitherto not seen on the Earth, even in polar environments. The level of inter-dependence between individuals that will emerge will provide mechanisms for exerting substantial control. In extraterrestrial environ- ments traditional buffers to tyranny that exist on the Earth are either absent or much weaker. Legislative and political mechanisms used to protect freedom will be needed to such a degree that they themselves are likely to become a form of despotism. Thus, the most profound irony of the settlement of space is that the endless and apparently free expanses of interplanetary and interstellar space will in fact allow for, and nurture, some of the most appalling tyrannies that human society can contrive. Thwarting this tyranny will be the greatest social challenge in the successful establishment of extraterrestrial settlements.

  2. Possible extraterrestrial strategy for earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deardorff, J. W.

    1986-03-01

    A hypothesis concerning the nature of extraterrestrial messages to the earth is proposed. The hypothesis is based on the following assumptions about (1) that they exist in abundance in the Galaxy; (2) that they are benevolent toward earth-based life forms, and (3) that the lack of any human detection of extraterrestrials is due to an embargo designed to prevent any premature disclosure of their existence. It is argued that any embargo not involving alien force must be a leaky one designed to allow a gradual disclosure of the alien message and its gradual acceptance on the part of the general public over a very long time-scale. The communication may take the form of what is now considered magic, and may therefore be misinterpreted as 'magic' by or a hoax by contemporary governments and scientists.

  3. Originism - Ethics and Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C. S.

    How should we treat extraterrestrial life, if we ever find it, and does a different origin of life imply a different ethical status? The most likely source of an ethical difference, or `originism,' is the inability to find a coherent definition of `life,' required to assess moral relevance in the first place. Although from a normative point of view biochemical architecture, in itself, does not provide a reason for a difference, there are numerous positions that might encourage us to treat an independent origin of life differently to life that is related to life on Earth. For example, from an instrumental point of view it would provide an opportunity to study another biological data point; it will be a new source of information about the evolution of life, and thus it might be afforded special status. We might consider extraterrestrial life to be special as prudence against the possibility of its mistreatment through an erroneous moral assessment of its worth. Whether extraterrestrial life exists of an independent origin or not, this analysis ultimately can provide a useful device for considering how we should treat entities on Earth whose status as `living' organisms is disputed, specifically viruses.

  4. The moral status of extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, Erik

    2012-10-01

    If we eventually discover extraterrestrial life, do we have any moral obligations for how to treat the life-forms we find; does it matter whether they are intelligent, sentient, or just microbial-and does it matter that they are extraterrestrial? In this paper, I examine these questions by looking at two of the basic questions in moral philosophy: What does it take to be a moral object? and What has value of what kind? I will start with the first of these questions by looking at the most important attempts to answer this question on our own planet and by asking whether and how they could be applied to extraterrestrial life. The results range from a very strong protection of all extraterrestrial life and all extraterrestrial environments, whether inhabited or not, to total exclusion of extraterrestrial life. Subsequently, I also examine whether extraterrestrial life that lacks moral status can have value to human or alien life with moral status, and if that could generate any obligations for how to treat extraterrestrial life. Based on this analysis, I conclude that extraterrestrial life-forms can have both instrumental value and end value to moral objects, which has strong implications for how to treat them.

  5. Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  6. Extremophilies as Models for Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seckbach, Joseph

    Recent investigations have demonstrated that microbial life is ubiquitous and found in various extreme environments. Extreme ecological locations such as exist in Antarctica may provide us with psychrophilic life. On the other temperature range, the microbes from hot sulfur acidic springs of Yellowstone National Park (USA) shed light on the thermo-acidophilic microorganisms. Such thermophilic environments may suggest a possible cradle of the Origin of Life. The extremophiles (mainly Archea and Eubacteria) are good models for ancient living forms on Earth, as well as candidates for extraterrestrial living forms. Similarly, the fossilized bacteria on Earth give us speculation on the Origin of Life, while the recently discovered fossilized nano-bacteria found in Antarctican meteorite may provide us with speculation on ancient Martian Life. We will review the Cyanidian algal group and describe their special features. The algal members of the Cyanidia are: Cyanidium, Galdieria and Cyanidioschyzon. These algae (Prerhodophyta) are the only eukaryan cells detected in acidophilic thermophilic environments. They have shown to thrive in very low pH and at elevated temperature ranges. Further, the Cyanidian cells grow better under pure carbondioxide than in air (data presented in photosynthetic rates and number of cells during their growth period).

  7. The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    Looking at the nature, origin, and evolution of life on Earth is one way of assessing whether extraterrestrial life exists on Earth-like planets elsewhere (see Chaps. 5 and 6). A more direct approach is to search for favorable conditions and traces of life on other celestial bodies, both in the solar system and beyond. Clearly, there is little chance of encountering nonhuman intelligent beings in the solar system. But there could well be primitive life on Mars, particularly as in the early history of the solar system the conditions on Mars were quite similar to those on Earth. In addition, surprisingly favorable conditions for life once existed on the moons of Jupiter. Yet even if extraterrestrial life is not encountered in forthcoming space missions, it would be of utmost importance to recover fossils of past organisms as such traces would greatly contribute to our basic understanding of the formation of life. In addition to the planned missions to Mars and Europa, there are extensive efforts to search for life outside the solar system. Rapid advances in the detection of extrasolar planets, outlined in Chap. 3, are expected to lead to the discovery of Earth-like planets in the near future. But how can we detect life on these distant bodies?

  8. Extraterrestrial Studies Using Nuclear Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reedy, Robert C.

    2003-01-01

    Cosmogenic nuclides were used to study the recent histories of the aubrite Norton County and the pallasite Brenham using calculated production rates. Calculations were done of the rates for making cosmogenic noble-gas isotopes in the Jovian satellite Europa by the interactions of galactic cosmic rays and especially trapped Jovian protons. Cross sections for the production of cosmogenic nuclides were reported and plans made to measure additional cross sections. A new code, MCNPX, was used to numerically simulate the interactions of cosmic rays with matter and the subsequent production of cosmogenic nuclides. A review was written about studies of extraterrestrial matter using cosmogenic radionuclides. Several other projects were done. Results are reviewed here with references to my recent publications for details.

  9. The recognition of extraterrestrial artificial signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeger, C. L.

    1980-01-01

    Considerations in the design of receivers for the detection and recognition of artificial microwave signals of extraterrestrial origin are discussed. Following a review of the objectives of SETI and the probable reception and detection characteristics of extraterrestrial signals, means for the improvement of the sensitivity, signal-to-noise ratios and on-line data processing capabilities of SETI receivers are indicated. The characteristics of the signals likely to be present at the output of an ultra-low-noise microwave receiver are then examined, including the system background noise, terrestrial radiations, astrophysical radiations, accidental artificial radiations of terrestrial origin, and intentional radiations produced by humans and by extraterrestrial intelligence. The classes of extraterrestrial signals likely to be detected, beacons and leakage signals, are considered, and options in the specification of gating and thresholding for a high-spectral resolution, high-time-resolution signal discriminator are indicated. Possible tests for the nonhuman origin of a received signal are also pointed out.

  10. A Protocol for Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Atri, Dimitra; DeMarines, Julia; Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2011-01-01

    Messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence (METI) is a branch of study concerned with constructing and broadcasting a message toward habitable planets. Since the Arecibo message of 1974, the handful of METI broadcasts have increased in content and complexity, but the lack of an established protocol has produced unorganized or cryptic messages that could be difficult to interpret. Here we outline the development of a self-consistent protocol for messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence that ...

  11. Raman imaging of extraterrestrial materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alian; Korotev, Randy L.; Jolliff, Bradley L.; Ling, Zongcheng

    2015-07-01

    Laser Raman Spectroscopy has been proposed and is under extensive development for surface exploration missions to planetary bodies of our Solar System. It reveals information on molecular structure and chemistry. The spatial distribution of molecular species in natural geological samples and planetary materials has significance for the geological processes by which they formed. Raman imaging is the best way to combine the molecular identification and characterization of geologic materials with their spatial distribution. This paper reports Raman imaging studies of five types of extraterrestrial materials and three terrestrial samples using a state-of-the-art Raman imaging system. The Raman spectral features of major, minor, and trace species in these samples, together with their spatial correlations revealed by these Raman imaging studies indicate the genetic relationships and the geological processes that these materials have been experienced. For robotic planetary surface exploration mission, a simple yet very useful molecular map of a sample can be generated by using line-scan or grid-scan of an in situ Raman system with tightly focused laser beam.

  12. Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Oliver; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Many organic compounds or their precursors found in meteorites originated in the interstellar or circumstellar medium and were later incorporated into planetesimals during the formation of the solar system. There they either survived intact or underwent further processing to synthesize secondary products on the meteorite parent body. The most distinct feature of CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites, two types of stony meteorites, is their high carbon content (up to 3% of weight), either in the form of carbonates or of organic compounds. The bulk of the organic carbon consists of an insoluble macromolecular material with a complex structure. Also present is a soluble organic fraction, which has been analyzed by several separation and analytical procedures. Low detection limits can be achieved by derivatization of the organic molecules with reagents that allow for analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography. The CM meteorite Murchison has been found to contain more than 70 extraterrestrial amino acids and several other classes of compounds including carboxylic acids, hydroxy carboxylic acids, sulphonic and phosphonic acids, aliphatic, aromatic and polar hydrocarbons, fullerenes, heterocycles as well as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, amines and amides. The organic matter was found to be enriched in deuterium, and distinct organic compounds show isotopic enrichments of carbon and nitrogen relative to terrestrial matter.

  13. Extraterrestrial Nucleobases in Carbonaceous Chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Z.; Botta, O.; Fogel, M.; Sephton, M.; Glavin, D.; Watson, J.; Dworkin, J.; Schwartz, A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    . Our stable carbon isotope measurements clearly demonstrate that the nucleobases in the Murchison meteorite are indigenous to the meteorite, and clearly differ from the values determined for the terrestrial nucleobases measured in the soil collected at the impact site. These results support the hypothesis that nucleobases were exogenously delivered to the early Earth, and may have been important for the prebiotic chemistry on our young planet. With regard to the detection of traces of life on other planets such as Mars it is essential to characterize organic materials that have been exogenously delivered to the early planets. The analysis of the composition and isotopic fractionation of extraterrestrial material using complementary techniques can provide crucial insights into the formation of our Solar System, extraterrestrial delivery processes and subsequent addition and incorporation into the carbonaceous material available on the young planets. Ultimately, these parameters form an essential reference point for interpreting biosignatures that may be left in the ancient rock record on a planetary body. References: [1] Hayatsu R. et al. 1975. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 39: 471- 488. [2] Folsome C. E. et al. 1971. Nature 232: 108-109. [3] Stoks P. G. & Schwartz A. W. 1979. Nature 282: 709-710. [4] Stoks P.G. & Schwartz A. W. 1981. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 45: 563-569. [5] Shimoyama A. et al. 1990. Geochemical Journal 24: 343-348. [6] Martins Z. et al. 2004. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 39: A5145. 2

  14. A Protocol for Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Atri, Dimitra; Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2011-01-01

    Messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence (METI) is a branch of study concerned with constructing and broadcasting a message toward habitable planets. Since the Arecibo message of 1974, the handful of METI broadcasts have increased in content and complexity, but the lack of an established protocol has produced unorganized or cryptic messages that could be difficult to interpret. Here we outline the development of a self-consistent protocol for messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence that provides constraints and guidelines for the construction of a message in order to maximize the probability that the message effectively communicates. A METI protocol considers several factors including signal encoding, message length, information content, anthropocentrism, transmission method, and transmission periodicity. Once developed, the protocol will be released for testing on different human groups worldwide and across cultural boundaries. An effective message to extraterrestrials should at least be understandable ...

  15. Life on other worlds : the twentieth century extraterrestrial life debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.

    1998-12-01

    List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. From the physical world to the biological universe: Democritus to Lowell; 2. Life in the solar system; 3. Solar systems beyond; 4. Extraterrestrials in literature and the arts: the role of imagination; 5. The UFO controversy and the extraterrestrial hypothesis; 6. The origin and evolution of life in the extraterrestrial context; 7. SETI: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence; 8. The meaning of life; 9. Summary and conclusion: the biological universe; Select bibliographical essay; Index.

  16. The Future, Extraterrestrial Space Humanization and Sociology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDaniel, William E.

    This paper suggests that sociologists should become actively involved with the study of the future as a means for revitalizing the profession of sociology. One aspect of the future that may be most exciting and challenging is the development of human society and culture in extraterrestrial human communities. A unique combination of technological…

  17. Extraterrestrial Life: Processes, Implications, and Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molyson, Joseph T.

    Provided are background materials relating the study of extraterrestrial life to common biological principles. A history of the creation of the sun and earth is included, as well as a summary of one current theory regarding the origin of life on earth. Relationships are identified regarding possible origins of life on other planets. Factors…

  18. Hegel, Analogy, and Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Joseph T.

    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel rejected the possibility of life outside of the Earth, according to several scholars of extraterrestrial life. Their position is that the solar system and specifically the planet Earth is the unique place in the cosmos where life, intelligence, and rationality can be. The present study offers a very different interpretation of Hegel's statements about the place of life on Earth by suggesting that, although Hegel did not believe that there were other solar systems where rationality is present, he did in fact suggest that planets in general, not the Earth exclusively, have life and possibly also intelligent inhabitants. Analogical syllogisms are superficial, according to Hegel, insofar as they try to conclude that there is life on the Moon even though there is no evidence of water or air on that body. Similar analogical arguments for life on the Sun made by Johann Elert Bode and William Herschel were considered by Hegel to be equally superficial. Analogical arguments were also used by astronomers and philosophers to suggest that life could be found on other planets in our solar system. Hegel offers no critique of analogical arguments for life on other planets, and in fact Hegel believed that life would be found on other planets. Planets, after all, have meteorological processes and therefore are "living" according to his philosophical account, unlike the Moon, Sun, and comets. Whereas William Herschel was already finding great similarities between the Sun and the stars and had extended these similarities to the property of having planets or being themselves inhabitable worlds, Hegel rejected this analogy. The Sun and stars have some properties in common, but for Hegel one cannot conclude from these similarities to the necessity that stars have planets. Hegel's arguments against the presence of life in the solar system were not directed against other planets, but rather against the Sun and Moon, both of which he said have a different

  19. Extremophiles and the search for extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2002-01-01

    Extremophiles thrive in ice, boiling water, acid, the water core of nuclear reactors, salt crystals, and toxic waste and in a range of other extreme habitats that were previously thought to be inhospitable for life. Extremophiles include representatives of all three domains (Bacteria, Archaea, and Eucarya); however, the majority are microorganisms, and a high proportion of these are Archaea. Knowledge of extremophile habitats is expanding the number and types of extraterrestrial locations that may be targeted for exploration. In addition, contemporary biological studies are being fueled by the increasing availability of genome sequences and associated functional studies of extremophiles. This is leading to the identification of new biomarkers, an accurate assessment of cellular evolution, insight into the ability of microorganisms to survive in meteorites and during periods of global extinction, and knowledge of how to process and examine environmental samples to detect viable life forms. This paper evaluates extremophiles and extreme environments in the context of astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life.

  20. Psycholinguistics and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidija Krotenko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The author of the article reveals the possibilities of psycholinguistics in the identifi cation and interpretation of languages and texts of Alien Civilizations. The author combines modern interdisciplinary research in psycholinguistics with the theory “Evolving Matter” proposed by Oleg Bazaluk and concludes that the identifi cation of languages and texts of Alien Civilizations, as well as the communication of terrestrial civilization with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is in principle possible. To that end, it is necessary to achieve the required level of the modeling of neurophilosophy and to include these achievements of modern psycholinguistics studies: а language acquisition; b language comprehension; c language production; d second language acquisition. On the one hand, the possibilities of neurophilosophy to accumulate and model advanced neuroscience research; on the other hand, highly specialized psycholinguistic studies in language evolution are able to provide the communication of terrestrial civilization with Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

  1. Stellivore extraterrestrials? Binary stars as living systems

    OpenAIRE

    Vidal, Clément

    2016-01-01

    We lack signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) despite decades of observation in the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Could evidence be buried in existing data? To recognize ETI, we first propose criteria discerning life from non-life based on thermodynamics and living systems theory. Then we extrapolate civilizational development to both external and internal growth. Taken together, these two trends lead to an argument that some existing binary stars might actually be ETI. Since these h...

  2. Paleoindian demography and the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Briggs; Collard, Mark; Edinborough, Kevan

    2008-08-19

    Recently it has been suggested that one or more large extraterrestrial (ET) objects struck northern North America 12,900 +/- 100 calendar years before present (calBP) [Firestone RB, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104: 16016-16021]. This impact is claimed to have triggered the Younger Dryas major cooling event and resulted in the extinction of the North American megafauna. The impact is also claimed to have caused major cultural changes and population decline among the Paleoindians. Here, we report a study in which approximately 1,500 radiocarbon dates from archaeological sites in Canada and the United States were used to test the hypothesis that the ET resulted in population decline among the Paleoindians. Following recent studies [e.g., Gamble C, Davies W, Pettitt P, Hazelwood L, Richards M (2005) Camb Archaeol J 15:193-223), the summed probability distribution of the calibrated dates was used to identify probable changes in human population size between 15,000 and 9,000 calBP. Subsequently, potential biases were evaluated by modeling and spatial analysis of the dated occupations. The results of the analyses were not consistent with the predictions of extraterrestrial impact hypothesis. No evidence of a population decline among the Paleoindians at 12,900 +/- 100 calBP was found. Thus, minimally, the study suggests the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis should be amended.

  3. Extraterrestrial altruism evolution and ethics in the cosmos

    CERN Document Server

    2014-01-01

    Extraterrestrial Altruism examines a basic assumption of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that extraterrestrials will be transmitting messages to us for our benefit. This question of whether extraterrestrials will be altruistic has become increasingly important in recent years as SETI scientists have begun contemplating transmissions from Earth to make contact. Should we expect altruism to evolve throughout the cosmos, or is this only wishful thinking? Would this make biological sense? Is it dangerous to send messages to other worlds, as Stephen Hawking has suggested? Would extraterrestrial societies be based on different ethical principles? Extraterrestrial Altruism explores these and related questions about the motivations of civilizations beyond Earth, providing new insights that are critical for SETI. Chapters are authored by leading scholars from diverse disciplines—anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, cosmology, engineering, history of science, law, philos...

  4. Curating NASA's Extraterrestrial Samples - Past, Present, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton; Allton, Judith; Lofgren, Gary; Righter, Kevin; Zolensky, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Curation of extraterrestrial samples is the critical interface between sample return missions and the international research community. The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating NASA s extraterrestrial samples. Under the governing document, NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7100.10E "Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials", JSC is charged with ". . . curation of all extraterrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions." The Directive goes on to define Curation as including "documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach."

  5. Musical Structures and Search for Extraterrestrials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Vladimir A.

    Recent findings in cognitive phsychology indicate connections between human feelings and musical scales, on the one hand, and the laws of thermodynamics, on the other. The existence of such a deep correlations allows us to suggest the hypothesis that music is inherent not only to the human beings but to other sapient creatures as well. It is worth, thus, in our search for extraterrestrial civilizations to conduct a "musical" analysis of the spectra of "suspicious" objects. The results of such analysis of the Doppler spectrum of SS 433 will be presented in this paper.

  6. On the improbability of intelligent extraterrestrials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, A.

    1982-05-01

    Discussions relating to the prevalence of extraterrestrial life generally remain ambiguous due to the lack of a suitable model for the development of biology. In this paper a simple model is proposed based on neutral evolution theory which leads to quantitative values for the genome growth rate within a biosphere. It is hypothesised that the genome size is a measure of organism complexity and hence an indicator of the likelihood of intelligence. The calculations suggest that organisms with the complexity of human beings may be rare and only occur with a probability below once per galaxy.

  7. Space nuclear power systems for extraterrestrial basing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance, J. R.; Chi, J. W. H.

    1989-01-01

    Comparative analyses reveal that the nuclear power option significantly reduces the logistic burden required to support a lunar base. The paper considers power levels from tens of kWe for early base operation up to 2000 kWe for a self-sustaining base with a CELSS. It is shown that SP-100 and NERVA derivative reactor (NDR) technology for space power can be used effectively for extraterrestrial base power systems. Recent developments in NDR design that result in major reductions in reactor mass are described.

  8. Theology after contact: religion and extraterrestrial intelligent life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haught, J F

    2001-12-01

    The prospect of encountering extraterrestrial intelligent life raises important questions for religion and theology. Even if an actual encounter with extraterrestrials never actually takes place, or proves impractical, terrestrial religious thought already has resources that can render intelligible and allow us theologically to appreciate such an eventuality.

  9. Extraterrestrial Radiation Chemistry and Molecular Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Reggie L.; Moore, Marla H.

    2009-01-01

    Astronomical observations of both solar system and interstellar regions have revealed a rich chemical inventory that includes most classes of organic molecules and selected inorganics. For example, gas-phase ethylene glycol and SOz have been observed by astronomers, while solidphase detections include OCS, H2O2 , and the cyanate anion.' All of these are found in environments that are, by earthly standards, exceedingly hostile: temperatures of 10 - 100 K, miniscule densities, and near-ubiquitous ionizing-radiation fields. Beyond the simplest chemical species, these conditions have made it difficult-to-impassible to account for the observed molecular abundances using gas-phase chemistry, suggesting solid-phase reactions play an important role. In extraterrestrial environments, cosmic rays, UV photons, and magnetospheric radiation all drive chemical reactions, even at cryogenic temperatures. To study this chemistry, radiation astrochemists conduct experiments on icy materials, frozen under vacuum and exposed to sources such as keV electrons and MeV protons. Compositional changes usually are followed with IR spectroscopy and, in selected cases, more-sensitive mass-spectral techniques. This talk will review some recent results on known and suspected extraterrestrial molecules and ions. Spectra and reaction pathways will be presented, and predictions made for interstellar chemistry and the chemistry of selected solar system objects. Some past radiation-chemical contributions, and future needs, will be explored.

  10. Is Your Gut Conscious? Is an Extraterrestrial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos Post, Jonathan

    2011-10-01

    This paper speculates on questions intending to be taken scientifically rather than metaphysically: "Can the human gut (enteric nervous system) be conscious?"; "Can your immune system think?"; "Could consciousness be coded in DNA?"; "What do we mean when asserting that an Extraterrestrial is Thinking, or is Conscious? We explore through reference to theory, experiment, and computational models by Christof Koch (Caltech), Barbara Wold (Caltech), and Stuart Kauffman (University of Calgary, Tampere University of Technology, Santa Fe Institute). We use a tentative new definition of thinking, designed to be applicable for humans, cetecea, corvids, artificial intelligences, and extraterrestrial intelligences of any substrate (i.e. Life as We Do Not Know It): "Thinking is the occurrence, transformation, and storage in a mind or brain (or simulation thereof) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or another, such as thoughts, concept, percepts, ideas, impressions, notions, rules, schemas, images, phantasms, or subpersonal representations." We use the framework for Consciousness developed by Francis Crick and Christof Koch. We try to describe scientific goals, but discuss Philosophy sufficient to avoid naïve philosophical category errors (thus are careful not to conflate thought, consciousness, and language) Penrose, Hameroff, and Kauffman speculate (differently) that CNS consciousness is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon. Might intestinal, immune system, or genetic regulatory network dynamics exhibit emergent cooperative quantum effects? The speculations are in the context of Evolution by Natural Selection, presumed to operate throughout the Cosmos, and recent work in the foundations of Computational Biology and Quantum Mechanics.

  11. Quantitative computer simulations of extraterrestrial processing operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, T. L.; Nikravesh, P. E.

    1989-01-01

    The automation of a small, solid propellant mixer was studied. Temperature control is under investigation. A numerical simulation of the system is under development and will be tested using different control options. Control system hardware is currently being put into place. The construction of mathematical models and simulation techniques for understanding various engineering processes is also studied. Computer graphics packages were utilized for better visualization of the simulation results. The mechanical mixing of propellants is examined. Simulation of the mixing process is being done to study how one can control for chaotic behavior to meet specified mixing requirements. An experimental mixing chamber is also being built. It will allow visual tracking of particles under mixing. The experimental unit will be used to test ideas from chaos theory, as well as to verify simulation results. This project has applications to extraterrestrial propellant quality and reliability.

  12. Searches for electromagnetic signals from extraterrestrial beings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerman, B.

    The techniques and rationale used in six radio-frequency surveys to detect possible signals from extraterrestrial beings (ETs) are reviewed. Reception attempts have been made by pointing antennas at the stars within 80 light years, toward F, G, K, andd M main sequence stars, and binary star systems with component separation less than one-third or more than three times the radius of the habitable zone around the main star. All of the searches explored narrow bandwidths, with attention given to rapid variability. Stars exhibiting variability were re-examined for longer periods, using the 21 cm bandwidth, which is not used for transmissions on earth. The best spectrum analyzer in operation for ET signal search purposes has a capacity of 200,000 channels. Further studies may be carried out at the 10 micron IR wavelength, which could detect planetary-size construction projects by ET civilizations.

  13. Stellivore extraterrestrials? Binary stars as living systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Clément

    2016-11-01

    We lack signs of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) despite decades of observation in the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Could evidence be buried in existing data? To recognize ETI, we first propose criteria discerning life from non-life based on thermodynamics and living systems theory. Then we extrapolate civilizational development to both external and internal growth. Taken together, these two trends lead to an argument that some existing binary stars might actually be ETI. Since these hypothetical beings feed actively on stars, we call them "stellivores". I present an independent thermodynamic argument for their existence, with a metabolic interpretation of interacting binary stars. The jury is still out, but the hypothesis is empirically testable with existing astrophysical data.

  14. Finding extraterrestrial organisms living on thermosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Anthonie W J

    2003-01-01

    During thermal cycling, organisms could live on thermosynthesis, a theoretical mechanism applicable to the origin of life and the early evolution of biological energy conversion. All extraterrestrial ice may be a repository for frozen dead or dormant organisms from earlier stages of evolution. In the presence of a thermal gradient within the ice, organisms might still be harvesting energy from thermosynthesis. Possible habitats for thermosynthesizers can be found throughout the Solar System, particularly in the cold traps on Mercury and the Moon, convecting waters on Mars, the oceans on moons in the outer Solar System, and smaller bodies rotating in the sunlight such as cosmic dust, meteorites, asteroids, and comets. A general strategy for detecting thermosynthetic organisms on Earth is offered, and highlights of current and upcoming robotic exploratory missions relevant to the detection of thermosynthesis are reviewed.

  15. [Current considerations around the search for extraterrestrial life].

    Science.gov (United States)

    González de Posada, F

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, the current cosmological topics are considered: a) The fourth centenary celebration of Giordano Bruno's death at the Roman's inquisition stake. This eminent philosopher, based on the Coppernican Revolution, concibed the Cosmos as a infinite universe with innumerable inhabited worlds. He acted on reason to believe not only in extraterrestrial life but in extraterrestrial intelligent life. Here we write a few words in his memory and honour. b) The active project SETI@home in the framework of today's classic program "Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence", by means of the reception of radioelectrical signals. c) Search for extrasolar planets.

  16. Curating NASA's Past, Present, and Future Extraterrestrial Sample Collections

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Allton, J. H.; Evans, C. A.; Fries, M. D.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Righter, K.; Zeigler, R. A.; Zolensky, M.; Stansbery, E. K.

    2016-01-01

    The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (henceforth referred to herein as NASA Curation Office) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating all of NASA's extraterrestrial samples. Under the governing document, NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7100.10E "Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials", JSC is charged with "...curation of all extra-terrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions." The Directive goes on to define Curation as including "...documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach." Here we describe some of the past, present, and future activities of the NASA Curation Office.

  17. Engaging space: extraterrestrial architecture and the human psyche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequin, Angel Marie

    2005-01-01

    The human fascination with exploring and inhabiting the space that lies beyond Earth's atmosphere continues to grow. Nevertheless, 40 years of experience to date have clearly established that humans in outer space routinely suffer significant psychological impairment arising from their stressful extraterrestrial living conditions. This paper explores those extraterrestrial conditions through the interactions between the extraordinarily harsh environment of outer space, the sensations that humans encounter in space, and the qualities of a habitat that physically interposes itself between the two. The objective of this paper is to develop a habitat that expresses the extraterrestrial condition while supporting the mental health of its inhabitants, so as to augment the success of prolonged extraterrestrial residence and interplanetary travel. c2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Inventing Life-Forms: The Creation of an Extraterrestrial Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Science Activities, 1996

    1996-01-01

    Presents activities in which students play the role of cadets performing missions for the fictitious SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Academy. Guides students toward an understanding of evolutionary forces and how they are affected by the physical environment. (JRH)

  19. Engaging space: extraterrestrial architecture and the human psyche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie Seguin, Angel

    2005-05-01

    The human fascination with exploring and inhabiting the space that lies beyond Earth's atmosphere continues to grow. Nevertheless, 40 years of experience to date have clearly established that humans in outer space routinely suffer significant psychological impairment arising from their stressful extraterrestrial living conditions. This paper explores those extraterrestrial conditions through the interactions between the extraordinarily harsh environment of outer space, the sensations that humans encounter in space, and the qualities of a habitat that physically interposes itself between the two. The objective of this paper is to develop a habitat that expresses the extraterrestrial condition while supporting the mental health of its inhabitants, so as to augment the success of prolonged extraterrestrial residence and interplanetary travel.

  20. Advanced Curation For Current and Future Extraterrestrial Sample Collections Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This is a planned three-year project to develop  extraterrestrial sample curation techniques and equipment to prepare for future human and robotic sample return...

  1. Implications for the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life: A Theological Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Losch, Andreas; Krebs, Andreas Otto

    2015-01-01

    Recent remarks of Pope Francis spark anew an important discussion: are we alone in the Universe? The article follows traces of the idea of extraterrestrial life throughout philosophy, evaluates the current considerations about the probability of extraterrestrial life and discusses the potential implications for the discovery of such life from a theological point of view. This “thought experiment” covers basic insights on creation, revelation and redemption.

  2. Theological Consequences of the Potential Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funes José, G.

    2012-05-01

    I will review some ideas about extraterrestrial life in the history of the philosophical and religious thought. I will present some of the challenges that the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life would present to Christian theology. If we were to discover that we are not the only ones to inhabit the universe? Can a Christian admit the existence of other lives and other worlds, perhaps more advanced than ours, without calling into question our faith in the Creation, the Incarnation and Redemption?

  3. Development of extraterrestrial intelligence and physical laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troitskij, V. S.

    This paper considers the restrictions imposed by physical laws on the development of life and intelligence in the form of extraterrestrial civilizations. For this purpose intelligence is defined as the community of intelligent beings, joined by the exchange of mass, energy and information both between themselves and with the external medium. Due to the limitation of the velocity of exchange of information and, in particular, mass and energy exchange, the dimensions of the intelligence cannot exceed some light days, i.e. they are limited by the habitable zone about their star. It is shown that the energy consumption should not exceed the energy output of their star for the sake of preserving the cosmic near-star zone of life from energetic pollution. With the above restrictions of the energy product it takes millions of years to create an omnidirectional beacon-transmitter signals from which would be received by the contemporary antennas in all our Galaxy. It is realistic to create an omnidirectional beacon operating in the range of no more than 100-1000 light years.

  4. Constructing messages to extraterrestrials: an exosemiotic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    Discussions of constructing messages for communication with extraterrestrials have tended to fall into one of two extremes. The dominant position among astronomers and physicists is that conveying information between two civilizations will be relatively straightforward because both species will share basic conceptions of mathematics and science. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences typically contend the opposite: that even mathematics and science as we know them may be specific to humans, and that it may be impossible to develop systems of communication across species. A position between these two extremes is advanced in this paper. The "Incommensurability Problem" might be overcome by sending transmissions simulating natural phenomena themselves, rather than particular models of these phenomena. A semiotic analysis of the various possibilities for representing these phenomena suggests that icons, which bear physical resemblances to what they represent, will be superior to symbols, which are purely arbitrary. The implications of this intermediate position include the need for more intensive investigations of the linguistic aspects of SETI before a message is received, as well as the advantages of transmitting in addition to searching for signals.

  5. The Search for Extraterrestrials Intercepting Alien Signals

    CERN Document Server

    Ross, Monte

    2009-01-01

    In The Search for Extraterrestrials, Monte Ross explores in detail the key problems in starting a search, the programs that have failed and those that continue. He includes the fundamental considerations and the physics of the necessary laser, UV, IR and RF technologies, as well as coding and information theory considerations. The author explores future possibilities providing the reader with a comprehensive view of the many ways signals from aliens could be sent and explains why the search using RF leaves more than 99% of the electromagnetic spectrum unexamined. He also demonstrates the many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, considering the next likely steps in this unique enterprise. Given man’s intrinsic nature to explore, the search will continue in one form or many, until success is achieved, which may be tomorrow or a millennium away. In summary, Monte Ross proposes to get around the failure of a fruitless search at radio frequencies by developing, in a precise way, the argument for searching for...

  6. XII Tables for researchers on extraterrestrial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocca, Aldo Armando

    In the legal field, studies on extraterrestrial intelligence began four years before the leading article on interstellar communication was published. Even though discussion of the legal problems still lacks a juridical framework of universal acceptance, a few guidelines are suggested under the title of XII Tables (or Commandments). The XII Tables, which was the Romans' first code, also included provisions on international law and may be seen as a very important source of the law of nations. Their great merit was brevity, which allowed the progressive development of the law. These XII Tables have been divided into six to guide reactions in the event messages or signals are received, and six to determine the behavior of those responsible for answering if and when a communication attempt takes place. They were drafted on the basis of what is known as "ethics" and "law" in a way that any progress in this respect may be to the credit of our civilization and the human condition. For a wise and cautious analysis of the matter, the creation of a committee of representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations is proposed.

  7. Inflation-Theory Implications for Extraterrestrial Visitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deardoff, J.; Haisch, B.; Maccabee, B.; Puthoff, H. E.

    It has recently been argued that anthropic reasoning applied to inflation theory reinforces the prediction that we should find ourselves part of a large, galaxy-sized civilisation, thus strengthening Fermi's paradox concerning `Where are they?' Furthermore, superstring and M-brane theory allow for the possibility of parallel universes, some of which in principle could be habitable. In addition, discussion of such exotic transport concepts as `traversable wormholes' now appears in the rigorous physics literature. As a result, the `We are alone' solution to Fermi's paradox, based on the constraints of earlier 20th century viewpoints, appears today to be inconsistent with new developments in our best current physics and astrophysics theories. Therefore we reexamine and reevaluate the present assumption that extraterrestrials or their probes are not in the vicinity of Earth, and argue instead that some evidence of their presence might be found in certain high-quality UFO reports. This study follows up on previous arguments that (1) interstellar travel for advanced civilizations is not a priori ruled out by physical principles and therefore may be practicable, and (2) such advanced civilisations may value the search for knowledge from uncontaminated species more than direct, interspecies communication, thereby accounting for apparent covertness regarding their presence.

  8. The Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Antiquity to 1900

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Michael J.; Dowd, Matthew F.

    This chapter provides an overview of the Western historical debate regarding extraterrestrial life from antiquity to the beginning of the twentieth century. Though schools of thought in antiquity differed on whether extraterrestrial life existed, by the Middle Ages, the Aristotelian worldview of a unified, finite cosmos without extraterrestrials was most influential, though there were such dissenters as Nicholas of Cusa. That would change as the Copernican revolution progressed. Scholars such as Bruno, Kepler, Galileo, and Descartes would argue for a Copernican system of a moving Earth. Cartesian and Newtonian physics would eventually lead to a view of the universe in which the Earth was one of many planets in one of many solar systems extended in space. As this cosmological model was developing, so too were notions of extraterrestrial life. Popular and scientific writings, such as those by Fontenelle and Huygens, led to a reversal of fortunes for extraterrestrials, who by the end of the century were gaining recognition. From 1700 to 1800, many leading thinkers discussed extraterrestrial intelligent beings. In doing so, they relied heavily on arguments from analogy and such broad principles and ideas as the Copernican Principle, the Principle of Plenitude, and the Great Chain of Being. Physical evidence for the existence of extraterrestrials was minimal, and was always indirect, such as the sighting of polar caps on Mars, suggesting similarities between Earth and other places in the universe. Nonetheless, the eighteenth century saw writers from a wide variety of genres—science, philosophy, theology, literature—speculate widely on extraterrestrials. In the latter half of the century, increasing research in stellar astronomy would be carried out, heavily overlapping with an interest in extraterrestrial life. By the end of the eighteenth century, belief in intelligent beings on solar system planets was nearly universal and certainly more common than it would be by

  9. Can Collimated Extraterrestrial Signals be Intercepted?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forgan, D. H.

    2014-06-01

    The Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (OSETI) attempts to detect collimated, narrow-band pulses of electromagnetic radiation. These pulses may either consist of signals intentionally directed at the Earth, or signals between two star systems with a vector that unintentionally intersects the Solar System, allowing Earth to intercept the communication. But should we expect to be able to intercept these unintentional signals? And what constraints can we place upon the frequency of intelligent civilisations if we do? We carry out Monte Carlo Realisation simulations of interstellar communications between civilisations in the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) using collimated beams. We measure the frequency with which beams between two stars are intercepted by a third. The interception rate increases linearly with the fraction of communicating civilisations, and as the cube of the beam opening angle, which is somewhat stronger than theoretical expectations, which we argue is due to the geometry of the GHZ. We find that for an annular GHZ containing 10,000 civilisations, intersections are unlikely unless the beams are relatively uncollimated. These results indicate that optical SETI is more likely to find signals deliberately directed at the Earth than accidentally intercepting collimated communications. Equally, civilisations wishing to establish a network of communicating species may use weakly collimated beams to build up the network through interception, if they are willing to pay a cost penalty that is lower than that meted by fully isotropic beacons. Future SETI searches should consider the possibility that communicating civilisations will attempt to strike a balance between optimising costs and encouraging contact between civilisations, and look for weakly collimated pulses as well as narrow-beam pulses directed deliberately at the Earth.

  10. A Microseismometer for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W.; Kaiser, W.; Vanzandt, T.

    1993-01-01

    The scientific and technical requirements of extraterrestrial seismology place severe demands on instrumentation. Performance in terms of sensitivity, stability, and frequency band must match that of the best terrestrial instruments, at a fraction of the size, mass, and power. In addition, this performance must be realized without operator intervention in harsh temperature, shock, and radiation environments. These constraints have forced us to examine some fundamental limits of accelerometer design in order to produce a small, rugged, sensitive seismometer. Silicon micromachined sensor technology offers techniques for the fabrication of monolithic, robust, compact, low-power and -mass accelerometers. However, currently available sensors offer inadequate sensitivity and bandwidth. Our implementation of an advanced silicon micro machined seismometer is based on principles developed at JPL for high-sensitivity position sensor technology. The use of silicon micro machining technology with these new principles should enable the fabrication of a 10(exp -11) g sensitivity seismometer with a bandwidth of at least 0.01 to 20 Hz. The low Q properties of pure single-crystal silicon are essential in order to minimize the Brownian thermal noise limitations generally characteristic of seismometers with small proof masses. A seismometer consists of a spring-supported proof mass and a transducer for measuring its motion. For long period motion a position sensor is generally used, for which the displacement is proportional to the ground acceleration. The mechanical sensitivity can be increased either by increasing the proof mass or decreasing the spring stiffness, neither of which is desirable for planetary applications. Our approach has been to use an ultra sensitive capacitive position sensor with a sensitivity of better than 10(exp -13) m/Hz(exp 1/2). This allows the use of a stiffer suspension and a smaller proof mass. We have built several prototypes using these principles

  11. Drilling systems for extraterrestrial subsurface exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K; Bar-Cohen, Y; Brennan, M; Briggs, G; Cooper, G; Davis, K; Dolgin, B; Glaser, D; Glass, B; Gorevan, S; Guerrero, J; McKay, C; Paulsen, G; Stanley, S; Stoker, C

    2008-06-01

    Drilling consists of 2 processes: breaking the formation with a bit and removing the drilled cuttings. In rotary drilling, rotational speed and weight on bit are used to control drilling, and the optimization of these parameters can markedly improve drilling performance. Although fluids are used for cuttings removal in terrestrial drilling, most planetary drilling systems conduct dry drilling with an auger. Chip removal via water-ice sublimation (when excavating water-ice-bound formations at pressure below the triple point of water) and pneumatic systems are also possible. Pneumatic systems use the gas or vaporization products of a high-density liquid brought from Earth, gas provided by an in situ compressor, or combustion products of a monopropellant. Drill bits can be divided into coring bits, which excavate an annular shaped hole, and full-faced bits. While cylindrical cores are generally superior as scientific samples, and coring drills have better performance characteristics, full-faced bits are simpler systems because the handling of a core requires a very complex robotic mechanism. The greatest constraints to extraterrestrial drilling are (1) the extreme environmental conditions, such as temperature, dust, and pressure; (2) the light-time communications delay, which necessitates highly autonomous systems; and (3) the mission and science constraints, such as mass and power budgets and the types of drilled samples needed for scientific analysis. A classification scheme based on drilling depth is proposed. Each of the 4 depth categories (surface drills, 1-meter class drills, 10-meter class drills, and deep drills) has distinct technological profiles and scientific ramifications.

  12. Science, religion, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Wilkinson, David

    2013-01-01

    If the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe is just around the corner, what would be the consequences for religion? Would it represent another major conflict between science and religion, even leading to the death of faith? Some would suggest that the discovery of any suggestion of extraterrestrial life would have a greater impact than even the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is now over 50 years since the first modern scientific papers were published on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Yet the religious implications of this search and possible discovery have never been systematically addressed in the scientific or theological arena. SETI is now entering its most important era of scientific development. New observation techniques are leading to the discovery of extra-solar planets daily, and the Kepler mission has already collected over 1000 planetary candidates. This deluge of data is transforming the scientific and popular view of the existence of extraterrestrial intel...

  13. Life on Other Worlds: The 20th- Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.

    2001-06-01

    List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. From the physical world to the biological universe: Democritus to Lowell; 2. Life in the solar system; 3. Solar systems beyond; 4. Extraterrestrials in literature and the arts: the role of imagination; 5. The UFO controversy and the extraterrestrial hypothesis; 6. The origin and evolution of life in the extraterrestrial context; 7. SETI: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence; 8. The meaning of life; 9. Summary and conclusion: the biological universe; Select bibliographical essay; Index.

  14. How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jung Yul; Bercovici, Hannah L.; Cunningham, Katja; Varnum, Michael E. W.

    2018-01-01

    How will humanity react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Speculation on this topic abounds, but empirical research is practically non-existent. We report the results of three empirical studies assessing psychological reactions to the discovery of extraterrestrial life using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis software. We examined language use in media coverage of past discovery announcements of this nature, with a focus on extraterrestrial microbial life (Pilot Study). A large online sample (N = 501) was asked to write about their own and humanity’s reaction to a hypothetical announcement of such a discovery (Study 1), and an independent, large online sample (N = 256) was asked to read and respond to a newspaper story about the claim that fossilized extraterrestrial microbial life had been found in a meteorite of Martian origin (Study 2). Across these studies, we found that reactions were significantly more positive than negative, and more reward vs. risk oriented. A mini-meta-analysis revealed large overall effect sizes (positive vs. negative affect language: g = 0.98; reward vs. risk language: g = 0.81). We also found that people’s forecasts of their own reactions showed a greater positivity bias than their forecasts of humanity’s reactions (Study 1), and that responses to reading an actual announcement of the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life showed a greater positivity bias than responses to reading an actual announcement of the creation of man-made synthetic life (Study 2). Taken together, this work suggests that our reactions to a future confirmed discovery of microbial extraterrestrial life are likely to be fairly positive. PMID:29367849

  15. How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung Yul Kwon

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available How will humanity react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Speculation on this topic abounds, but empirical research is practically non-existent. We report the results of three empirical studies assessing psychological reactions to the discovery of extraterrestrial life using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC text analysis software. We examined language use in media coverage of past discovery announcements of this nature, with a focus on extraterrestrial microbial life (Pilot Study. A large online sample (N = 501 was asked to write about their own and humanity’s reaction to a hypothetical announcement of such a discovery (Study 1, and an independent, large online sample (N = 256 was asked to read and respond to a newspaper story about the claim that fossilized extraterrestrial microbial life had been found in a meteorite of Martian origin (Study 2. Across these studies, we found that reactions were significantly more positive than negative, and more reward vs. risk oriented. A mini-meta-analysis revealed large overall effect sizes (positive vs. negative affect language: g = 0.98; reward vs. risk language: g = 0.81. We also found that people’s forecasts of their own reactions showed a greater positivity bias than their forecasts of humanity’s reactions (Study 1, and that responses to reading an actual announcement of the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life showed a greater positivity bias than responses to reading an actual announcement of the creation of man-made synthetic life (Study 2. Taken together, this work suggests that our reactions to a future confirmed discovery of microbial extraterrestrial life are likely to be fairly positive.

  16. How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jung Yul; Bercovici, Hannah L; Cunningham, Katja; Varnum, Michael E W

    2017-01-01

    How will humanity react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Speculation on this topic abounds, but empirical research is practically non-existent. We report the results of three empirical studies assessing psychological reactions to the discovery of extraterrestrial life using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis software. We examined language use in media coverage of past discovery announcements of this nature, with a focus on extraterrestrial microbial life (Pilot Study). A large online sample ( N = 501) was asked to write about their own and humanity's reaction to a hypothetical announcement of such a discovery (Study 1), and an independent, large online sample ( N = 256) was asked to read and respond to a newspaper story about the claim that fossilized extraterrestrial microbial life had been found in a meteorite of Martian origin (Study 2). Across these studies, we found that reactions were significantly more positive than negative, and more reward vs. risk oriented. A mini-meta-analysis revealed large overall effect sizes (positive vs. negative affect language: g = 0.98; reward vs. risk language: g = 0.81). We also found that people's forecasts of their own reactions showed a greater positivity bias than their forecasts of humanity's reactions (Study 1), and that responses to reading an actual announcement of the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life showed a greater positivity bias than responses to reading an actual announcement of the creation of man-made synthetic life (Study 2). Taken together, this work suggests that our reactions to a future confirmed discovery of microbial extraterrestrial life are likely to be fairly positive.

  17. SETI pioneers scientists talk about their search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Swift, David W.

    1990-01-01

    Why did some scientists decide to conduct a search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)? What factors in their personal development predisposed them to such a quest? What obstacles did they encounter along the way? David Swift interviewed the first scientists involved in the search & offers a fascinating overview of the emergence of this modern scientific endeavor. He allows some of the most imaginative scientific thinkers of our time to hold forth on their views regarding SETI & extraterrestrial life & on how the field has developed. Readers will react with a range of opinions as broad as those concerning the likelihood of success in SETI itself. ''A goldmine of original information.''

  18. Man and his spaceships: Vehicles for extraterrestrial colonization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Janet L

    2012-11-01

    The resiliency and adaptive ability of microbial life in real time on Earth relies heavily upon horizontal gene transfer. Based on that knowledge, how likely is earth based microbial life to colonize extraterrestrial targets such as Mars? To address this question, we consider manned and unmanned space exploration, the resident microbiota that is likely to inhabit those vehicles, the adaptive potential of that microbiota in an extraterrestrial setting especially with regards to mobile genetic elements, and the likelihood that Mars like environments could initiate and sustain colonization.

  19. A directed search for extraterrestrial laser signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betz, A.

    1991-01-01

    The focus of NASA's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Program is on microwave frequencies, where receivers have the best sensitivities for the detection of narrowband signals. Such receivers, when coupled to existing radio telescopes, form an optimal system for broad area searches over the sky. For a directed search, however, such as toward specific stars, calculations show that infrared wavelengths can be equally as effective as radio wavelengths for establishing an interstellar communication link. This is true because infrared telescopes have higher directivities (gains) that effectively compensate for the lower sensitivities of infrared receivers. The result is that, for a given level of transmitted power, the signal to noise ratio for communications is equally as good at infrared and radio wavelengths. It should also be noted that the overall sensitivities of both receiver systems are quite close to their respective fundamental limits: background thermal noise for the radio frequency system and quantum noise for the infrared receiver. Consequently, the choice of an optimum communication frequency may well be determined more by the achievable power levels of transmitters rather than the ultimate sensitivities of receivers at any specific frequency. In the infrared, CO2 laser transmitters with power levels greater than 1 MW can already be built on Earth. For a slightly more advanced civilization, a similar but enormously more powerful laser may be possible using a planetary atmosphere rich in CO2. Because of these possibilities and our own ignorance of what is really the optimum search frequency, a search for narrowband signals at infrared frequencies should be a part of a balanced SETI Program. Detection of narrowband infrared signals is best done with a heterodyne receiver functionally identical to a microwave spectral line receiver. We have built such a receiver for the detection of CO2 laser radiation at wavelengths near 10 microns. The

  20. The Ethical Implications for Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Jill

    2012-05-01

    Ethical frameworks seek to normatively structure our behaviour and preconstitute expectations with regards to moral activity towards each other as well as other creatures and even non-sentient objects such as the environment. This paper considers how ongoing ethical discussions relating to earth-based interactions can be used as analogies to inform nascent conversations about potential future encounters with extraterrestrial life—while also highlighting where these geocentric conversations may fail to capture the unique dynamics of potential extraterrestrial encounters. The paper specifically considers the spectrum of ethical frameworks currently used in earth-based interactions and how they might apply outside the geocentric referent; from ethics towards non- sentient life on earth such as plants and the environment; to ethics towards sentient but ‘unintelligent' life; to intelligent life nonetheless deemed less intelligent than humans. Next the paper considers interactions that we have yet to (knowingly) have encountered here on earth: the ethics of interactions with life more intelligent than ourselves; and finally the ethics of interaction with robotic ‘post-biological' forms, which some specialists in extraterrestrial communications have speculated will likely be the form of ‘creatures' to be encountered should contact with extraterrestrials ever be made. Finally the paper will address deeper philosophical-ethical questions about the significance of such an exercise in shifting ethical frameworks from an anthropocentric perspective.

  1. Liberty and the Limits to the Extraterrestrial State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C. S.

    The physical conditions that inhere in extraterrestrial environments have a tendency to drive society toward collectivist mechanisms of political and economic order to successfully cope with, and prevent possible disaster caused by, the lethal external conditions. Liberty will therefore be eroded by deliberate human action, through extraterrestrial authorities, and through a natural restriction in concepts of liberty that will attend the development and behaviour of people in confined environments. The emergence of extraterrestrial governance that nurtures liberty in outer space will require the formation of many institutions that encourage competition and reduce political and economic monopolies - with the legal system to sustain them. This problem is most clearly manifest in oxygen production. These considerations allow the purpose and limits of the extraterrestrial state and precursor forms of governance to be circumscribed. Far from being a purely speculative enquiry, this discussion allows requirements in physical architecture and social organisation to be identified that can be considered from the earliest stages of space exploration and settlement.

  2. Search for and investigation of extraterrestrial forms of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, A. B.

    1975-01-01

    Correct combinations of remote, analytic, and functional methods and measuring devices for detecting extraterrestrial life are elaborated. Considered are techniques and instruments available both on earth and aboard spacecraft and artificial planetary satellites. Emphasis is placed on the abiogenetic synthesis of organic compounds formed in photosynthesis on Mars.

  3. Philosophical issues in the search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jean

    2013-07-01

    In the search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence, it is essential to clarify what is to be meant by `life' and `intelligence'. I first analyse what it means to `define' these words. I will show that some philosophical prejudice is unavoidable. As a working hypothesis, I consider two types of philosophy: `natural philosophy', seeking for some essence of things, and `critical (or analytical) philosophy', devoted to the analysis of the procedures by which we claim to construct a reality. An extension of critical philosophy, epistemo-analysis (i.e. the psycho-analysis of concepts) is presented and applied to the definition of exolife and to extraterrestrial `intelligence'. Some pragmatic conclusions are finally drawn for future search strategies.

  4. State-of-the-art Instruments for Detecting Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2003-01-01

    In the coming decades, state-of-the-art spacecraft-based instruments that can detect key components associated with life as we know it on Earth will directly search for extinct or extant extraterrestrial life in our solar system. Advances in our analytical and detection capabilities, especially those based on microscale technologies, will be important in enhancing the abilities of these instruments. Remote sensing investigations of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets could provide evidence of photosynthetic-based life outside our solar system, although less advanced life will remain undetectable by these methods. Finding evidence of extraterrestrial life would have profound consequences both with respect to our understanding of chemical and biological evolution, and whether the biochemistry on Earth is unique in the universe.

  5. Relevance and Significance of Extraterrestrial Abiological Hydrocarbon Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olah, George A; Mathew, Thomas; Prakash, G K Surya

    2016-06-08

    Astrophysical observations show similarity of observed abiological "organics"-i.e., hydrocarbons, their derivatives, and ions (carbocations and carbanions)-with studied terrestrial chemistry. Their formation pathways, their related extraterrestrial hydrocarbon chemistry originating from carbon and other elements after the Big Bang, their parent hydrocarbon and derivative (methane and methanol, respectively), and transportation of derived building blocks of life by meteorites or comets to planet Earth are discussed in this Perspective. Their subsequent evolution on Earth under favorable "Goldilocks" conditions led to more complex molecules and biological systems, and eventually to humans. The relevance and significance of extraterrestrial hydrocarbon chemistry to the limits of science in relation to the physical aspects of evolution on our planet Earth are also discussed.

  6. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  7. Extrasolar Asteroid Mining as Forensic Evidence for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Forgan, Duncan; Elvis, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The development of civilisations like ours into spacefaring, multi-planet entities requires significant raw materials to construct vehicles and habitats. Interplanetary debris, including asteroids and comets, may provide such a source of raw materials. In this article we present the hypothesis that extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) engaged in asteroid mining may be detectable from Earth. Considering the detected disc of debris around Vega as a template, we explore the observational signat...

  8. Periodicity of mass extinctions without an extraterrestrial cause

    OpenAIRE

    Lipowski,Adam

    2004-01-01

    We study a lattice model of a multi-species prey-predator system. Numerical results show that for a small mutation rate the model develops irregular long-period oscillatory behavior with sizeable changes in a number of species. The periodicity of extinctions on Earth was suggested by Raup and Sepkoski but so far is lacking a satisfactory explanation. Our model indicates that this is a natural consequence of the ecosystem dynamics, not the result of any extraterrestrial cause.

  9. The development of extraterrestrial civilizations and physical laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troitskii, V. S.

    Consideration is given to the limiting characteristics of extraterrestrial civilizations as allowed by physical laws, and to the possible pathways and levels of development of such civilizations. The concept of an extraterrestrial civilization is defined in terms of the exchange of information, energy and matter both within a community of intelligent beings and between the community and its environment. The possible characteristics of such a civilization are then examined, including amount of populated space, population and population density, energy requirements and supply, information content, transportation capacity and lifetimes, and it is shown that the space occupiable by an extraterrestrial civilization is limited to the space around its star, due to the finite velocity of transport processes. The development of a type II civilization, making use of energy on the order of that put out by its star, is then examined, and constraints on energy production in such a civilization making impossible the establishment of an omnidirectional radio beacon detectable throughout the Galaxy are pointed out.

  10. Some Implications of Space Tourism for Extraterrestrial Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, T. F.

    1999-01-01

    The Purpose and Scope of the Roundtable "to bring together people with ideas about what will be useful products in the space environment with those who know how to produce materials on Earth." When considering extraterrestrial resources in the context of their use in support of general public space tourism it is important to broaden this definition of Scope in certain ways. The first stages of extraterrestrial space tourism will probably take place in the Earth's lower atmosphere - far from the Moon or the planets, and even well below Earth orbit. Sophisticated aircraft could take tourists up to altitudes approaching 20 miles for short periods. And the earliest of fully reusable space transportation vehicles should be able to reach some 50 miles in altitude for short trips. Later, Earth multi-orbit trips could be offered, to be followed by stays in residence in LEO hotels for days. In time, trips could take place to/from the Moon, eventually with stays there. It should be appreciated that there are two most important extraterrestrial resources immediately available for space tourism use. They are not "materials" or "products," but are two vital space "resource intangibles."

  11. Signal coverage approach to the detection probability of hypothetical extraterrestrial emitters in the Milky Way

    OpenAIRE

    Claudio Grimaldi

    2017-01-01

    The lack of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, even the simplest forms of animal life, makes it is difficult to decide whether the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is more a high-risk, high-payoff endeavor than a futile attempt. Here we insist that even if extraterrestrial civilizations do exist and communicate, the likelihood of detecting their signals crucially depends on whether the Earth lies within a region of the galaxy covered by such signals. By consid...

  12. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  13. Investigation of Supercritical Water Phenomena for Space and Extraterrestrial Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Michael C.; Hegde, Uday G.; Fisher, John W.

    2012-01-01

    The cost of carrying or resupplying life support resources for long duration manned space exploration missions such as a mission to Mars is prohibitive and requires the development of suitable recycling technologies. Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) has been identified as an attractive candidate for these extended missions because (i) pre-drying of wet waste streams is not required, (ii) product streams are relatively benign, microbially inert, and easily reclaimed, (iii) waste conversion is complete and relatively fast, and (iv) with proper design and operation, reactions can be self-sustaining. Initial work in this area at NASA was carried out at the Ames Research Center in the 1990 s with a focus on understanding the linkages between feed stock preparation (i.e., particle size and distribution) of cellulosic based waste streams and destruction rates under a range of operating temperatures and pressures. More recently, work in SCWO research for space and extra-terrestrial application has been performed at NASA s Glenn Research Center where various investigations, with a particular focus in the gravitational effects on the thermo-physical processes occurring in the bulk medium, have been pursued. In 2010 a collaborative NASA/CNES (the French Space Agency) experiment on the critical transition of pure water was conducted in the long duration microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS). A follow-on experiment, to study the precipitation of salt in sub-critical, trans-critical and supercritical water is scheduled to be conducted on the ISS in 2013. This paper provides a brief history of NASA s earlier work in SCWO, discusses the potential for application of SCWO technology in extended space and extraterrestrial missions, describes related research conducted on the ISS, and provides a list of future research activities to advance this technology in both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial applications.

  14. The Role of Extraterrestrial Materials in the Origin of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    It has been well established for some time now that C-rich organic materials are relatively common in a number of environments in space. This is known through the telescopic detection of these materials using spectroscopy techniques in the infrared and sub-millimeter wavelength ranges and through the identification of organics in extraterrestrial materials. Extraterrestrial materials in which organics have been found include collected meteorites and interplanetary dust particles, and samples returned by NASA spacecraft from comets. These organics are produced by a variety of astrochemical processes. Despite their abiotic origins, these organic materials of are considerable interest to astrobiology for several reasons. First, organic materials of any composition are important as a means of delivering the elements C, H, O, and N to the surfaces of newly formed planets, and these elements are likely critical to the origin and subsequent evolution of life (certainly for life as we know it). In addition, it is clear that at least a portion of the organics found in space are in the form of molecules that play important roles in modern biology - for example, molecules like amino acids, amphiphiles, quinones, etc. Thus, the delivery of extraterrestrial organics to planetary surfaces brings not only bulk C, H, O, and N, but also molecular complexity in forms that are potentially useful for the origin and early evolution of life. This suggests that the production and delivery of cosmic organic compounds may have played key roles in the origin of life on Earth and, by extension, on other planets in the universe.

  15. Diplomacy and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Allen E.

    Recent advances in astronomy indicate that the universe is spectacularly vast. Apparently, our Sun is like billions of other stars around which planets may circle; within just a thousand light years of Earth, for example, there are more than a million stars like the Sun. Within the Milky Way (only one of 100 billion observable galaxies) are an estimated 300-400 billion stars. Scientists now think that there are probably between 10 21 and 10 22 stars in the universe. With so many stars, it is highly probable that we are not alone. Just how likely extraterrestrial intelligence is or in how many places and varieties it will be found is impossible now to say. Serious scientists have constructed an equation to calculate the possibility, but the range of estimates of the number of other civilizations in the universe is so wide - anywhere from 200 million to less than 10 - and our understanding of astrophysics and cosmic evolution so primitive, that we could encounter extraterrestrials (ETs) well before it can be proved on paper that they have existed or could exist [1]. In fact, the capability to search for extraterrestrial intelligence will increase over the next five years at a rate and scale greater than at any time in human history. For example, a Harvard University observatory announced in October 1985 that it had linked a radio telescope to a new computerized multichannel spectrum analyzer and created a listening post (known as Project Meta) capable of simultaneously scanning up to 8.4 million radio channels. This development replaces a system whose capacity to search simultaneously and record radio signals was a mere 180,000 radio channels. The Hubble Space Telescope, when it is operational, will extend our present vision some seven times and possibly to the edge of the universe itself. If other planetary systems exist, this new instrument might locate them. And by the end of this decade, NASA will probably have begun a search for signals across the entire

  16. Periodicity of mass extinctions without an extraterrestrial cause.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipowski, Adam

    2005-05-01

    We study a lattice model of a multispecies prey-predator system. Numerical results show that for a small mutation rate the model develops irregular long-period oscillatory behavior with sizeable changes in a number of species. The periodicity of extinctions on Earth was suggested by Raup and Sepkoski [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 81, 801 (1984)], but thus far is lacking a satisfactory explanation. Our model indicates that this might be a natural consequence of the ecosystem dynamics and not the result of any extraterrestrial cause.

  17. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as a possible indicator of extraterrestrial biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappelle, E. W.; Picciolo, G. L.

    1974-01-01

    The ubiquity of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in terrestrial organisms provides the basis for proposing the assay of this vital metabolic intermediate for detecting extraterrestrial biological activity. If an organic carbon chemistry is present on the planets, the occurrence of ATP is possible either from biosynthetic or purely chemical reactions. However, ATP's relative complexity minimizes the probability of abiogenic synthesis. A sensitive technique for the quantitative detection of ATP was developed using the firefly bioluminescent reaction. The procedure was used successfully for the determination of the ATP content of soil and bacteria. This technique is also being investigated from the standpoint of its application in clinical medicine.

  18. Studies on the Processing Methods for Extraterrestrial Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimley, R. T.; Lipschutz, M. E.

    1984-01-01

    The literature was surveyed for high temperature mass spectrometric research on single oxides, complex oxides, and minerals in an effort to develop a means of separating elements and compounds from lunar and other extraterrestrial materials. A data acquisition system for determining vaporization rates as a function of time and temperature and software for the IEEE-488 Apple-ORTEC interface are discussed. Experimental design information from a 1000 C furnace were used with heat transfer calculations to develop the basic design for a 1600 C furnace. A controller was built for the higher temperature furnace and drawings are being made for the furnace.

  19. Cooperative Robotics and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupisella, M. L.

    2000-01-01

    If we think tenuous abodes of life may be hiding in remote extraterrestrial environmental niches, and if we want to assess the biological status of a given locale or entire planet before sending humans (perhaps because of contamination concerns or other motivations) then we face the challenge of robotically exploring a large space efficiently and in enough detail to have confidence in our assessment of the biological status of the environment in question. On our present schedule of perhaps two or so missions per opportunity, we will likely need a different exploratory approach than singular stationary landers or singular rover missions or sample return, because there appear to be fundamental limitations in these mission profiles to obtain the many samples we will likely need if we want to have confidence in assessing the biological status of an environment in which life could be hiding in remote environmental niches. Singular rover missions can potentially accommodate sampling over a fairly large area, but are still limited by range and can be a single point of failure. More importantly, such mission profiles have limited payload capabilities which are unlikely to meet the demanding requirements of life-detection. Sample return has the advantage of allowing sophisticated analysis of the sample, but also has the severe limitations associated with only being able to bring back a few samples. This presentation will suggest two cooperative robotic approaches for exploration that have the potential to overcome these difficulties and facilitate efficient and thorough life-detecting exploration of a large space. Given the two premises stated above, it appears at least two fundamental challenges have to be met simultaneously: (1) coverage of a large space and (2) bringing to bear a sophisticated suite of detection and experimental payloads on any specific location in order to address a major challenge in looking for extraterrestrial life: namely, executing a wide variety

  20. Advanced Curation of Current and Future Extraterrestrial Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.

    2013-01-01

    Curation of extraterrestrial samples is the critical interface between sample return missions and the international research community. Curation includes documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples. The current collections of extraterrestrial samples include: Lunar rocks / soils collected by the Apollo astronauts Meteorites, including samples of asteroids, the Moon, and Mars "Cosmic dust" (asteroid and comet particles) collected by high-altitude aircraft Solar wind atoms collected by the Genesis spacecraft Comet particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft Interstellar dust collected by the Stardust spacecraft Asteroid particles collected by the Hayabusa spacecraft These samples were formed in environments strikingly different from that on Earth. Terrestrial contamination can destroy much of the scientific significance of many extraterrestrial materials. In order to preserve the research value of these precious samples, contamination must be minimized, understood, and documented. In addition the samples must be preserved - as far as possible - from physical and chemical alteration. In 2011 NASA selected the OSIRIS-REx mission, designed to return samples from the primitive asteroid 1999 RQ36 (Bennu). JAXA will sample C-class asteroid 1999 JU3 with the Hayabusa-2 mission. ESA is considering the near-Earth asteroid sample return mission Marco Polo-R. The Decadal Survey listed the first lander in a Mars sample return campaign as its highest priority flagship-class mission, with sample return from the South Pole-Aitken basin and the surface of a comet among additional top priorities. The latest NASA budget proposal includes a mission to capture a 5-10 m asteroid and return it to the vicinity of the Moon as a target for future sampling. Samples, tools, containers, and contamination witness materials from any of these missions carry unique requirements for acquisition and curation. Some of these requirements represent significant advances over

  1. Search for Extraterrestrial Life - Essays on Science and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, P.

    1998-12-01

    The Evening Discourses from the Royal Institution offer lively discussions of contemporary science for a broad audience. This volume features chapters on the search for extraterrestrial life and on the Martian meteorite at the center of recent speculation about life on Mars. The volume contains essays based on eight of the talks, and other topics include the future of television, the use of spectroscopy to analyze Medieval manuscripts, the construction of machines with molecule-based memories, and the outlook for the leaning tower in Pisa.

  2. Cosmochemistry: Understanding the Solar System through analysis of extraterrestrial materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Glenn J; Thiemens, Mark H

    2011-11-29

    Cosmochemistry is the chemical analysis of extraterrestrial materials. This term generally is taken to mean laboratory analysis, which is the cosmochemistry gold standard because of the ability for repeated analysis under highly controlled conditions using the most advanced instrumentation unhindered by limitations in power, space, or environment. Over the past 40 y, advances in technology have enabled telescopic and spacecraft instruments to provide important data that significantly complement the laboratory data. In this special edition, recent advances in the state of the art of cosmochemistry are presented, which range from instrumental analysis of meteorites to theoretical-computational and astronomical observations.

  3. Basic design of sample container for transport of extraterrestrial samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirri, F.; Longobardo, A.; Palomba, E.; Hutzler, A.; Ferrière, L.

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this work is to provide, in the framework of the EURO-CARES (European Curation of Astromaterials Returned from Exploration of Space) project, a technical overview based on the sample container used in previous sample return missions (e.g., Hayabusa1, Stardust, etc.) and to define a basic design of a sample container aimed at transporting the extraterrestrial returned samples within a Sample Curation Facility (SCF) or from a SCF to another laboratory (and vice versa). The sample container structure and the transportation criticalities (such as contamination and mechanical stress) are discussed in detail in each scenario.

  4. Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions: Workshop Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret S. (Editor); Johnson, James E. (Editor); Spry, James A. (Editor); Siegel, Bette; Conley, Catharine A.

    2015-01-01

    This report on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions summarizes the presentations, deliberations and findings of a workshop at NASA Ames Research Center, March 24-26, 2015, which was attended by more than 100 participants representing a diverse mix of science, engineering, technology, and policy areas. The main objective of the three-day workshop was to identify specific knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to make incremental progress towards the development of NASA Procedural Requirements (NPRs) for Planetary Protection during human missions to Mars.

  5. Anthropological Contributions to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, D. A.

    2009-12-01

    Three recent annual conferences of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) have included symposia on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). This paper reviews these symposia, which dealt with themes associated with the overarching AAA conference themes for each year: in 2004, the SETI session addressed Anthropology, Archaeology, and Interstellar Communication: Science and the Knowledge of Distant Worlds; in 2005, it dealt with Historical Perspectives on Anthropology and SETI; and in 2006, the session examined Culture, Anthropology, and SETI. Among the topics considered in these symposia were analogues for contact with extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), examining anthropologists’ experience in the field encountering other cultures-past and present. Similarly, the methodologies of archaeologists provide analogies for making contact with temporally distant civilizations, based on reconstructions from fragmentary information. Case studies helped make such analogies concrete in the symposia. The challenges of comprehending intelligences with different mental worlds was explored through a study of the meetings of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, for example, while the decryption of Mayan hieroglyphics provided lessons on understanding others of own species.

  6. Religions and extraterrestrial life how will we deal with it?

    CERN Document Server

    Weintraub, David A

    2014-01-01

    In the twenty-first century, the debate about life on other worlds is quickly changing from the realm of speculation to the domain of hard science. Within a few years, as a consequence of the rapid discovery by astronomers of planets around other stars, astronomers very likely will have discovered clear evidence of life beyond the Earth. Such a discovery of extraterrestrial life will change everything.  Knowing the answer as to whether humanity has company in the universe will trigger one of the greatest intellectual revolutions in history, not the least of which will be a challenge for at least some terrestrial religions. Which religions will handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life with ease and which will struggle to assimilate this new knowledge about our place in the universe? Some religions as currently practiced appear to only be viable on Earth. Other religions could be practiced on distant worlds but nevertheless identify both Earth as a place and humankind as a species of singular spiritual re...

  7. Funding the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence with a Lottery Bond

    CERN Document Server

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    I propose the establishment of a SETI Lottery Bond to provide a continued source of funding for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The SETI Lottery Bond is a fixed rate perpetual bond with a lottery at maturity, where maturity occurs only upon discovery and confirmation of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Investors in the SETI Lottery Bond purchase shares that yield a fixed rate of interest that continues indefinitely until SETI succeeds---at which point a random subset of shares will be awarded a prize from a lottery pool. SETI Lottery Bond shares also are transferable, so that investors can benefact their shares to kin or trade them in secondary markets. The total capital raised this way will provide a fund to be managed by a financial institution, with annual payments from this fund to support SETI research, pay investor interest, and contribute to the lottery fund. Such a plan could generate several to tens of millions of dollars for SETI research each year, which would help to revital...

  8. Coproduction of volatiles and metals from extraterrestrial materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John S.

    1991-01-01

    Two main efforts in support of the general goals of SERC/culpr are presented. Investigations of processes for the coproduction of metals from extra-terrestrial materials in conjunction with plausible schemes for oxygen extraction continue. The principal emphasis was on the extraction and purification of iron from the ilmenite reduction process for oxygen, from the cathode metal deposits made in the magma electrolysis process for oxygen, and from native ferrous metal alloys on the moon and asteroids. All work on the separation and purification of ferrous metals was focussed upon the gaseous carbonyl process, a scheme that involves only temperatures attainable by passive thermal control. The exploration of a variety of schemes was initiated, involving the use of several different propulsion options and both propulsive and aerobraking capture at earth, for return of extraterrestrial resources to earth orbits. In addition, the search for new opportunities in space resource utilization continues. Examples include the continuation of work underway on: (1) the feasibility of locating solar power satellites in highly eccentric earth orbit; (2) the energetics of extracting the potential clean fusion fuel He-3 from the atmosphere for return to earth; and (3) the utility of a nuclear steam rocket (using non-terrestrial water as the working fluid) for transportation in the inner solar system.

  9. Siderophilic Cyanobacteria for the Development of Extraterrestrial Photoautotrophic Biotechnologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; McKay, D. S.

    2010-01-01

    In-situ production of consumables (mainly oxygen) using local resources (In-Situ Resource Utilization-ISRU) will significantly facilitate current plans for human exploration and settlement of the solar system, starting with the Moon. With few exceptions, nearly all technologies developed to date have employed an approach based on inorganic chemistry. None of these technologies include concepts for integrating the ISRU system with a bioregenerative life support system and a food production system. Therefore, a new concept based on the cultivation of cyanobacteria (CB) in semi-closed biogeoreactor, linking ISRU, a biological life support system, and food production, has been proposed. The key feature of the biogeoreactor is to use lithotrophic CB to extract many needed elements such as Fe directly from the dissolved regolith and direct them to any technological loop at an extraterrestrial outpost. Our studies showed that siderophilic (Fe-loving) CB are capable to corrode lunar regolith stimulants because they secrete chelating agents and can tolerate [Fe] up to 1 mM. However, lunar and Martian environments are very hostile (very high UV and gamma-radiation, extreme temperatures, deficit of water). Thus, the selection of CB species with high potential for extraterrestrial biotechnologies that may be utilized in 15 years must be sponsored by NASA as soon as possible. The study of the genomes of candidate CB species and the metagenomes of the terrestrial environments which they inhabit is critical to make this decision. Here we provide preliminary results about peculiarities of the genomes of siderophilic CB revealed by analyzing the genome of siderophilic cyanobacterium JSC-1 and the metagenome of iron depositing hot spring (IDHS) Chocolate Pots (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA). It has been found that IDHS are richer with ferrous iron than the majority of hot springs around the world. Fe2+ is known to increase the magnitude of oxidative stress in prokaryotes

  10. Ecological Schoolyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  11. The extra-terrestrial vacuum-ultraviolet wavelength range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy, J. Gethyn; Wilhelm, Klaus; Xia, Lidong

    Electromagnetic radiation in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) and extra-terrestrial range at wavelengths from 10 nm to 300 nm is absorbed in the upper atmosphere by ozone, molecular and atomic oxygen, and molecular nitrogen. Observations at wavelengths down to ≈ 200 nm can be carried out from stratospheric balloons, and observations below 200 nm require space platforms operating at altitudes above 250 km. The VUV spectral region contains emission lines and continua arising from plasma at formation temperatures ranging from about 104 K to more than 107 K. This chapter describes the wide range of plasma diagnostic techniques available at VUV wavelengths, and the development of instrumentation for studies of the high-temperature solar outer atmosphere and astrophysical plasmas. Finally, the prospects for future studies are briefly discussed.

  12. Fullerenes: An extraterrestrial carbon carrier phase for noble gases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Luann; Poreda, Robert J.; Bunch, Ted E.

    2000-01-01

    In this work, we report on the discovery of naturally occurring fullerenes (C60 to C400) in the Allende and Murchison meteorites and some sediment samples from the 65 million-year-old Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary layer (KTB). Unlike the other pure forms of carbon (diamond and graphite), fullerenes are extractable in an organic solvent (e.g., toluene or 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene). The recognition of this unique property led to the detection and isolation of the higher fullerenes in the Kratschmer/Huffmann arc evaporated graphite soot and in the carbon material in the meteorite and impact deposits. By further exploiting the unique ability of the fullerene cage structure to encapsulate and retain noble gases, we have determined that both the Allende and Murchison fullerenes and the KTB fullerenes contain trapped noble gases with ratios that can only be described as extraterrestrial in origin. PMID:10725367

  13. Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI Past, Present, and Future

    CERN Document Server

    Shuch, H Paul

    2011-01-01

    This book is a collection of essays written by the very scientists and engineers who have led, and continue to lead, the scientific quest known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Divided into three parts, the first section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Past’, written by the surviving pioneers of this then emerging discipline, reviews the major projects undertaken during the first 50 years of SETI science and the results of that research. In the second section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Present’, the present-day science and technology is discussed in detail, providing the technical background to contemporary SETI instruments, experiments, and analytical techniques, including the processing of the received signals to extract potential alien communications. In the third and final section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Future’, the book looks ahead to the possible directions that SETI will take in the next 50 years, addressing such important topics as interstellar message construction, the risks and assump...

  14. Processing of extraterrestrial materials by high temperature vacuum vaporization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimley, R. T.; Lipschutz, M. E.

    1983-01-01

    It is noted that problems associated with the extraction and concentration of elements and commpounds important for the construction and operation of space habitats have received little attention. High temperature vacuum vaporization is considered a promising approach; this is a technique for which the space environment offers advantages in the form of low ambient pressures and temperatures and the possibility of sustained high temperatures via solar thermal energy. To establish and refine this new technology, experimental determinations must be made of the material release profiles as a function of temperature, of the release kinetics and chemical forms of material being transported, and of the various means of altering release kinetics. Trace element data determined by neutron activation analysis of meteorites heated to 1400 C in vacuum is summarized. The principal tool, high temperature spectrometry, is used to examine the vaporization thermodynamics and kinetics of major and minor elements from complex multicomponent extraterrestrial materials.

  15. Nuclear power: key to man's extraterrestrial civilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angelo, J.A. Jr.; Buden, D.

    1982-01-01

    The start of the Third Millennium will be highlighted by the establishment of man's extraterrestrial civilization with three technical cornerstones leading to the off-planet expansion of the human resource base. These are (1) the availability of compact energy sources for power and propulsion, (2) the creation of permanent manned habitats in space, and (3) the ability to process materials anywhere in the Solar System. In the 1990s and beyond, nuclear reactors could represent the prime source of both space power and propulsion. The manned and unmanned space missions of tomorrow will demand first kilowatt and then megawatt levels of power. Various nuclear power plant technologies will be discussed, with emphasis on derivatives from the nuclear rocket technology.

  16. Extraterrestrial Life: Life on Mars - Then and Now

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrhenius, Gustaf; Mojzsis, Stephen

    1996-01-01

    The recent claim to have identified possible signs of ancient life on Mars has been widely publicized and discussed. The authors conceded that none of the half-dozen pieces of evidence adduced in their paper individually provided strong support for extraterrestrial life, though they argued that the pieces added up to a case worth considering. Most - perhaps all - of the observed phenomena have counterparts in the inorganic world, so even the combination does not make a compelling case that there was ever life on Mars. Nevertheless, the importance of the problem has justified bringing the results to general attention. The paper has focussed interest on the origin and possible ubiquity of life, and on how we can design techniques capable of giving a more definitive answer to the question of whether there is, or has ever been, life elsewhere in the Universe.

  17. Arsenic in the evolution of earth and extraterrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oremland, R.S.; Saltikov, C.W.; Wolfe-Simon, Felisa; Stolz, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    If you were asked to speculate about the form extra-terrestrial life on Mars might take, which geomicrobial phenomenon might you select as a model system, assuming that life on Mars would be 'primitive'? Give your reasons. At the end of my senior year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1968, I took Professor Ehrlich's final for his Geomicrobiology course. The above question beckoned to me like the Sirens to Odysseus, for if I answered, it would take so much time and thought that I would never get around to the exam's other essay questions and consequently, would be "shipwrecked" by flunking the course. So, I passed it up. With this 41-year perspective in mind, this manuscript is now submitted to Professor Ehrlich for (belated) "extra-credit." R.S. Oremland ?? Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

  18. IR Spectroscopy and Photo-Chemistry of Extraterrestrial Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Max P.; Mastrapa, Rachel; Elsila, Jamie; Sandford, Scott

    2005-01-01

    Dense molecular clouds from which planetary systems form and the outer Solar System are both cold environments dominated by ices. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is used to probe these ices, but the IR absorptions of molecules depend on the conditions. As a result appropriate lab data is needed to correctly fit spectra of extraterrestrial ices. Such fits have shown that most of these ices are composed primarily of H2O, but also contain 1-10 percent of other simple molecules such as CO2, CO, CH4, & NH3;. We shall present near IR spectra of ice mixtures of relevance to icy outer Solar System bodies and show that they still hold surprises, such as the Cheshire cat-like CO2 (2v3) overtone near 2.134 micrometers (4685 cm-1) that is absent from spectra of pure CO2 but present in H2O-CO2 mixtures.

  19. Martian channels and the search for extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masursky, H.; Strobell, M.E.; Dial, A.L.

    1979-01-01

    The origin of the channels on Mars has been a subject of intense interest since they were first recognized on early Mariner 9 images (Driscoll, 1972; Masursky, 1973). Their presence on the planet, and their striking resemblance to terrestrial flood channels related to glacial outbursts or to dendritic river systems has suggested to most investigators (Baker, 1974, 1977; Nummedal, 1978; Carr, 1979; Masursky et al., 1977) that they were formed by running water. Because life as we know it is dependent on water, the discovery by the 'Mariner cameras', of watercut channels and volcanoes as a source for water, and water ice in the residual north polar cap by Viking, has reaffirmed the choice of Mars as the best target for the search for extraterrestrial life. ?? 1979 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Extraterrestrial Hissarlik - Mars as Model for Planetary Archaeology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivier, D.

    Although Venus and Mars have had very different evolutionary histories from Earth, in which the development of complex life and civilisation is extremely improbable, as terrestrial worlds their present conditions may anticipate those on Earth analogues on which extraterrestrial civilisations have arisen, only to become extinct due to global environmental causes. An examination of the geographical factors in the origin and development of civilisation on Earth with comparable locations on Mars may indicate probable areas on other earth-like worlds where civilisations have arisen, while the search for life on Mars offers the opportunity for the develop- ment of archaeological techniques which, added to those of terrestrial archaeology, may prove beneficial for the future investigation of such worlds, including a methodology for distinguishing artificial from natural objects. Furthermore, archaeological investigation of desert civilisations on Earth based on atmospheric moisture rather than rainfall may offer useful technologies to future terraformers of the Red Planet.

  1. Detecting extraterrestrial life with the Colossus telescope using photosynthetic biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdyugina, S.; Kuhn, J.; Harrington, D.; Moretto, G.; Langlois, M.; Halliday, D.; Harlingten, C.

    2014-03-01

    We propose to search for life on Earth-like planets in habitable zones using photosynthesis biosignatures. Many life forms on Earth process the solar light and utilize it to support their own activity and to provide a valuable energy source for other life forms. We expect therefore that photosynthesis is very likely to arise on another planet and can produce conspicuous biosignatures. We have recently identified biological polarization effects, e.g., selective light absorption or scattering by photosynthetic molecules which can be used for remote detection of extraterrestrial life. Here we present synthetic spectra and polarization of Earth-like planets with photosynthetic life and evaluate the sensitivity of the Colossus telescope for their remote detection in the solar neighborhood.

  2. Curating NASA's Future Extraterrestrial Sample Collections: How Do We Achieve Maximum Proficiency?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Evans, Cynthia; Zeigler, Ryan; Allton, Judith; Fries, Marc; Righter, Kevin; Zolensky, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (henceforth referred to herein as NASA Curation Office) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating all of NASA's extraterrestrial samples. Under the governing document, NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7100.10E "Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials", JSC is charged with "The curation of all extraterrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions." The Directive goes on to define Curation as including "... documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach." Here we describe some of the ongoing efforts to ensure that the future activities of the NASA Curation Office are working towards a state of maximum proficiency.

  3. Euhedral metallic-Fe-Ni grains in extraterrestrial samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Alan E.

    1993-01-01

    Metallic Fe-Ni is rare in terrestrial rocks, being largely restricted to serpentinized peridotites and volcanic rocks that assimilated carbonaceous material. In contrast, metallic Fe-Ni is nearly ubiquitous among extraterrestrial samples (i.e., meteorites, lunar rocks, and interplanetary dust particles). Anhedral grains are common. For example, in eucrites and lunar basalts, most of the metallic Fe-Ni occurs interstitially between silicate grains and thus tends to have irregular morphologies. In many porphyritic chondrules, metallic Fe-Ni and troilite form rounded blebs in the mesostasis because their precursors were immiscible droplets. In metamorphosed ordinary chondrites, metallic Fe-Ni and troilite form coarse anhedral grains. Some of the metallic Fe-Ni and troilite grains has also been mobilized and injected into fractures in adjacent silicate grains where local shock-reheating temperatures reached the Fe-FeS eutectic (988 C). In interplanetary dust particles metallic Fe-Ni most commonly occurs along with sulfide as spheroids and fragments. Euhedral metallic Fe-Ni grains are extremely rare. Several conditions must be met before such grains can form: (1) grain growth must occur at free surfaces, restricting euhedral metallic Fe-Ni grains to systems that are igneous or undergoing vapor-deposition; (2) the metal (+/-) sulfide assemblage must have an appropriate bulk composition so that taenite is the liquidus phase in igneous systems or the stable condensate phase in vapor-deposition systems; and (3) metallic Fe-Ni grains must remain underformed during subsequent compaction, thermal metamorphism, and shock. Because of these restrictions, the occurrence of euhedral metallic Fe-Ni grains in an object can potentially provide important petrogenetic information. Despite its rarity, euhedral metallic Fe-Ni occurs in a wide variety of extraterrestrial materials. Some of these materials formed in the solar nebula; others formed on parent body surfaces by meteoroid

  4. Analytical SuperSTEM for extraterrestrial materials research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, J P; Dai, Z R

    2009-09-08

    Electron-beam studies of extraterrestrial materials with significantly improved spatial resolution, energy resolution and sensitivity are enabled using a 300 keV SuperSTEM scanning transmission electron microscope with a monochromator and two spherical aberration correctors. The improved technical capabilities enable analyses previously not possible. Mineral structures can be directly imaged and analyzed with single-atomic-column resolution, liquids and implanted gases can be detected, and UV-VIS optical properties can be measured. Detection limits for minor/trace elements in thin (<100 nm thick) specimens are improved such that quantitative measurements of some extend to the sub-500 ppm level. Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) can be carried out with 0.10-0.20 eV energy resolution and atomic-scale spatial resolution such that variations in oxidation state from one atomic column to another can be detected. Petrographic mapping is extended down to the atomic scale using energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) imaging. Technical capabilities and examples of the applications of SuperSTEM to extraterrestrial materials are presented, including the UV spectral properties and organic carbon K-edge fine structure of carbonaceous matter in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), x-ray elemental maps showing the nanometer-scale distribution of carbon within GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfides), the first detection and quantification of trace Ti in GEMS using EDS, and detection of molecular H{sub 2}O in vesicles and implanted H{sub 2} and He in irradiated mineral and glass grains.

  5. From Río Tinto to Mars: the terrestrial and extraterrestrial ecology of acidophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amils, R; González-Toril, E; Aguilera, A; Rodríguez, N; Fernández-Remolar, D; Gómez, F; García-Moyano, A; Malki, M; Oggerin, M; Sánchez-Andrea, I; Sanz, J L

    2011-01-01

    The recent geomicrobiological characterization of Río Tinto, Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), has proven the importance of the iron cycle, not only in generating the extreme conditions of the habitat (low pH, high concentration of toxic heavy metals) but also in maintaining the high level of microbial diversity, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, detected in the water column and the sediments. The extreme conditions of the Tinto basin are not the product of industrial contamination but the consequence of the presence of an underground bioreactor that obtains its energy from the massive sulfide minerals of the IPB. To test this hypothesis, a drilling project was carried out to intersect ground waters that interact with the mineral ore in order to provide evidence of subsurface microbial activities and the potential resources to support these activities. The oxidants that drive the system appear to come from the rock matrix, contradicting conventional acid mine drainage models. These resources need only groundwater to launch microbial metabolism. There are several similarities between the vast deposits of sulfates and iron oxides on Mars and the main sulfide-containing iron bioleaching products found in the Tinto. Firstly, the short-lived methane detected both in Mars' atmosphere and in the sediments and subsurface of the IPB and secondly, the abundance of iron, common to both. The physicochemical properties of iron make it a source of energy, a shield against radiation and oxidative stress as well as a natural pH controller. These similarities have led to Río Tinto's status as a Mars terrestrial analogue. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. SERS investigation of possible extraterrestrial life traces: Experimental adsorption of adenine on a Martian meteorite

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    CAPORALI, Stefano; MOGGI‐CECCHI, Vanni; MUNIZ‐MIRANDA, Maurizio; PAGLIAI, Marco; PRATESI, Giovanni; SCHETTINO, Vincenzo

    2012-01-01

    ... (DaG) 670 has been adopted as a test to verify the capability of this technique to detect trace amounts of organic or biological substances deposited over, or contained in, extraterrestrial materials...

  7. Signal coverage approach to the detection probability of hypothetical extraterrestrial emitters in the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Claudio

    2017-04-01

    The lack of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, even the simplest forms of animal life, makes it is difficult to decide whether the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is more a high-risk, high-payoff endeavor than a futile attempt. Here we insist that even if extraterrestrial civilizations do exist and communicate, the likelihood of detecting their signals crucially depends on whether the Earth lies within a region of the galaxy covered by such signals. By considering possible populations of independent emitters in the galaxy, we build a statistical model of the domain covered by hypothetical extraterrestrial signals to derive the detection probability that the Earth is within such a domain. We show that for general distributions of the signal longevity and directionality, the mean number of detectable emitters is less than one even for detection probabilities as large as 50%, regardless of the number of emitters in the galaxy.

  8. CCIR paper on the radiocommunications requirements for systems to search for extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nightingale, D.

    1978-01-01

    The allocation and propagation of radio frequency bands to be used in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is considered. Topics discussed include: propagation factors; preferred frequency bands; system characteristics and requirements; and interference.

  9. On the plurality of inhabited worlds: a brief history of extraterrestrialism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brake, Mark

    2006-10-01

    This paper delineates the cultural evolution of the ancient idea of a plurality of inhabited worlds, and traces its development through to contemporary extraterrestrialism, with its foundation in the physical determinism of cosmology, and its attendant myths of alien contact drawn from examples of British film and fiction. We shall see that, in the evolving debate of the existence of extraterrestrial life and intelligence, science and science fiction have benefited from an increasingly symbiotic relationship. Modern extraterrestrialism has influenced both the scientific searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and become one of the most pervasive cultural myths of the 20th century. Not only has pluralism found a voice in fiction through the alien, but fiction has also inspired science to broach questions in the real world.

  10. Miniature Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer for Space and Extraterrestrial Applications Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The PI has developed a miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS), which can be op-timized for space and extraterrestrial applications, by using a...

  11. Basic requirements for packaging and transporting returned extraterrestrial samples from landing site to curation facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longobardo, A.; Dirri, F.; Palomba, E.; Berthoud, L.; Holt, J.; Bridges, J.; Smith, C.; Russell, S.

    2017-09-01

    In perspective of a possible European sample return mission, we summarize basic requirements of the transportation box, which should transport returned extraterrestrial samples from landing site to curation facility.

  12. Signal coverage approach to the detection probability of hypothetical extraterrestrial emitters in the Milky Way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Claudio

    2017-04-12

    The lack of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, even the simplest forms of animal life, makes it is difficult to decide whether the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is more a high-risk, high-payoff endeavor than a futile attempt. Here we insist that even if extraterrestrial civilizations do exist and communicate, the likelihood of detecting their signals crucially depends on whether the Earth lies within a region of the galaxy covered by such signals. By considering possible populations of independent emitters in the galaxy, we build a statistical model of the domain covered by hypothetical extraterrestrial signals to derive the detection probability that the Earth is within such a domain. We show that for general distributions of the signal longevity and directionality, the mean number of detectable emitters is less than one even for detection probabilities as large as 50%, regardless of the number of emitters in the galaxy.

  13. At what wavelengths should we search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence? (SETI/infrared communication/interstellar communication/extraterrestrial intelligence)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townes, C. H.

    1979-01-01

    Searches for extraterrestrial intelligence concentrate on attempts to receive signals in the microwave region, the argument being given that communication occurs there at minimum broadcasted power. Such a conclusion is shown to result only under a restricted set of assumptions. If generalized types of detection are considered, in particular photon detection rather than linear detection alone, and if advantage is taken of the directivity of telescopes at short wavelengths, then somewhat less power is required for communication at infrared wavelengths than in the microwave region. Furthermore, a variety of parameters other than power alone can be chosen for optimization by an extraterrestrial civilization.

  14. Radio Searches for Signatures of Advanced Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siemion, Andrew

    Over the last several decades, observational astronomy has produced a flood of discoveries that suggest that the building blocks and circumstances that gave rise to life on Earth may be the rule rather than the exception. It has now been conclusively shown that planets are common and that some 5-15% of FGKM stars host planets existing in their host star's habitable zone. Further, terrestrial biology has demonstrated that life on our own planet can thrive in extraordinarily extreme environments, dramatically extending our notion of what constitutes habitability. The deeper question, yet unanswered, is whether or not life in any form has ever existed in an environment outside of the Earth. As humans, we are drawn to an even more profound question, that of whether or not extraterrestrial life may have evolved a curiosity about the universe similar to our own and the technology with which to explore it. Radio astronomy has long played a prominent role in searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), beginning with the first suggestions by Cocconi and Morrison (1959) that narrow-band radio signals near 1420 MHz might be effective tracers of advanced technology and early experiments along these lines by Frank Drake in 1961, continuing through to more recent investigations searching for several types of coherent radio signals indicative of technology at a wider range of frequencies. The motivations for radio searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have been throughly discussed in the literature, but the salient arguments are the following: 1. coherent radio emission is commonly produced by advanced technology (judging by Earth’s technological development), 2. electromagnetic radiation can convey information at the maximum velocity currently known to be possible, 3. radio photons are energetically cheap to produce, 4. certain types of coherent radio emissions are easily distinguished from astrophysical background sources, especially within the so

  15. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in Earth's Solar Transit Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, René; Pudritz, Ralph E

    2016-04-01

    Over the past few years, astronomers have detected thousands of planets and candidate planets by observing their periodic transits in front of their host stars. A related method, called transit spectroscopy, might soon allow studies of the chemical imprints of life in extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Here, we address the reciprocal question, namely, from where is Earth detectable by extrasolar observers using similar methods. We explore Earth's transit zone (ETZ), the projection of a band around Earth's ecliptic onto the celestial plane, where observers can detect Earth transits across the Sun. ETZ is between 0.520° and 0.537° wide due to the noncircular Earth orbit. The restricted Earth transit zone (rETZ), where Earth transits the Sun less than 0.5 solar radii from its center, is about 0.262° wide. We first compile a target list of 45 K and 37 G dwarf stars inside the rETZ and within 1 kpc (about 3260 light-years) using the Hipparcos catalogue. We then greatly enlarge the number of potential targets by constructing an analytic galactic disk model and find that about 10(5) K and G dwarf stars should reside within the rETZ. The ongoing Gaia space mission can potentially discover all G dwarfs among them (several 10(4)) within the next 5 years. Many more potentially habitable planets orbit dim, unknown M stars in ETZ and other stars that traversed ETZ thousands of years ago. If any of these planets host intelligent observers, they could have identified Earth as a habitable, or even as a living, world long ago, and we could be receiving their broadcasts today. The K2 mission, the Allen Telescope Array, the upcoming Square Kilometer Array, or the Green Bank Telescope might detect such deliberate extraterrestrial messages. Ultimately, ETZ would be an ideal region to be monitored by the Breakthrough Listen Initiatives, an upcoming survey that will constitute the most comprehensive search for extraterrestrial intelligence so far.

  16. The truth is out there: the structure of beliefs about extraterrestrial life among Austrian and British respondents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swami, Viren; Furnham, Adrian; Haubner, Tanja; Stieger, Stefan; Voracek, Martin

    2009-02-01

    Previous investigators of extraterrestrial beliefs have relied on single-item scales, which limit the researchers' understanding of such beliefs. The present authors report responses to a 37-item scale about extraterrestrial beliefs from 320 participants in Austria and 257 participants in Britain. A factor analysis revealed 3 primary factors that were stable across sites: (a) belief that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth and that governmental agencies have knowledge of this fact, (b) scientific search for extraterrestrial life, and (c) general beliefs about the existence of extraterrestrial life. Participants rated only Factor 3 positively, suggesting that there is a distinction between paranormal-related beliefs and science-related beliefs. The authors found only political orientation and religiosity to be significantly correlated with factor scores. They discuss their results in relation to previous reports of extraterrestrial beliefs.

  17. Extra-terrestrial construction processes - Advancements, opportunities and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sungwoo; Prabhu, Vibha Levin; Anand, Mahesh; Taylor, Lawrence A.

    2017-10-01

    Government space agencies, including NASA and ESA, are conducting preliminary studies on building alternative space-habitat systems for deep-space exploration. Such studies include development of advanced technologies for planetary surface exploration, including an in-depth understanding of the use of local resources. Currently, NASA plans to land humans on Mars in the 2030s. Similarly, other space agencies from Europe (ESA), Canada (CSA), Russia (Roscosmos), India (ISRO), Japan (JAXA) and China (CNSA) have already initiated or announced their plans for launching a series of lunar missions over the next decade, ranging from orbiters, landers and rovers for extended stays on the lunar surface. As the Space Odyssey is one of humanity's oldest dreams, there has been a series of research works for establishing temporary or permanent settlement on other planetary bodies, including the Moon and Mars. This paper reviews current projects developing extra-terrestrial construction, broadly categorised as: (i) ISRU-based construction materials; (ii) fabrication methods; and (iii) construction processes. It also discusses four categories of challenges to developing an appropriate construction process: (i) lunar simulants; (ii) material fabrication and curing; (iii) microwave-sintering based fabrication; and (iv) fully autonomous and scaled-up construction processes.

  18. Designing Extraterrestrial Plant Growth Habitats with Low Pressure Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corey, Kenneth A.

    2002-01-01

    In-situ resource utilization, provision of human life support requirements by bioregenerative methods, and engineering constraints for construction and deployment of plant growth structures on the surface of Mars all suggest the need for plant growth studies at hypobaric pressures. Past work demonstrated that plants will likely tolerate and grow at pressures at or below 10 kPa. Based upon this premise, concepts are developed for the design of reduced pressure atmospheres in lightweight, inflatable structures for plant growth systems on Mars with the goals of maximizing design simplicity and the use of local resources. A modular pod design is proposed as it could be integrated with large-scale production systems. Atmospheric modification of pod clusters would be based upon a pulse and scrub system using mass flow methods for atmospheric transport. A specific modification and control scenario is developed for a lettuce pod to illustrate the dynamics of carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange within a pod. Considerations of minimal atmospheric crop requirements will aid in the development of engineering designs and strategies for extraterrestrial plant growth structures that employ rarefied atmospheres.

  19. Detection of Extraterrestrial Life. Method II- Optical Rotatory Dispersion

    Science.gov (United States)

    1963-01-01

    The object of this study is to develop polarimetric methods to detect the presence of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or its congeners in soil suspensions, and through these methods determine the existence of life (as known terrestrially) on other planets. The cotton region associated with optically active organic compounds is being used to detect and characterize the compounds above. An apparatus has been designed and assembled which can measure optical rotations in systems which strongly attenuate incident-polarized, monochromatic light. This instrument was used to measure the optical rotatory dispersion spectra of nucleosides, a polynucleotide, and proteins whose optical density at 260 microns approached 1.0. This work is discussed in the final report on Contract NASR-85, Detection of Extraterrestrial Life, Method II: Optical Rotatory Dispersion. Recent work in Melpar laboratories has reaffirmed these rotatory dispersion spectra. Based upon the analysis of the optical components associated with this apparatus, however, these measurements must be considered as qualitative rather than quantitative. The reason for this is discussed in greater detail subsequently in this report. In addition, an evaluation of the theoretical and instrumental aspects of making rotatory-dispersion measurements in the cotton region has resulted in a procedure for measuring optical rotation.

  20. An explanation for the absence of extraterrestrials on earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, M. H.

    Four categories of facts are explored for explaining the lack of observable extraterrestrial beings (ETs) on earth. The physical reasons are suggested to be the long travel times required by sublight-velocity spaceships, a problem that may be overcome by beings that live several millenia or that can be stored and reproduced from zygotes on arrival. Also, the energy requirements for interstellar travel, though large, are not an insurmountable difficulty. Sociologically, it is suggested that ETs have no interest in space travel, or they may have destroyed themselves with atomic wars, or the earth is being used as a wildlife preserve. No procedures exist to test these hypotheses, however. The consideration that ETs have not yet had time to find earth is discounted by calculations that show that another intelligent species in the Galaxy would have found earth if their space exploration efforts began at least 2,000,000 yr ago. It is concluded that if the earth has not yet been visited, then colonization of the Galaxy will most probably be done by humans, who may have the first advanced civilization in the Galaxy.

  1. Thermal Design for Extra-Terrestrial Regenerative Fuel Cell System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilligan, R.; Guzik, M.; Jakupca, I.; Bennett, W.; Smith, P.; Fincannon, J.

    2017-01-01

    The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Advanced Modular Power Systems (AMPS) Project is investigating different power systems for various lunar and Martian mission concepts. The AMPS Fuel Cell (FC) team has created two system-level models to evaluate the performance of regenerative fuel cell (RFC) systems employing different fuel cell chemistries. Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells PEMFCs contain a polymer electrolyte membrane that separates the hydrogen and oxygen cavities and conducts hydrogen cations (protons) across the cell. Solid Oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) operate at high temperatures, using a zirconia-based solid ceramic electrolyte to conduct oxygen anions across the cell. The purpose of the modeling effort is to down select one fuel cell chemistry for a more detailed design effort. Figures of merit include the system mass, volume, round trip efficiency, and electrolyzer charge power required. PEMFCs operate at around 60 C versus SOFCs which operate at temperatures greater than 700 C. Due to the drastically different operating temperatures of the two chemistries the thermal control systems (TCS) differ. The PEM TCS is less complex and is characterized by a single pump cooling loop that uses deionized water coolant and rejects heat generated by the system to the environment via a radiator. The solid oxide TCS has its own unique challenges including the requirement to reject high quality heat and to condense the steam produced in the reaction. This paper discusses the modeling of thermal control systems for an extraterrestrial RFC that utilizes either a PEM or solid oxide fuel cell.

  2. The quest for extraterrestrial life: what about the viruses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale Warren

    2013-01-01

    Recently, viruses have been recognized as the most numerous entities and the primary drivers of evolution on Earth. Historically, viruses have been mostly ignored in the field of astrobiology due to the view that they are not alive in the classical sense and if encountered would not present risk due to their host-specific nature. What we currently know of viruses is that we are most likely to encounter them on other life-bearing planets; that while some are exquisitely host-specific, many viruses can utilize hundreds of different host species; that viruses are known to exist in our planet's most extreme environments; and that while many do not survive long outside their hosts, some can survive for extended periods, especially in the cold. In our quest for extraterrestrial life, we should be looking for viruses; and while any encountered may pose no risk, the possibility of an encounter with a virus capable of accessing multiple cell types exists, and any prospective contact with such an organism should be treated accordingly.

  3. Extraterrestrial microspherules from Bajada del Diablo, Chubut, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.J. Orgeira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Quaternary infilling of a circular structure located in Bajada del Diablo, Chubut Province, Argentina has been proposed as a crater strewn field in previous studies. Here we report the finding of about 65 microspherules collected in a trench excavated in the center of the structure. The majority of hand-picked specimens are single, but some of them exhibit compound forms. The single specimens are spherical with a mean size of 137 μm, whereas the more complex samples show peduncles and drop shapes. Dendritic crystal growth is recognized in the internal structure of some broken microspherules. Preliminary chemical composition from the surface and center of microspherules was determined by energy dispersive spectrometry employing EDS. Quantitative EMPA and XRD analysis indicate that the microspherules are mainly composed of Fe and O with magnetite, Fe0 with subordinate wüstite. Following consideration of possible anthropogenic and volcanic origins, these spherulites are ascribed to an extraterrestrial input. An accumulation rate of 47 microspherules per m2/yr is estimated for the studied sediments. This value is two orders of magnitude higher than the reference flux for cosmic dust estimated for the last 1 Ma in the Transantarctic Mountains. The microspherules might have been generated as a byproduct of asteroid entry in the atmosphere.

  4. New Fiber Reinforced Waterless Concrete for Extraterrestrial Structural Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toutanji, H.; Tucker, D.; Ethridge, E.

    2005-01-01

    Commercial use of sulfur concrete on Earth is well established, particularly in corrosive, e.g., acid and salt, environments. Having found troilite (FeS) on the Moon raises the question of using extracted sulfur as a lunar construction mate: iii an attractive alternative to conventional concrete as it does not require water For the purpose of this paper it is assumed that lunar ore is mined, refined, and the raw sulfur processed with appropriate lunar regolith to form, for example, brick and beam elements. Glass fibers produced from regolith were used as a reinforcement to improve the mechanical properties of the sulfur concrete. Glass fibers and glass rebar were produced by melting the lunar regolith simulant. Lunar regolith stimulant was melted in a 25 cc Pt-Rh crucible in a Sybron Thermoline 46100 high temperature MoSi2 furnace at melting temperatures of 1450 to 1600G. The glass melt wets the ceramic rod and long continuous glass fibers were easily hand drawn. The glass fibers were immediately coated with a protective polymer to maintain the mechanical strength. The viability of sulfur concrete as a construction material for extraterrestrial application is presented. The mechanical properties of the glass fiber reinforced sulfur concrete were investigated.

  5. Reconsidering the Theological and Ethical Implications of Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Richard O. (Editor); Race, Margaret S.; McKay, Christopher P. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    As we stand on the threshold of a new millennium, we also find ourselves at the brink of a new and exciting era in space exploration. In fact, this new era has already begun, with the successful landing and exploration of Mars by the Pathfinder mission in July 1997. Pathfinder represents an important scientific accomplishment for NASA because it demonstrated the agency's ability to successfully explore space at a relatively modest price. At the same time, Pathfinder revealed once again the genuine interest and fascination that people all over planet Earth have for space exploration. The Pathfinder mission is just one of several recent events-both scientific and cultural-that reveal this deep and almost unquenchable curiosity about space-and the possibility that there is life "out there." In August 1996, the public was captivated with NASA's announcement that a meteorite from Mars may contain evidence of early microscopic life. Shortly after the NASA announcement, media coverage of the discovery-and public discourse concerning the discovery-turned to an examination of the theological implications of evidence for extraterrestrial, albeit unintelligent, life. To a lesser extent, public reaction to the Hale-Bopp comet in the Spring of 1996 is also suggestive of many persons' deep passion to know more about space.

  6. Astrobiology in culture: the search for extraterrestrial life as "science".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, Linda

    2012-10-01

    This analysis examines the social construction of authority, credibility, and legitimacy for exobiology/astrobiology and, in comparison, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), considering English-language conceptions of these endeavors in scientific culture and popular culture primarily in the United States. The questions that define astrobiology as a scientific endeavor are multidisciplinary in nature, and this endeavor is broadly appealing to public audiences as well as to the scientific community. Thus, it is useful to examine astrobiology in culture-in scientific culture, official culture, and popular culture. A researcher may explore science in culture, science as culture, by analyzing its rhetoric, the primary means that people use to construct their social realities-their cultural environment, as it were. This analysis follows this path, considering scientific and public interest in astrobiology and SETI and focusing on scientific and official constructions of the two endeavors. This analysis will also consider whether and how scientific and public conceptions of astrobiology and SETI, which are related but at the same time separate endeavors, converge or diverge and whether and how these convergences or divergences affect the scientific authority, credibility, and legitimacy of these endeavors.

  7. Experimental methods for studying microbial survival in extraterrestrial environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson-Francis, Karen; Cockell, Charles S

    2010-01-01

    Microorganisms can be used as model systems for studying biological responses to extraterrestrial conditions; however, the methods for studying their response are extremely challenging. Since the first high altitude microbiological experiment in 1935 a large number of facilities have been developed for short- and long-term microbial exposure experiments. Examples are the BIOPAN facility, used for short-term exposure, and the EXPOSE facility aboard the International Space Station, used for long-term exposure. Furthermore, simulation facilities have been developed to conduct microbiological experiments in the laboratory environment. A large number of microorganisms have been used for exposure experiments; these include pure cultures and microbial communities. Analyses of these experiments have involved both culture-dependent and independent methods. This review highlights and discusses the facilities available for microbiology experiments, both in space and in simulation environments. A description of the microorganisms and the techniques used to analyse survival is included. Finally we discuss the implications of microbiological studies for future missions and for space applications. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Carbonaceous Meteorites Contain a Wide Range of Extraterrestrial Nucleobases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Michael P.; Smith, Karen E.; Cleaves, H. James, II; Ruzicka, Josef; Stern, Jennifer C.; Glavin, Daniel P.; House, Christopher H.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2011-01-01

    All terrestrial organisms depend on nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), which use pyrimidine and purine nucleobases to encode genetic information. Carbon-rich meteorites may have been important sources of organic compounds required for the emergence of life on the early Earth; however, the origin and formation of nuc1eobases in meteorites has been debated for over 50 y. So far, the few nuc1eobases reported in meteorites are biologically common and lacked the structural diversity typical of other indigenous meteoritic organics. Here, we investigated the abundance and distribution of nucleobases and nucleobase analogs in formic acid extracts of 12 different meteorites by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The Murchison and Lonewolf Nunataks 94102 meteorites contained a diverse suite of nucleobases, which included three unusual and terrestrially rare nucleobase analogs; purine, 2,6-diminopurine, and 6,8-diaminopurine. In a parallel experiment, we found an identical suite of nucleobases and nucleobase analogs generated in reactions of ammonium cyanide. Additionally, these nucleobase analoge were not detected above our parts-per-billion detection limits in any of the procedural blanks, control samples, a terrestrial soil sample, and an Antarctic ice sample. Our results demonstrate that the purines detected in meteorites are consistent with products of ammonium cyanide chemistry, which provides a plausible mechanism for their synthesis in the asteroid parent bodies, and strongly supports an extraterrestrial origin. The discovery of new nucleobase analogs in meteorites also expands the prebiotic molecular inventory available for constructing the first genetic molecules.

  9. The quest for extraterrestrial life: what about the viruses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale Warren

    2013-08-01

    Recently, viruses have been recognized as the most numerous entities and the primary drivers of evolution on Earth. Historically, viruses have been mostly ignored in the field of astrobiology due to the view that they are not alive in the classical sense and if encountered would not present risk due to their host-specific nature. What we currently know of viruses is that we are most likely to encounter them on other life-bearing planets; that while some are exquisitely host-specific, many viruses can utilize hundreds of different host species; that viruses are known to exist in our planet's most extreme environments; and that while many do not survive long outside their hosts, some can survive for extended periods, especially in the cold. In our quest for extraterrestrial life, we should be looking for viruses; and while any encountered may pose no risk, the possibility of an encounter with a virus capable of accessing multiple cell types exists, and any prospective contact with such an organism should be treated accordingly.

  10. Autonomous Path Tracking Steering Controller for Extraterrestrial Terrain Exporation Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Sonsalla, Roland; Kirchner, Frank

    Extraterrestrial surface missions typically use a robotic rover platform to carry the science instrumentation (e.g.,the twin MER rovers). Due to the risks in the rover path (i.e. low trafficability of unrecognized soil patches), it is proposed in the FASTER footnote{\\url{https://www.faster-fp7-space.eu}} project that two rovers should be used. A micro scout rover is used for determining the traversability of the terrain and collaborate with a primary rover to lower the risk of entering hazardous areas. That will improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration. This paper presents the design and implementation of the path following controller for micro scout rover. The objective to synthesize a control law which allows the rover to autonomously follow a desired path in a stable manner. Furthermore, the software architecture controlling the rover and all its subsystems is depicted. The performance of the designed controller is discussed and demonstrated with realistic simulations and experiments, conclusions and an outlook of future work are also given. Key words: Micro Rover, Scout Rover, Mars Exploration, Multi-Rover Team, Mobile, All-Terrain, Hybrid-Legged Wheel, Path Following, Automatic Steer, nonlinear systems.

  11. The role of extraterrestrial particles in the formation of the ozone hole

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosinski, J. [Ferrara Univ., Ferrara (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica; Kerrigan, T.C. [Intel Corporation, EY2-E3, Hillsboro, OR (United States)

    2001-12-01

    The object of Part I of this paper is to estimate the concentration of extraterrestrial particles in the ozone layer over South Pole, Antarctica, during zone hole formation. This estimate is based on an analysis of microscopic magnetic spherules collected in an extended program of atmospheric sampling. Spherules are shown to be of extraterrestrial origin and serve as markers for the larger class of less distinguished extraterrestrial particles. These particles settle to ground level as aggregates formed in a stratospheric ice crystal coalescence process. Specific spherules arrivals at ground level are strongly associated with apparent ozone depletion episodes during formation of the ozone hole. The origin of these spherules is a major stream of extraterrestrial particles independent of known meteor showers. The variability in its intensity from year to year corresponds to the variability in ozone depletion in the ozone hole itself. A quantitative theory based on these spherules arrivals and this coalescence process implies that the concentration of extraterrestrial particles at ozone hole formation lies between 500 and 2000/m{sup 3}. A mechanism is proposed in Part II of this paper by which particle concentrations in this range are sufficient to produce the ozone hole.

  12. Extraterrestrial and terrestrial outdoor applications of Moessbauer spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souza Junior, P.A. de

    2004-07-01

    Chapter 2 describes basic concepts of {sup 57}Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy, as well as some effects that can be investigated by this technique. The portable and miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometer (MIMOS II), developed by the group in Main z lead by Dr. Goestar Klingelhoefer, is presented in detail in chapter 3. The calibration procedures, functionality, and operational features are also presented. The analysis of a Moessbauer spectrum is described in detail in chapter 4. In this chapter the proposed analysis using genetic algorithms, fuzzy set theory, and artificial neural networks are discussed and some examples are demonstrated. The motivation of this development is to make a data analysis package available for fast fitting of the Moessbauer spectrum, and precise identification of minerals from Moessbauer parameters. In chapter 5 some outdoor terrestrial applications of MIMOS II are proposed. The chapter starts presenting the use of MIMOS II for in situ air pollution investigation in Vitoria, ES, Brazil. The instrument was adapted for the characterization of airborne particles in an industrial urban area. This chapter contains surface analysis of painted figures on ancient pottery, of fragments of Chinese wall paintings, and of a 'miniature' from the fifteenth century; and the characterization of a Celtic helmet knob to determine whether it was burned in sacrifices. The authenticity of fragments of a Roman mask is verified with the Moessbauer spectrum obtained with MIMOS II. The characterization of corrosion products in archaeological artifacts is also reported. For this characterization it was necessary to supplement data from X-ray diffraction and SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). Chapter 6 is devoted to extraterrestrial applications, starting with the results on Moessbauer characterization of some meteorites. Detailed discussion of data obtained by MIMOS II onboard of the rover Spirit at the Mars surface and comparison of

  13. Fluid Inclusions in Extraterrestrial Samples Fact or Fiction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodnar, R. J.; Zolensky, M. E.; Gibson, E. K.

    2000-01-01

    Over the years there have been numerous reports of liquid inclusions in meteorites. Roedder reviews the reported occurrences of liquid inclusions in meteorites and states that "silicate-melt inclusions are expectable and apparently ubiquitous, but the presence of actual liquid inclusions (i.e., with moving bubbles at room temperature) would seem almost impossible." The reason for this conclusion is that meteorites (presumably) form in space at high temperatures and very low pressures where liquid water (or carbon dioxide) is not stable. Perhaps the most infamous report of fluid inclusions in meteorites was that of Warner et al. In that study, the authors reported the presence of two-phase, liquid-vapor inclusions in a diogenite from Antarctica. This report of fluid inclusions generated considerable interest in the meteorite community, and caused many to question existing models for the origin of the diogenites. This interest was short-lived however, as later investigations of the same samples showed that the inclusions were most likely artifacts. Rudnick et al. showed that many of the inclusions in meteorites prepared at the Johnson Space Center contained a fluid that fluoresced strongly under the laser beam on the Raman microprobe. They interpreted this to indicate that the inclusions contained Almag oil used in the preparation of thin sections. Presumably, the Almag oil entered empty vesicles along fractures that were opened intermittently during cutting. Here, the occurrence of unambiguous fluid inclusions that could not have been introduced during sample preparation are described in samples from two different extraterrestrial environments. One environment is represented by the SNC (martian) meteorites ALH 84001 and Nakhla. The second environment is represented by the Monahans 1998 meteorite that fell recently in the USA.

  14. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf; Franchi, Ian A.; Reid, Arch M.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2000-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalogue of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modem falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  15. Applying Biomimetic Algorithms for Extra-Terrestrial Habitat Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birge, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The objective is to simulate and optimize distributed cooperation among a network of robots tasked with cooperative excavation on an extra-terrestrial surface. Additionally to examine the concept of directed Emergence among a group of limited artificially intelligent agents. Emergence is the concept of achieving complex results from very simple rules or interactions. For example, in a termite mound each individual termite does not carry a blueprint of how to make their home in a global sense, but their interactions based strictly on local desires create a complex superstructure. Leveraging this Emergence concept applied to a simulation of cooperative agents (robots) will allow an examination of the success of non-directed group strategy achieving specific results. Specifically the simulation will be a testbed to evaluate population based robotic exploration and cooperative strategies while leveraging the evolutionary teamwork approach in the face of uncertainty about the environment and partial loss of sensors. Checking against a cost function and 'social' constraints will optimize cooperation when excavating a simulated tunnel. Agents will act locally with non-local results. The rules by which the simulated robots interact will be optimized to the simplest possible for the desired result, leveraging Emergence. Sensor malfunction and line of sight issues will be incorporated into the simulation. This approach falls under Swarm Robotics, a subset of robot control concerned with finding ways to control large groups of robots. Swarm Robotics often contains biologically inspired approaches, research comes from social insect observation but also data from among groups of herding, schooling, and flocking animals. Biomimetic algorithms applied to manned space exploration is the method under consideration for further study.

  16. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalog of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  17. Evidence for the extraterrestrial origin of a natural quasicrystal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindi, Luca; Eiler, John M; Guan, Yunbin; Hollister, Lincoln S; MacPherson, Glenn; Steinhardt, Paul J; Yao, Nan

    2012-01-31

    We present evidence that a rock sample found in the Koryak Mountains in Russia and containing icosahedrite, an icosahedral quasicrystalline phase with composition Al(63)Cu(24)Fe(13), is part of a meteorite, likely formed in the early solar system about 4.5 Gya. The quasicrystal grains are intergrown with diopside, forsterite, stishovite, and additional metallic phases [khatyrkite (CuAl(2)), cupalite (CuAl), and β-phase (AlCuFe)]. This assemblage, in turn, is enclosed in a white rind consisting of diopside, hedenbergite, spinel (MgAl(2)O(4)), nepheline, and forsterite. Particularly notable is a grain of stishovite (from the interior), a tetragonal polymorph of silica that only occurs at ultrahigh pressures (≥ 10 Gpa), that contains an inclusion of quasicrystal. An extraterrestrial origin is inferred from secondary ion mass spectrometry (18)O/(16)O and (17)O/(16)O measurements of the pyroxene and olivine intergrown with the metal that show them to have isotopic compositions unlike any terrestrial minerals and instead overlap those of anhydrous phases in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The spinel from the white rind has an isotopic composition suggesting that it was part of a calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion similar to those found in CV3 chondrites. The mechanism that produced this exotic assemblage is not yet understood. The assemblage (metallic copper-aluminum alloy) is extremely reduced, and the close association of aluminum (high temperature refractory lithophile) with copper (low temperature chalcophile) is unexpected. Nevertheless, our evidence indicates that quasicrystals can form naturally under astrophysical conditions and remain stable over cosmic timescales, giving unique insights on their existence in nature and stability.

  18. At what wavelengths should we search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townes, C. H.

    1983-01-01

    It has often been concluded that searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) should concentrate on attempts to receive signals in the microwave region, the argument being given that communication can occur there at minimum broadcasted power. Such a conclusion is shown to result only under a restricted set of assumptions. If generalized types of detection are considered—in particular, photon detection rather than linear detection alone—and if advantage is taken of the directivity of telescopes at short wavelengths, then somewhat less power is required for communication at infrared wavelengths than in the microwave region. Furthermore, a variety of parameters other than power alone may be chosen for optimization by an extraterrestrial civilization. Hence, while partially satisfying arguments may be given about optimal wavelengths for a search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence, considerable uncertainty must remain. PMID:16593279

  19. The Societal Impact of Extraterrestrial Life: The Relevance of History and the Social Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.

    This chapter reviews past studies on the societal impact of extraterrestrial life and offers four related ways in which history is relevant to the subject: the history of impact thus far, analogical reasoning, impact studies in other areas of science and technology, and studies on the nature of discovery and exploration. We focus particularly on the promise and peril of analogical arguments, since they are by necessity widespread in the field. This chapter also summarizes the relevance of the social sciences, particularly anthropology and sociology, and concludes by taking a closer look at the possible impact of the discovery of extraterrestrial life on theology and philosophy. In undertaking this study we emphasize three bedrock principles: (1) we cannot predict the future; (2) society is not monolithic, implying many impacts depending on religion, culture and worldview; (3) the impact of any discovery of extraterrestrial life is scenario-dependent.

  20. An extraterrestrial trigger for the Early Cretaceous massive volcanism? Evidence from the paleo-Tethys Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejada, M L G; Ravizza, G; Suzuki, K; Paquay, F S

    2012-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous Greater Ontong Java Event in the Pacific Ocean may have covered ca. 1% of the Earth's surface with volcanism. It has puzzled scientists trying to explain its origin by several mechanisms possible on Earth, leading others to propose an extraterrestrial trigger to explain this event. A large oceanic extraterrestrial impact causing such voluminous volcanism may have traces of its distal ejecta in sedimentary rocks around the basin, including the paleo-Tethys Ocean which was then contiguous with the Pacific Ocean. The contemporaneous marine sequence at central Italy, containing the sedimentary expression of a global oceanic anoxic event (OAE1a), may have recorded such ocurrence as indicated by two stratigraphic intervals with (187)Os/(188)Os indicative of meteoritic influence. Here we show, for the first time, that platinum group element abundances and inter-element ratios in this paleo-Tethyan marine sequence provide no evidence for an extraterrestrial trigger for the Early Cretaceous massive volcanism.

  1. Chemical Aspects of Astrophysically Observed Extraterrestrial Methanol, Hydrocarbon Derivatives, and Ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olah, George A; Mathew, Thomas; Prakash, G K Surya; Rasul, Golam

    2016-02-10

    Astrophysically observed extraterrestrial molecular matter contains, besides hydrogen and water, methane and methanol as the most abundant species. Feasible pathways and chemical aspects of their formation as well as of derived hydrocarbon homologues and their ions (carbocations and carbanions) are discussed on the basis of observed similarities with our studied terrestrial chemistry. The preferred pathway for converting extraterrestrial methane according to Ali et al. is based on CH5(+) and Olah's related nonclassical carbonium ion chemistry. On the basis of the observed higher reactivity of methanol compared with methane in various chemical reactions, a feasible new pathway is proposed for the conversion of extraterrestrial methanol to hydrocarbons, their derivatives, and carbocations together with a possible connection with methonium ion-based chemistry.

  2. Who owns the Moon? extraterrestrial aspects of land and mineral resources ownership

    CERN Document Server

    Pop, Virgiliu

    2008-01-01

    This work investigates the permissibility and viability of property rights on the celestial bodies, particularly the extraterrestrial aspects of land and mineral resources ownership. In lay terms, it aims to find an answer to the question "Who owns the Moon?" After critically analyzing and dismantling with legal arguments the trivial issue of sale of extraterrestrial real estate, the book addresses the apparent silence of the law in the field of landed property in outer space, scrutinizing whether the factual situation on the extraterrestrial realms calls for legal regulations. The legal status of asteroids and the relationship between appropriation under international law and civil law appropriation are duly examined, as well as different property patterns – such as the commons regime, the Common Heritage of the Mankind, and the Frontier paradigm. Virgiliu Pop is one of world's specialists in the area of space property rights. A member of the International Institute of Space Law, Virgiliu has authored seve...

  3. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  4. Restoration Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, William R.; Gilpin, Michael E.; Aber, John D.

    1990-08-01

    This book explores the ecological concepts and ideas involved in the practice of habitat restoration by taking a theoretical approach that will appeal to ecologists concerned with the structure and dynamics of communities. The contributors examine aspects of this new realization and its implications for both ecology and the practice of habitat restoration. What emerges is the outline of a new paradigm for ecological research and the basis for a stronger relationship between theory and practice in this area.

  5. Anthropomorphism in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence - The limits of cognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlmann, Ulrike M.; Bürger, Moritz J. F.

    2018-02-01

    The question "Are we alone?" lingers in the human mind since ancient times. Early human civilisations populated the heavens above with a multitude of Gods endowed with some all too human characteristics - from their outer appearance to their innermost motivations. En passant they created thereby their own cultural founding myths on which they built their understanding of the world and its phenomena and deduced as well rules for the functioning of their own society. Advancing technology has enabled us to conduct this human quest for knowledge with more scientific means: optical and radio-wavelengths are being monitored for messages by an extra-terrestrial intelligence and active messaging attempts have also been undertaken. Scenarios have been developed for a possible detection of extra-terrestrial intelligence and post-detection guidelines and protocols have been elaborated. The human responses to the whole array of questions concerning the potential existence, discovery of and communication/interaction with an extra-terrestrial intelligence share as one clear thread a profound anthropomorphism, which ascribes classical human behavioural patterns also to an extra-terrestrial intelligence in much the same way as our ancestors attributed comparable conducts to mythological figures. This paper aims at pinpointing this thread in a number of classical reactions to basic questions related to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Many of these reactions are based on human motives such as curiosity and fear, rationalised by experience and historical analogy and modelled in the Science Fiction Culture by literature and movies. Scrutinising the classical hypothetical explanations of the Fermi paradox under the angle of a potentially undue anthropomorphism, this paper intends to assist in understanding our human epistemological limitations in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. This attempt is structured into a series of questions: I. Can we be alone? II

  6. Preservation of extraterrestrial 3He in 480-Ma-old marine limestones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, D B; Farley, K A; Schmitz, B

    1998-11-01

    We have measured the helium abundance and isotopic composition of a suite of Lower Ordovician marine limestones and associated fossil meteorites from Kinnekulle, Sweden. Limestone 3He/4He ratios as high as 11.5 times the atmospheric value in fused samples and up to 23 times atmospheric in a single step-heat fraction indicate the presence of extraterrestrial helium, and demonstrate that at least a fraction of the extraterrestrial 3He carried by interplanetary dust particles must be retained against diffusive and diagenetic losses for up to 480 Ma. The carrier phase has not been identified but is not magnetic. Extrapolation of high-temperature 3He diffusivities in these sediments is consistent with strong retention of extraterrestrial 3He under ambient Earth-surface conditions. Combination of the observed helium concentrations with sedimentation rates estimated from conodont biostratigraphy suggest that the flux of extraterrestrial 3He in the Early Ordovician was about 0.5 x 10(-12) cm3 STP cm-2 ka-1, ignoring potential post-deposition helium loss. This value is indistinguishable from the average 3He flux estimated for the Cenozoic Era. In contrast, previous studies of fossil meteorites, Ir abundances, and Os isotopic ratios in the limestone suggest that the total accretion rate of extraterrestrial material during the studied interval was at least an order of magnitude higher than the Cenozoic average. This disparity may reflect significant post-depositional loss of 3He from IDPs within these old limestones; if so, the match between the Ordovician flux and the Cenozoic average would be fortuitous. Alternatively, the size distribution of infalling objects during the Early Ordovician may have been enriched only in extraterrestrial material too large to retain 3He during atmospheric entry heating (> approximately 30 micrometers). The fossil meteorites themselves also preserve extraterrestrial helium. Meteorite 3He concentrations of 2 to 9 x 10(-12) cm3 STP g-1 are

  7. Shifted Excitation Raman Difference Spectroscopy applied to extraterrestrial particles returned from the asteroid Itokawa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böttger, U.; Maiwald, M.; Hanke, F.; Braune, M.; Pavlov, S. G.; Schröder, S.; Weber, I.; Busemann, H.; Sumpf, B.; Tränkle, G.; Hübers, H.-W.

    2017-09-01

    Two extraterrestrial particles from the asteroid Itokawa are investigated applying Shifted Excitation Raman Difference Spectroscopy (SERDS). These particles were returned by the Hayabusa mission of the Japanese Space Agency JAXA. For SERDS a diode laser based microsystem light source at 488 nm is used for excitation. It has been found that fluorescence signals masking the Raman spectral features of interest can be substantially separated by applying SERDS. Therefore, SERDS improves the information obtained from the Raman spectra and enables a reliable analysis for investigations on extraterrestrial samples.

  8. Effects of the Extraterrestrial Environment on Plants: Recommendations for Future Space Experiments for the MELiSSA Higher Plant Compartment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silje A. Wolff

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Due to logistical challenges, long-term human space exploration missions require a life support system capable of regenerating all the essentials for survival. Higher plants can be utilized to provide a continuous supply of fresh food, atmosphere revitalization, and clean water for humans. Plants can adapt to extreme environments on Earth, and model plants have been shown to grow and develop through a full life cycle in microgravity. However, more knowledge about the long term effects of the extraterrestrial environment on plant growth and development is necessary. The European Space Agency (ESA has developed the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA program to develop a closed regenerative life support system, based on micro-organisms and higher plant processes, with continuous recycling of resources. In this context, a literature review to analyze the impact of the space environments on higher plants, with focus on gravity levels, magnetic fields and radiation, has been performed. This communication presents a roadmap giving directions for future scientific activities within space plant cultivation. The roadmap aims to identify the research activities required before higher plants can be included in regenerative life support systems in space.

  9. Effects of the Extraterrestrial Environment on Plants: Recommendations for Future Space Experiments for the MELiSSA Higher Plant Compartment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Silje A; Coelho, Liz H; Karoliussen, Irene; Jost, Ann-Iren Kittang

    2014-05-05

    Due to logistical challenges, long-term human space exploration missions require a life support system capable of regenerating all the essentials for survival. Higher plants can be utilized to provide a continuous supply of fresh food, atmosphere revitalization, and clean water for humans. Plants can adapt to extreme environments on Earth, and model plants have been shown to grow and develop through a full life cycle in microgravity. However, more knowledge about the long term effects of the extraterrestrial environment on plant growth and development is necessary. The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) program to develop a closed regenerative life support system, based on micro-organisms and higher plant processes, with continuous recycling of resources. In this context, a literature review to analyze the impact of the space environments on higher plants, with focus on gravity levels, magnetic fields and radiation, has been performed. This communication presents a roadmap giving directions for future scientific activities within space plant cultivation. The roadmap aims to identify the research activities required before higher plants can be included in regenerative life support systems in space.

  10. Optimum conditions for prebiotic evolution in extraterrestrial environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Ousama H.

    The overall goal of the dissertation was to devise synthetic pathways leading to the production of peptides and amino acids from smaller organic precursors. To this end, eight different zeolites were tested in order to determine their catalytic potential in the conversion of amino acids to peptides. The zeolites tested were either synthetic or naturally occurring. Acidic solutions of amino acids were prepared with or without zeolites and their reactivity was monitored over a four-week time interval. The kinetics and feasibility of peptide synthesis from selected amino acid combinations was investigated via the paper chromatography technique. Nine different amino acids were tested. The nature and extent of product were measured at constant time intervals. It was found that two ZSM-5 synthetic zeolites as well as the Fisher Scientific zeolite mix without alumina salts may have a catalytic potential in the conversion of amino acids to peptides. The conversion was verified by matching the paper chromatogram of the experimental product with that of a known peptide. The experimental results demonstrate that the optimum solvent system for paper chromatographic analysis of the zeolite-catalyzed self-assembly of the amino acids L-aspartic acid, L- asparagine, L-histidine, and L-serine is a 50:50 mixture of 1-butanol and acetone by volume. For the amino acids L-alanine, L-glycine, and L-valine, the optimum solvent was found to be a 30:70 mixture of ammonia and propanol by volume. A mathematical model describing the distance traveled (spot position) versus reaction time was constructed for the zeolite-catalyzed conversion of L- leucine and L-tyrosine and was found to approximately follow the function f(t) = 25 ln t. Two case studies for prebiotic synthesis leading to the production of amino acids or peptides in extraterrestrial environments were discussed: one involving Saturn's moon Titan, and the other involving Jupiter's moon Europa. In the Titan study, it was determined

  11. Soil Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

    Soil Ecology is designed to meet the increasing challenge faced by today's environmental scientists, ecologists, agriculturalists, and biotechnologists for an integrated approach to soil ecology. It emphasizes the interrelations among plants, animals, and microbes, by first establishing the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the soil habitat and then functionally characterizing the major components of the soil biota and some of their most important interactions. The fundamental principles underpinning soil ecology are established and this then enables an integrated approach to explore and understand the processes of soil nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) cycling and the ecology of extreme soil conditions such as soil-water stress. Two of the most topical aspects of applied soil ecology are then selected. First, the ecology of soil pollution is examined, focusing on acid deposition and radionuclide pollution. Second, manipulation of soil ecology through biotechnology is discussed, illustrating the use of pesticides and microbial inocula in soils and pointing toward the future by considering the impact of genetically modified inocula on soil ecology.

  12. SPE (tm) regenerative hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells for extraterrestrial surface and microgravity applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J. F.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on SPE regenerative hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells for extraterrestrial surface and microgravity applications are presented. Topics covered include: hydrogen-oxygen regenerative fuel cell energy storage system; electrochemical cell reactions; SPE cell voltage stability; passive water removal SPE fuel cell; fuel cell performance; SPE water electrolyzers; hydrophobic oxygen phase separator; hydrophilic/electrochemical hydrogen phase separator; and unitized regenerative fuel cell.

  13. Finding Extraterrestrial Life Using Ground-based High-dispersion Spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snellen, I.A.G.; Kok, R.; Poole, le R.S.; Brogi, M.; Birkby, J.L.

    2013-01-01

    Exoplanet observations promise one day to unveil the presence of extraterrestrial life. Atmospheric compounds in strong chemical disequilibrium would point to large-scale biological activity just as oxygen and methane do in the Earth's atmosphere. The cancellation of both the Terrestrial Planet

  14. The Younger Dryas climate change: was it caused by an extraterrestrial impact?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hoesel, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/341426709

    2014-01-01

    The Younger Dryas is an abrupt cooling event at the end of the last Glacial associated to a change in ocean circulation. According to the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, however, one or more extraterrestrial airbursts or impacts occuring around 12.8 ka caused the Younger Dryas cooling, extensive

  15. Search for extraterrestrial antineutrino sources with the KamLAND detector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abe, S.; et al., [Unknown; Decowski, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a search for extraterrestrial electron antineutrinos ( 's) in the energy range 8.3 MeV < Eve < 31.8 MeV using the KamLAND detector. In an exposure of 4.53 kton-year, we identify 25 candidate events. All of the candidate events can be attributed to background, most

  16. Multiplication of microbes below 0.690 water activity : implications for terrestrial and extraterrestrial life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevenson, Andrew; Burkhardt, Jürgen; Cockell, Charles S; Cray, Jonathan A; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Kee, Terence P; Kminek, Gerhard; McGenity, Terry J; Timmis, Kenneth N; Timson, David J; Voytek, Mary A; Westall, Frances; Yakimov, Michail M; Hallsworth, John E

    Since a key requirement of known life forms is available water (water activity; aw ), recent searches for signatures of past life in terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments have targeted places known to have contained significant quantities of biologically available water. However, early life

  17. Tracers of the Extraterrestrial Component in Sediments and Inferences for Earth's Accretion History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2003-01-01

    The study of extraterrestrial matter in sediments began with the discovery of cosmic spherules during the HMS Challenger Expedition (1873-1876), but has evolved into a multidisciplinary study of the chemical, physical, and isotopic study of sediments. Extraterrestrial matter in sediments comes mainly from dust and large impactors from the asteroid belt and comets. What we know of the nature of these source materials comes from the study of stratospheric dust particles, cosmic spherules, micrometeorites, meteorites, and astronomical observations. The most common chemical tracers of extraterrestrial matter in sediments are the siderophile elements, most commonly iridium and other platinum group elements. Physical tracers include cosmic and impact spherules, Ni-rich spinels, meteorites, fossil meteorites, and ocean-impact melt debris. Three types of isotopic systems have been used to trace extraterrestrial matter. Osmium isotopes cannot distinguish chondritic from mantle sources, but provide a useful tool in modeling long-term accretion rates. Helium isotopes can be used to trace the long-term flux of the fine fraction of the interplanetary dust complex. Chromium isotopes can provide unequivocal evidence of an extraterrestrial source for sediments with high concentrations of meteoritic Cr. The terrestrial history of impacts, as recorded in sediments, is still poorly understood. Helium isotopes, multiple Ir anomalies, spherule beds, and craters all indicate a comet shower in the late Eocene. The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact event appears to have been caused by a single carbonaceous chondrite projectile, most likely of asteroid origin. Little is known of the impact record in sediments from the rest of the Phanerozoic. Several impact deposits are known in the Precambrian, including several possible mega-impacts in the Early Archean.

  18. Ecological diversity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pielou E. C

    1975-01-01

    The richness and variety-in a word, the diversity-of natural ecological communities have never been more highly valued than they are now, as they become increasingly threatened by the environmental crisis...

  19. Cognitive ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  20. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

    This book presents the proceedings of a workshop on community ecology organized at Davis, in April, 1986, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. There have been several recent symposia on community ecology (Strong et. al., 1984, Diamond and Case, 1987) which have covered a wide range of topics. The goal of the workshop at Davis was more narrow: to explore the role of scale in developing a theoretical approach to understanding communities. There are a number of aspects of scale that enter into attempts to understand ecological communities. One of the most basic is organizational scale. Should community ecology proceed by building up from population biology? This question and its ramifications are stressed throughout the book and explored in the first chapter by Simon Levin. Notions of scale have long been important in understanding physical systems. Thus, in understanding the interactions of organisms with their physical environment, questions of scale become paramount. These more physical questions illustrate the...

  1. Beyond the Drake Equation: On the Probability of the Nature of Extraterrestrial Life Forms in Our Galaxy Today

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geller, Harold A.

    2014-01-01

    I will discuss my research into the issues associated with the nature of any extraterrestrials that may be encountered in the future in our galaxy. This research was sparked by statements made by Stephen Hawking in 2010 regarding his fear of emitting radiation from our Earth so that an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization may be alerted to our existence in the galaxy today. While addressing issues of extraterrestrial altruism, a probabilistic equation was developed which addresses the number of extraterrestrial intelligent life forms that may exist in our galaxy today, who could use our bodies for nourishment or reproductive purposes. The equation begins with the results from a Drake Equation calculation, and proceeds by addressing such biochemical parameters as the fraction of ETIs with: dextro sugar stereo-isomers; levo amino acid stereo-isomers; similar codon interpretation; chromosomal length and, similar cell membrane structure to allow egg penetration.

  2. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    The paper describes a pedagogical didactical paradigm for teaching student-designers how to deal with context issues. Form/context-relationships are conceptualized as information ecologies and described as behavioral settings using a key concept developed by social psychologist R.A. Baker...... in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit......-setting. It is specified how context issues can be treated within each of these information ecologies. The paper concludes by discussing the outcome of applying this paradigm with respect to the student-designers’ competence as reflective practitioners....

  3. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the 1960s: Science in Popular Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sierra

    2012-01-01

    Building upon the advancement of technology during the Second World War and the important scientific discoveries which have been made about the structure and components of the universe, scientists, especially in radio astronomy and physics, began seriously addressing the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence in the 1960s. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) quickly became one of the most controversial scientific issues in the post Second World War period. The controversy played out, not only in scientific and technical journals, but in newspapers and in popular literature. Proponents for SETI, including Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, and Philip Morrison, actively used a strategy of engagement with the public by using popular media to lobby for exposure and funding. This paper will examine the use of popular media by scientists interested in SETI to popularize and heighten public awareness and also to examine the effects of popularization on SETI's early development. My research has been generously supported by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

  4. First search for extraterrestrial neutrino-induced cascades with IceCube

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    IceCube Collaboration; Kiryluk, Joanna

    2009-05-22

    We report on the first search for extraterrestrial neutrino-induced cascades in IceCube.The analyzed data were collected in the year 2007 when 22 detector strings were installed and operated. We will discuss the analysis methods used to reconstruct cascades and to suppress backgrounds. Simulated neutrino signal events with a E-2 energy spectrum, which pass the background rejection criteria, are reconstructed with a resolution Delta(log E) ~;; 0.27 in the energy range from ~;; 20 TeV to a few PeV. We present the range of the diffuse flux of extra-terrestrial neutrinos in the cascade channel in IceCube within which we expect to be able to put a limit.

  5. Iridium in the Vredefort Bronzite Granophyre - Impact melting and limits on a possible extraterrestrial component

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, B. M.; Orth, C. J.; Quintana, L. R.

    1989-01-01

    The Bronzite Granophyre was analyzed for Ir and other elements to examine whether its origin was due to impact melting or conventional igneous assimilation and to search for a possible extraterrestrial component in the melt. No such component is identified. Ir values range from 50-130 pg/g, equivalent to less than 0.05 percent C1 material. Further evidence against an extraterrestrial source of siderophiles are the low Ir/Au ratios and the absence of systematic correlations between Ir and other elements. However, the Granophyre is significantly enriched in Ir over other Vredefort granitic rocks, implying a fundamental difference between them. Geochemical mixing models indicate that the Ir observed in the Granophyre can be supplied from high-Ir local shales and quartzites during an impact melting event. The results are consistent with the view that the Granophyre is an impact melt and that Vredefort is an impact structure.

  6. The implications of the discovery of extra-terrestrial life for religion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Ted

    2011-02-13

    This paper asks about the future of religion: (i) Will confirmation of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI) cause terrestrial religion to collapse? 'No' is the answer based upon a summary of the 'Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey'. Then the paper examines four specific challenges to traditional doctrinal belief likely to be raised at the detection of ETI: (ii) What is the scope of God's creation? (iii) What can we expect regarding the moral character of ETI? (iv) Is one earthly incarnation in Jesus Christ enough for the entire cosmos, or should we expect multiple incarnations on multiple planets? (v) Will contact with more advanced ETI diminish human dignity? More than probable contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence will expand the Bible's vision so that all of creation--including the 13.7 billion year history of the universe replete with all of God's creatures--will be seen as the gift of a loving and gracious God.

  7. A new family of extraterrestrial amino acids in the Murchison meteorite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koga, Toshiki; Naraoka, Hiroshi

    2017-04-04

    The occurrence of extraterrestrial organic compounds is a key for understanding prebiotic organic synthesis in the universe. In particular, amino acids have been studied in carbonaceous meteorites for almost 50 years. Here we report ten new amino acids identified in the Murchison meteorite, including a new family of nine hydroxy amino acids. The discovery of mostly C 3 and C 4 structural isomers of hydroxy amino acids provides insight into the mechanisms of extraterrestrial synthesis of organic compounds. A complementary experiment suggests that these compounds could be produced from aldehydes and ammonia on the meteorite parent body. This study indicates that the meteoritic amino acids could be synthesized by mechanisms in addition to the Strecker reaction, which has been proposed to be the main synthetic pathway to produce amino acids.

  8. Alien Mindscapes—A Perspective on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Advances in planetary and space sciences, astrobiology, and life and cognitive sciences, combined with developments in communication theory, bioneural computing, machine learning, and big data analysis, create new opportunities to explore the probabilistic nature of alien life. Brought together in a multidisciplinary approach, they have the potential to support an integrated and expanded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI1), a search that includes looking for life as we do not know it. This approach will augment the odds of detecting a signal by broadening our understanding of the evolutionary and systemic components in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), provide more targets for radio and optical SETI, and identify new ways of decoding and coding messages using universal markers. Key Words: SETI—Astrobiology—Coevolution of Earth and life—Planetary habitability and biosignatures. Astrobiology 16, 661–676. PMID:27383691

  9. Alien Mindscapes-A Perspective on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2016-09-01

    Advances in planetary and space sciences, astrobiology, and life and cognitive sciences, combined with developments in communication theory, bioneural computing, machine learning, and big data analysis, create new opportunities to explore the probabilistic nature of alien life. Brought together in a multidisciplinary approach, they have the potential to support an integrated and expanded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI (1) ), a search that includes looking for life as we do not know it. This approach will augment the odds of detecting a signal by broadening our understanding of the evolutionary and systemic components in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), provide more targets for radio and optical SETI, and identify new ways of decoding and coding messages using universal markers. SETI-Astrobiology-Coevolution of Earth and life-Planetary habitability and biosignatures. Astrobiology 16, 661-676.

  10. Origin of spherule samples recovered from antarctic ice sheet-Terrestrial or extraterrestrial?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekimoto, Shun; Takamiya, Koichi; Shibata, Seiichi [Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka (Japan); Kobayashi, Takayuki [College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo (Japan); Ebihara, Mitsuru [Dept. of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan)

    2016-04-15

    Thirty-eight spherules from the Antarctic ice sheet were analyzed using neutron activation analysis under two different conditions to investigate their origin. In almost all of these spherules, the contents of iron, cobalt, and manganese were determined to be 31% to 88%, 17 mg/kg to 810 mg/kg, and 0.017% to 7%, respectively. A detectable iridium content of 0.84 mg/kg was found in only one spherule, which was judged to be extraterrestrial in origin. A comparison of elemental compositions of the Antarctic spherules analyzed in this study with those of deep-sea sediment spherules and those of terrestrial materials revealed that most of the Antarctic spherules except for the sample in which iridium was detected could not be identified as extraterrestrial in origin.

  11. Alien Mindscapes—A Perspective on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2016-09-01

    Advances in planetary and space sciences, astrobiology, and life and cognitive sciences, combined with developments in communication theory, bioneural computing, machine learning, and big data analysis, create new opportunities to explore the probabilistic nature of alien life. Brought together in a multidisciplinary approach, they have the potential to support an integrated and expanded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI1), a search that includes looking for life as we do not know it. This approach will augment the odds of detecting a signal by broadening our understanding of the evolutionary and systemic components in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), provide more targets for radio and optical SETI, and identify new ways of decoding and coding messages using universal markers.

  12. Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago thatcontributed to megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, R.B.; West, A.; Kennett, J.P.; Becker, L.; Bunch,T.E.; Revay, Z.S.; Schultz, P.H.; Belgya, T.; Kennett, D.J.; Erlandson,J.M.; Dickenson, O.J.; Goodyear, A.C.; Harris, R.S.; Howard, G.A.; Kloosterman, J.B.; Lechler, P.; Mayewski, P.A.; Montgomery, J.; Porede,R.; Darrah, T.; Que Hee, S.S.; Smith, A.R.; Stich, A.; Topping, W.; Wittke, J.H.; Wolbach, W.S.

    2007-08-06

    A carbon-rich black layer, dating to ~;12.9 ka, has beenpreviously identified at ~;50 Clovis-age sites across North America andappears contemporaneous with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas (YD)cooling. The in situ bones of extinct Pleistocene megafauna and Clovistool assemblages occur below this black layer but not within or above it.Causes for the extinctions, the YD cooling, and the termination of Clovisculture have long been controversial. In this paper, we provide evidencefor an extraterrestrial (ET) impact event at ?12.9 ka, which, wehypothesize, caused abrupt environmental changes that contributed to YDcooling, major ecological reorganization, broad-scale extinctions, andrapid human behavioral shifts at the end of the Clovis Period. Clovis-agesites in North American are overlain by a thin, discrete layer withvarying peak abundances of: (1) magnetic grains with iridium, (2)magnetic microspherules (3) charcoal, (4) soot, (5) carbon spherules, (6)glass-like carbon, and (7) fullerenes with ET helium, all of which areevidence for an ET impact and associated biomass burning at ~;12.9 ka.This layer also extends throughout at least fifteen Carolina Bays, whichare unique, elliptical wetlands, oriented to thenorthwest across theAtlantic Coastal Plain. We propose that one or more large, low-density ETobjects exploded over northern North America, partially destabilizing theLaurentide Ice Sheet and triggering YD cooling. The shock wave, thermalpulse, and event-related environmental effects (e.g., extensive biomassburning, food limitations) contributed to the end-Pleistocene megafaunalextinctions and adaptive shifts among PaleoAmericans in NorthAmerica.

  13. Trash Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Georgia J.

    2004-01-01

    A hands on activity involving density, frequency and biomass using transects, quadrats and a local good deed by cleaning up the neighborhood while practicing important techniques in ecology is detailed. The activity is designed for KCC-STEP, whose primary goal is to expand the scientific knowledge and research experiences of their students, who…

  14. Ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. Barton; John I. Blake; Donald W. Imm

    2005-01-01

    The long history of human settlement, agriculture, and industry at the Savannah River Site (SRS) has created extensive opportunities for ecological restoration. Two hundred years of farming, drainage, dam construction, stream channeling, fire protection, subsistence hunting and fishing, exotic animal and plant introduction, and selective timber harvesting have caused...

  15. Visual ecology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cronin, Thomas W; Johnsen, Sönke; Marsahll, N. Justin; Warrant, Eric

    2014-01-01

    ... ecology. . Physiology, Comparative. . Eye- Evolution. I. Title. QP.C  .'- dc British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book...

  16. Estimation of potential evapotranspiration from extraterrestrial radiation, air temperature and humidity to assess future climate change effects on the vegetation of the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, David A.; Bachelet, Dominique M.; Symstad, Amy J.; Ferschweiler, Ken; Hobbins, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The potential evapotranspiration (PET) that would occur with unlimited plant access to water is a central driver of simulated plant growth in many ecological models. PET is influenced by solar and longwave radiation, temperature, wind speed, and humidity, but it is often modeled as a function of temperature alone. This approach can cause biases in projections of future climate impacts in part because it confounds the effects of warming due to increased greenhouse gases with that which would be caused by increased radiation from the sun. We developed an algorithm for linking PET to extraterrestrial solar radiation (incoming top-of atmosphere solar radiation), as well as temperature and atmospheric water vapor pressure, and incorporated this algorithm into the dynamic global vegetation model MC1. We tested the new algorithm for the Northern Great Plains, USA, whose remaining grasslands are threatened by continuing woody encroachment. Both the new and the standard temperature-dependent MC1 algorithm adequately simulated current PET, as compared to the more rigorous PenPan model of Rotstayn et al. (2006). However, compared to the standard algorithm, the new algorithm projected a much more gradual increase in PET over the 21st century for three contrasting future climates. This difference led to lower simulated drought effects and hence greater woody encroachment with the new algorithm, illustrating the importance of more rigorous calculations of PET in ecological models dealing with climate change.

  17. Gaussian/non-Gaussian distributions and the identification of terrestrial and extraterrestrial intelligence objects

    OpenAIRE

    Sergey Haitun

    2015-01-01

    Statistical criteria used today in the analysis of radio signals suspected on reasonable extraterrestrial origin, are based on the assumption that all the radio signals of natural origin are described by a Gaussian distribution, which is traditionally understood as the Gauss distribution. Usually the normal (Gauss) distribution is opposed to all the others. However, this is difficult to recognize the reasonable, because in nature there are many different distributions. The article offers a mo...

  18. Life in extraterrestrial space: An anthropological consideration on astronauts' everyday experiences

    OpenAIRE

    Sato, Tomohisa; 佐藤, 知久

    2015-01-01

    Since the completion of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2000, over 80 astronauts have experienced months of life in extraterrestrial space. Based on an analysis of texts mainly written by three Japanese ISS astronauts (Wakata, Noguchi, and Furukawa), this paper examines the meanings of their daily experiences in the ISS from three perspectives: psychological, physical, and ontological. These perspectives were chosen based on the following: ||1) Psychological studies show that long-du...

  19. Alien Mindscapes?A Perspective on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Nathalie A. Cabrol

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Advances in planetary and space sciences, astrobiology, and life and cognitive sciences, combined with developments in communication theory, bioneural computing, machine learning, and big data analysis, create new opportunities to explore the probabilistic nature of alien life. Brought together in a multidisciplinary approach, they have the potential to support an integrated and expanded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI 1 ), a search that includes looking for life as we...

  20. Life from the stars?. [extraterrestrial sources contributing to chemical evolution on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Yvonne J.; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1994-01-01

    Scientists are now seriously considering the possibility that organic matter from interstellar space could have influenced, or even spurred, the origin of life on Earth. Various aspects of chemical evolution are discussed along with possible extraterrestrial sources responsible for contributing to Earth's life-producing, chemical composition. Specific topics covered include the following: interstellar matter, molecular clouds, asteroid dust, organic molecules in our solar system, interplanetary dust and comets, meteoritic composition, and organic-rich solar-system bodies.

  1. Project Cyclops: a Design Study of a System for Detecting Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The requirements in hardware, manpower, time and funding to conduct a realistic effort aimed at detecting the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life are examined. The methods used are limited to present or near term future state-of-the-art techniques. Subjects discussed include: (1) possible methods of contact, (2) communication by electromagnetic waves, (3) antenna array and system facilities, (4) antenna elements, (5) signal processing, (6) search strategy, and (7) radio and radar astronomy.

  2. Extraterrestrial Organic Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Origins of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Extraterrestrially delivered organics in the origin of cellular life. Various processes leading to the emergence of cellular life from organics delivered from space to earth or other planetary bodies in the solar system will be reviewed. The focus will be on: (1) self-assembly of amphiphilic material to vesicles and other structures, such as micelles and multilayers, and its role in creating environments suitable for chemical catalysis, (2) a possible role of extraterrestrial delivery of organics in the formation of the simplest bioenergetics (3) mechanisms leading from amino acids or their precursors to simple peptides and, subsequently, to the evolution of metabolism. These issues will be discussed from two opposite points of view: (1) Which molecules could have been particularly useful in the protobiological evolution; this may provide focus for searching for these molecules in interstellar media. (2) Assuming that a considerable part of the inventory of organic matter on the early earth was delivered extraterrestrially, what does relative abundance of different organics in space tell us about the scenario leading to the origin of life.

  3. Sources of Extraterrestrial Rare Earth Elements:To the Moon and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, C. L.; Krekeler, M. P. S.

    2017-08-01

    The resource budget of Earth is limited. Rare-earth elements (REEs) are used across the world by society on a daily basis yet several of these elements have geological, mineralogical, or chemical evidence to support REEs being present on the Moon in concentrations that would permit their classification as ores. However, the PKT region has not yet been mapped at high resolution, and certainly has the potential to yield higher REE concentrations at local scales (Mars and other extraterrestrial materials are host to REEs in apatite, chevkinite-perrierite, merrillite, whitlockite, and xenotime. These phases are relatively minor components of the meteorites studied to date, constituting <0.6% of the total sample. Nonetheless, they dominate a samples REE budget with their abundances typically 1-2 orders of magnitude enriched relative to their host rock. As with the Moon, though phases which host REEs have been identified, no extraterrestrial REE resource, or ore, has been identified yet. At present extraterrestrial materials are therefore not suitable REE-mining targets. However, they are host to other resources that will likely be fundamental to the future of space exploration and support the development of in situ resource utilization, for example: metals (Fe, Al, Mg, PGEs) and water.

  4. Responsibility, capability, and Active SETI: Policy, law, ethics, and communication with extraterrestrial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.

    2011-02-01

    With recently growing interest in the Active Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), in which humankind would send intentional signals to extraterrestrial civilizations, there have been increased concerns about appropriate policy, as well as the role of space law and ethics in guiding such activities. Implicit in these discussions are notions of responsibility and capability that affect judgments about whether humans or other civilizations should initiate transmissions. Existing protocols that guide SETI research address transmissions from Earth, but there is debate over whether these guidelines should inform de novo transmissions as well. Relevant responsibilities to address include (1) looking out for the interests of humankind as a whole, (2) being truthful in interstellar messages, and (3) benefiting extraterrestrial civilizations. Our capabilities as a species and a civilization affect how well we can fulfill responsibilities, as seen when we consider whether we will be able to reach consensus about message contents (and whether that would be desirable), and whether we have the capacity to decode messages from beings that rely on different sensory modalities. The interplay of these responsibilities and capabilities suggests that humankind should place increased emphasis on Active SETI.

  5. PELS (Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator): a new type of simulation facility to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Derek; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-02-01

    Investigations of other planetary bodies, including Mars and icy moons such as Enceladus and Europa, show that they may have hosted aqueous environments in the past and may do so even today. Therefore, a major challenge in astrobiology is to build facilities that will allow us to study the geochemistry and habitability of these extraterrestrial environments. Here, we describe a simulation facility (PELS: Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator) with the capability for liquid input and output that allows for the study of such environments. The facility, containing six separate sample vessels, allows for statistical replication of samples. Control of pressure, gas composition, UV irradiation conditions, and temperature allows for the precise replication of aqueous conditions, including subzero brines under martian atmospheric conditions. A sample acquisition system allows for the collection of both liquid and solid samples from within the chamber without breaking the atmospheric conditions, enabling detailed studies of the geochemical evolution and habitability of past and present extraterrestrial environments. The facility we describe represents a new frontier in planetary simulation-continuous flow-through simulation of extraterrestrial aqueous environments.

  6. Extraterrestrial flux of potentially prebiotic C, N, and P to the early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasek, Matthew; Lauretta, Dante

    2008-02-01

    With growing evidence for a heavy bombardment period ending 4-3.8 billion years ago, meteorites and comets may have been an important source of prebiotic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus on the early Earth. Life may have originated shortly after the late-heavy bombardment, when concentrations of organic compounds and reactive phosphorus were enough to "kick life into gear". This work quantifies the sources of potentially prebiotic, extraterrestrial C, N, and P and correlates these fluxes with a comparison to total Ir fluxes, and estimates the effect of atmosphere on the survival of material. We find (1) that carbonaceous chondrites were not a good source of organic compounds, but interplanetary dust particles provided a constant, steady flux of organic compounds to the surface of the Earth, (2) extraterrestrial metallic material was much more abundant on the early Earth, and delivered reactive P in the form of phosphide minerals to the Earth's surface, and (3) large impacts provided substantial local enrichments of potentially prebiotic reagents. These results help elucidate the potential role of extraterrestrial matter in the origin of life.

  7. What should we say to extraterrestrial intelligence?: An analysis of responses to “Earth Speaks”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, Douglas A.; Lower, Timothy A.; Niles, Britton A.; Rast, Katrina A.; DeCou, Christopher

    2013-05-01

    If scientists engaged in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) detect a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization, one of the most pressing issues facing humankind will be "Should we reply, and if so, what should we say?" Building on an infrastructure that the SETI Institute used to gather over 50,000 messages from around the world to send onboard the Kepler mission, Earth Speaks invites people to submit online their text messages, pictures, and sounds, as they ponder what they would want to say to an extraterrestrial civilization. Participants for the study have been recruited from 68 nations, from all walks of life. By tracking demographic variables for each person submitting a message, we have identified commonalities and differences in message content that are related to such factors as age and gender. Similarly, by tracking the date on which messages were submitted and the location from which the message was sent, we have also identified the way in which message content is related to time and geographic location. Furthermore, when we compare previous themes derived from textual messages to our current categorical analysis of submitted images, we find our textual themes to be concurrently validated. In doing so, we find the Earth Speaks Website not only allows for the construction of interstellar messages, but also functions as a projective psychological assessment of species-level human identity. We next proceed to demonstrate the generative power of our method by showing how we can synthesize artificial messages from the Earth Speaks messages. We then discuss how these artificially generated messages can be tailored to represent both commonality and diversity in human thought as it is revealed through our data. We end by discussing our method's utility for cross-disciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities.

  8. Mainstream Media and Social Media Reactions to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Morris

    The rise of online social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) has overturned traditional top-down and stovepiped channels for mass communications. As social media have risen, traditional media sources have been steadily crippled by economic problems, resulting in a loss of capabilities and credibility. Information can propagate rapidly without the inclusion of traditional editorial checks and controls. Mass communications strategies for any type of major announcement must account for this new media landscape. Scientists announcing the discovery of extraterrestrial life will trigger a multifaceted and unpredictable percolation of the story through the public sphere. They will also potentially struggle with misinformation, rumours and hoaxes. The interplay of official announcements with the discussions of an extraterrestrial discovery on social media has parallels with traditional theories of mass communications. A wide spectrum of different messages is likely to be received by different segments of the community, based on their usage patterns of various media and online communications. The presentation and interpretation of a discovery will be hotly debated and contested within online media environments. In extreme cases, this could lead to "editorial wars" on collaborative media projects as well as cyber-attacks on certain online services and individuals. It is unlikely that a clear and coherent message can be propagated to a near-universal level. This has the potential to contribute to inappropriate reactions in some sectors of the community. Preventing unnecessary panic will be a priority. In turn, the monitoring of online and social media will provide a useful tool for assessing public reactions to a discovery of extraterrestrial life. This will help to calibrate public communications strategies following in the wake of an initial announcement.

  9. Survey of 25 years of observations with the aim of detecting intelligent extraterrestrial beings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallee, J. P.

    1985-02-01

    Observational programs intended to detect the presence of intelligent extraterrestrial life or to locate stars with potentially life-supporting planets are surveyed for the period 1960-1985. The astrometric, spectroscopic, photometric, and linear-polarimetric techniques employed are explained; the 45 programs undertaken are listed in tables; a typical observation at Algonquin Radioastronomy Observatory is described; theoretical computations of the number of life-supporting planets are summarized; and hypotheses advanced to explain the fact that no contact appears to have been made are discussed.

  10. Astronomy and religion (1780-1915). Four case studies involving ideas of extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Michael J.

    The present essay discusses four examples of interactions, two from the eighteenth century and two from the nineteenth. All four cases concern the relations between religion and the astronomical claim that intelligent beings exist elsewhere in space. In each of these four cases religious claims influenced astronomy. Cases 3 and 4 share a feature not usually encountered in studies on the interactions of astronomy and religion in that they are instances where not just theistic belief but in fact core doctrines of a specific religion, Christianity, influenced astronomy. I begin by surveying the interactions between religion and the idea of extraterrestrial intelligent life in the early modern period.

  11. Strategic considerations in SETI, and a microwave approach. [Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeger, C. L.

    1977-01-01

    Plausible options in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and the need to reserve a suitable portion of the EM (microwave) spectrum for SETI research, are discussed. Reasons for selection of a portion of the spectrum, specifically the 'water hole' near 1.5 GHz in the terrestrial microwave window (1-25 GHz), are presented, and competition with various emitters for that band (existing satellite downlink transmissions) is discussed. SETI search policies and options are summarized in a table. Speculative considerations guiding initial phases of the SETI pursuit are discussed.

  12. On the design of a postprocessor for a search for extraterrestrial intelligence /SETI/ system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, T. J.; Seeger, C. L.; Stull, M. A.

    1979-01-01

    The design of an on-line postprocessor for a search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) system is described. Signal processing tasks of the postprocessor include: (1) analysis of power level, phase coherence, and state of polarization of single-channel signals in a search for significant signals; (2) grouping or aggregation of adjacent channel data, time averaging of data; and (3) the detection of drifting and modulated signals. Control functions include multichannel spectrum analyzer frequency and clock control, system calibration and selfdiagnostic, control of data flow to and from short-term and long-term (archival) memories, and operation of detection subsystems, such as a visual display and a tunable receiver.

  13. Analysis of Direct Samples of Extraterrestrial, Organic-Bearing, Aqueous Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, Michael

    2016-01-01

    I will describe water we have found in 4.5 billion year old extraterrestrial salt, and the organics that are also present. We hypothesize that organics being carried through the parent body of the halite have been deposited adjacent to the fluid inclusions, where they have been preserved against any thermal metamorphism. We are making bulk compositional, carbon and hydrogen isotopic measurements of solid organic phases associated with the aqueous fluid inclusions in the meteorites. We will compare these organics with those found in chondrites and Wild-2 comet coma particles to determine whether these classes of organics had an origin within aqueous solutions.

  14. Amino Acids from Icy Amines: A Radiation-Chemical Approach to Extraterrestrial Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dworkin, J. P.; Moore, M. H.

    2010-01-01

    Detections of amino acids in meteorites go back several decades, with at least 100 such compounds being reported for the Murchison meteorite alone. The presence of these extraterrestrial molecules raises questions as to their formation, abundance, thermal stability, racemization, and possible subsequent reactions. Although all of these topics have been studied in laboratories, such work often involves many variables and unknowns. This has led us to seek out model systems with which to uncover reaction products, test chemical predictions, and sited light on underlying reaction mechanisms. This presentation will describe one such study, focusing on amino-acid formation in ices.

  15. 50th Anniversary of the World's First Extraterrestrial Sample Receiving Laboratory: The Apollo Program's Lunar Receiving Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calaway, M. J.; Allton, J. H.; Zeigler, R. A.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    The Apollo program's Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL), building 37 at NASA's Manned Spaceflight Center (MSC), now Johnson Space Center (JSC), in Houston, TX, was the world's first astronaut and extraterrestrial sample quarantine facility (Fig. 1). It was constructed by Warrior Construction Co. and Warrior-Natkin-National at a cost of $8.1M be-tween August 10, 1966 and June 26, 1967. In 1969, the LRL received and curated the first collection of extra-terrestrial samples returned to Earth; the rock and soil samples of the Apollo 11 mission. This year, the JSC Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (here-after JSC curation) celebrates 50 years since the opening of the LRL and its legacy of laying the foundation for modern curation of extraterrestrial samples.

  16. Laser mass spectrometric detection of extraterrestrial aromatic molecules: mini-review and examination of pulsed heating effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Maegan K; Hammond, Matthew R; Zare, Richard N

    2008-11-25

    Laser mass spectrometry is a powerful tool for the sensitive, selective, and spatially resolved analysis of organic compounds in extraterrestrial materials. Using microprobe two-step laser mass spectrometry (muL(2)MS), we have explored the organic composition of many different exogenous materials, including meteorites, interplanetary dust particles, and interstellar ice analogs, gaining significant insight into the nature of extraterrestrial materials. Recently, we applied muL(2)MS to analyze the effect of heating caused by hypervelocity particle capture in aerogel, which was used on the NASA Stardust Mission to capture comet particles. We show that this material exhibits complex organic molecules upon sudden heating. Similar pulsed heating of carbonaceous materials is shown to produce an artifactual fullerene signal. We review the use of muL(2)MS to investigate extraterrestrial materials, and we discuss its recent application to characterize the effect of pulsed heating on samples of interest.

  17. Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Signals in Astronomical Spectra, Including Existing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borra, Ermanno F.

    2012-12-01

    The main purpose of this article is to make astronomers aware that Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETIs) can be carried out by analyzing standard astronomical spectra, including those they have already taken. Simplicity is the outstanding advantage of a search in spectra. The spectra can be analyzed by simple eye inspection or a few lines of code that uses Fourier transform software. Theory, confirmed by published experiments, shows that periodic signals in spectra can be easily generated by sending light pulses separated by constant time intervals. While part of this article, like all articles on SETIs, is highly speculative the basic physics is sound. In particular, technology now available on Earth could be used to send signals having the required energy to be detected at a target located 1000 lt-yr away. Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) could use these signals to make us aware of their existence. For an ETI, the technique would also have the advantage that the signals could be detected both in spectra and searches for intensity pulses like those currently carried out on Earth.

  18. Search for extraterrestrial life using chiral molecules: mandelate racemase as a test case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, Tracey L; Gibbs, Phillip R; Trebino, Rick P; Bommarius, Andreas S

    2006-12-01

    We have investigated an enzymatic racemization reaction as a marker for extraterrestrial life, which resulted in a change in optical rotation of a mandelic acid over time, as measured by polarimetry. Mandelate racemase was active in aqueous buffer in a temperature range between 0 degrees C and 70 degrees C and also in concentrated ammonium salt solutions and water-in-oil microemulsions in a temperature range between -30 degrees C and 60-70 degrees C; however, the enzyme was not active in several organic cryosolvents. Thus, we have demonstrated that concentrated ammonium salt solutions and water-in-oil microemulsions, both of which are able to form on extraterrestrial planets and moons in the presence of liquid water, are suitable media for enzyme reactions at subzero temperatures. Kinetic data for the mandelate racemase reaction obtained by polarimetry, while reproducible and internally consistent, differed significantly from several sets of data obtained previously by other methods such as chromatography and hydrogen-deuterium exchange. However, we conclude that reactions yielding a polarimetric signal, such as the racemizations employed in this work, are suitable mechanisms by which to utilize a change in chirality over time as a tool to detect signs of life.

  19. Seventeen Key Developments in the History of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    The extraterrestrial life debate, rather than beginning in the twentieth century, was already underway in classical antiquity and has continued almost without interruption until the present. This historical presentation, based on the presenter's many years of historical research including visits to over forty research libraries, will survey seventeen of the most significant, exciting, and/or controversial turning points in this debate, involving those associated with such figures as Aristotle, Epicurus, Cusa, Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler, Fontenelle, Huygens, Herschel, Paine, Locke, Whewell, Proctor, Schiaparelli, Lowell, Maunder, Antoniadi, Wallace, Hubble, Brock, and the discoverers of the exoplanets. The discussion will include both astronomical and cultural issues and challenge various historical interpretations that appear in the literature. It will also provide some suggestions concerning the role that non-scientific issues, including metaphysical and religious issues, have at times played in the debate. Among the theses proposed in this talk are: (1) this debate has centered on one of the great questions humanity faces, (2) some of the effects that are predicted to follow if astronomers detect extraterrestrial intelligent beings have already occurred, and (3) not only has astronomy affected the debate, but the debate has had significant impacts on astronomy.

  20. Gaussian/non-Gaussian distributions and the identification of terrestrial and extraterrestrial intelligence objects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Haitun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Statistical criteria used today in the analysis of radio signals suspected on reasonable extraterrestrial origin, are based on the assumption that all the radio signals of natural origin are described by a Gaussian distribution, which is traditionally understood as the Gauss distribution. Usually the normal (Gauss distribution is opposed to all the others. However, this is difficult to recognize the reasonable, because in nature there are many different distributions. The article offers a more realistic dichotomy: the Gaussian distributions, obeying the central limiting theorem, dominate in nature, while non-Gaussian ones, obeying the Gnedenko-Doeblin limiting theorem, are generated by intelligent beings. When identifying objects belonging to an extraterrestrial civilization described by a non-Gaussian distribution is preferable to use the rank form distributions. Using this criterion is associated with certain difficulties: (1 in nature there are also non-Gaussian distributions; (2 in their activities animals generate non-Gaussian distributions like humans; (3 the identification of non-Gaussian distributions in the rank form is hampered sometimes by the rank distortion effect of mathematical nature.

  1. Reactions to receipt of a message from extraterrestrial intelligence: a cross-cultural empirical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakoch, D. A.; Lee, Y.-S.

    2000-06-01

    If we ever receive a message from extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), the societal impact may be significant. To date, several authors have speculated on factors that may predict people's reactions, but there have been no systematic empirical studies on the range of responses. One obstacle to conducting such studies is that there has been no questionnaire to assess such reactions. In the current study we have designed a psychometrically sound set of scales to assess six beliefs: (1) that extraterrestrial life exists, (2) that ETI would be benevolent and that we should respond to a message, (3) that ETI would be malevolent, (4) that message receipt would be unsettling, (5) that message receipt would be religiously significant and (6) that experts should determine the content of a reply. We report on the construction and use of these new scales, drawing on data gathered from American and Chinese undergraduate students. Respondents also completed measures of alienation, optimism, anthropocentrism and religiosity. This allowed us to predict beliefs about ETI based on personal characteristics and beliefs of the respondents.

  2. Creatures in the Classroom: Preservice Teacher Beliefs About Fantastic Beasts, Magic, Extraterrestrials, Evolution and Creationism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losh, Susan Carol; Nzekwe, Brandon

    2011-05-01

    Faculty have long expressed concern about pseudoscience belief among students. Most US research on such beliefs examines evolution-creation issues among liberal arts students, the general public, and occasionally science educators. Because of their future influence on youth, we examined basic science knowledge and several pseudoscience beliefs among 540 female and 123 male upperclass preservice teachers, comparing them with representative samples of comparably educated American adults. Future teachers resembled national adults on basic science knowledge. Their scores on evolution; creationism; intelligent design; fantastic beasts; magic; and extraterrestrials indices depended on the topic. Exempting science education, preservice teachers rejected evolution, accepting Biblical creation and intelligent design accounts. Sizable minorities "awaited more evidence" about fantastic beasts, magic, or extraterrestrials. Although gender, disciplinary major, grade point average, science knowledge, and two religiosity measures related to beliefs about evolution-creation, these factors were generally unassociated with the other indices. The findings suggest more training is needed for preservice educators in the critical evaluation of material evidence. We also discuss the judicious use of pseudoscience beliefs in such training.

  3. Isotopic evidence for extraterrestrial non- racemic amino acids in the Murchison meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, M. H.; Macko, S. A.

    1997-09-01

    Many amino acids contain an asymmetric centre, occurring as laevorotatory, L, or dextrorotatory, D, compounds. It is generally assumed that abiotic synthesis of amino acids on the early Earth resulted in racemic mixtures (L- and D-enantiomers in equal abundance). But the origin of life required, owing to conformational constraints, the almost exclusive selection of either L- or D-enantiomers, and the question of why living systems on the Earth consist of L-enantiomers rather than D-enantiomers is unresolved. A substantial fraction of the organic compounds on the early Earth may have been derived from comet and meteorite impacts. It has been reported previously that amino acids in the Murchison meteorite exhibit an excess of L-enantiomers, raising the possibility that a similar excess was present in the initial inventory of organic compounds on the Earth. The stable carbon isotope compositions of individual amino acids in Murchison support an extraterrestrial origin-rather than a terrestrial overprint of biological amino acids-although reservations have persisted (see, for example, ref. 9). Here we show that individual amino-acid enantiomers from Murchison are enriched in 15N relative to their terrestrial counterparts, so confirming an extraterrestrial source for an L-enantiomer excess in the Solar System that may predate the origin of life on the Earth.

  4. Habitability and the Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life in the Early Telescope Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Early telescopic observations of the Moon and planets prompted great interest in the already-existing debate about the possibility of life on the Moon and other worlds. New observations of the lunar surface, revealing an apparently Earth-like terrain and possibly the presence of bodies of water, were often considered in relation to their implications for the existence of lunar inhabitants. This depended upon establishing what constituted the fundamental requirements for life and the boundaries of habitability. The growing support for the heliocentric Copernican astronomy was also changing perceptions of the relationships between the Earth, the Moon, and the planets. Works such as Johannes Kepler’s Somnium and John Wilkins’ The Discovery of a World in the Moone presented views of extraterrestrial life that were shifting from the supernatural to the natural, in correspondence with the celestial bodies’ new positions in the cosmos. This paper considers how these and other works from the early telescope era reveal changes in the nature of astronomical speculation about extraterrestrial life and the conditions construed as “habitability,” and what significance that history has for us today in the new era of extrasolar planet discovery.

  5. FINDING EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE USING GROUND-BASED HIGH-DISPERSION SPECTROSCOPY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Snellen, I. A. G.; Le Poole, R.; Brogi, M.; Birkby, J. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300-RA Leiden (Netherlands); De Kok, R. J. [SRON, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584-CA Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2013-02-20

    Exoplanet observations promise one day to unveil the presence of extraterrestrial life. Atmospheric compounds in strong chemical disequilibrium would point to large-scale biological activity just as oxygen and methane do in the Earth's atmosphere. The cancellation of both the Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin missions means that it is unlikely that a dedicated space telescope to search for biomarker gases in exoplanet atmospheres will be launched within the next 25 years. Here we show that ground-based telescopes provide a strong alternative for finding biomarkers in exoplanet atmospheres through transit observations. Recent results on hot Jupiters show the enormous potential of high-dispersion spectroscopy to separate the extraterrestrial and telluric signals, making use of the Doppler shift of the planet. The transmission signal of oxygen from an Earth-twin orbiting a small red dwarf star is only a factor of three smaller than that of carbon monoxide recently detected in the hot Jupiter {tau} Booetis b, albeit such a star will be orders of magnitude fainter. We show that if Earth-like planets are common, the planned extremely large telescopes can detect oxygen within a few dozen transits. Ultimately, large arrays of dedicated flux-collector telescopes equipped with high-dispersion spectrographs can provide the large collecting area needed to perform a statistical study of life-bearing planets in the solar neighborhood.

  6. Something more than boulders: A geological comment on the nomenclature of megaclasts on extraterrestrial bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Delia E.; Ruban, Dmitry A.

    2017-01-01

    Large clasts are common on extraterrestrial bodies, and these are traditionally termed "blocks" and "boulders". These two terms can easily raise confusion, however, because they are used in a sense that differs from geological definitions. Several classifications of large clasts are currently in use in the Earth sciences, and they differ only in detail. They restrict the size of boulders to 1-4 m; larger particles are called "megaclasts". The analysis of the published information on large clasts on planet satellites, asteroids, and comets imply that the particles often described as "boulders" actually are megaclasts; boulders, as the term is used in the Earth sciences, are too small to be detected given the limited resolution of most images obtained. It were therefore scientifically preferable if the established geological literature were applied in the modern planetary and space research. It appears sensible to distinguish boulders from megaclasts; the latter comprise bodies that might be subdivided granulometrically into blocks, megablocks, and superblocks. It is also shown that the abundance of megaclasts on extraterrestrial bodies may itself be beneficial for our understanding of such particles, which are rare on Earth.

  7. Mechanistical studies on the formation of carbon dioxide in extraterrestrial carbon monoxide ice analog samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Chris J; Jamieson, Corey S; Kaiser, Ralf I

    2009-06-07

    Binary ice mixtures of two carbon monoxide isotopomers, (13)C(16)O and (12)C(18)O, were subjected at 10 K to energetic electrons to investigate the interaction of ionizing radiation with extraterrestrial, carbon monoxide bearing ices. The chemical modifications were monitored on line and in situ via absorption-reflection-absorption Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as well as in the gas-phase via a quadrupole mass spectrometer. Detected products include two newly formed carbon monoxide isotopomers ((12)C(16)O and (13)C(18)O), carbon dioxide ((12)C(16)O(2), (12)C(18)O(16)O, (12)C(18)O(2), (13)C(16)O(2), (13)C(18)O(16)O, and (13)C(18)O(2)), and dicarbon monoxide ((12)C(13)C(16)O and (13)C(13)C(16)O). Kinetic profiles of carbon monoxide and of carbon dioxide were extracted and fit to derive reaction mechanisms and information on the decomposition of carbon monoxide and on the formation of carbon dioxide in extraterrestrial ice analog samples.

  8. Prebiotic significance of extraterrestrial ice photochemistry: detection of hydantoin in organic residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Marcellus, Pierre; Bertrand, Marylène; Nuevo, Michel; Westall, Frances; Le Sergeant d'Hendecourt, Louis

    2011-11-01

    The delivery of extraterrestrial organic materials to primitive Earth from meteorites or micrometeorites has long been postulated to be one of the origins of the prebiotic molecules involved in the subsequent apparition of life. Here, we report on experiments in which vacuum UV photo-irradiation of interstellar/circumstellar ice analogues containing H(2)O, CH(3)OH, and NH(3) led to the production of several molecules of prebiotic interest. These were recovered at room temperature in the semi-refractory, water-soluble residues after evaporation of the ice. In particular, we detected small quantities of hydantoin (2,4-imidazolidinedione), a species suspected to play an important role in the formation of poly- and oligopeptides. In addition, hydantoin is known to form under extraterrestrial, abiotic conditions, since it has been detected, along with various other derivatives, in the soluble part of organic matter of primitive carbonaceous meteorites. This result, together with other related experiments reported recently, points to the potential importance of the photochemistry of interstellar "dirty" ices in the formation of organics in Solar System materials. Such molecules could then have been delivered to the surface of primitive Earth, as well as other telluric (exo-) planets, to help trigger first prebiotic reactions with the capacity to lead to some form of primitive biomolecular activity.

  9. Improving photovoltaic performance through radiative cooling in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Taqiyyah S; Munday, Jeremy N

    2015-09-21

    The method of detailed balance, introduced by Shockley and Queisser, is often used to find an upper theoretical limit for the efficiency of semiconductor pn-junction based photovoltaics. Typically the solar cell is assumed to be at an ambient temperature of 300 K. In this paper, we describe and analyze the use of radiative cooling techniques to lower the solar cell temperature below the ambient to surpass the detailed balance limit for a cell in contact with an ideal heat sink. We show that by combining specifically designed radiative cooling structures with solar cells, efficiencies higher than the limiting efficiency achievable at 300 K can be obtained for solar cells in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. We show that our proposed structure yields an efficiency 0.87% higher than a typical PV module at operating temperatures in a terrestrial application. We also demonstrate an efficiency advantage of 0.4-2.6% for solar cells in an extraterrestrial environment in near-earth orbit.

  10. Microchip capillary electrophoresis instrumentation for in situ analysis in the search for extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Maria F; Stockton, Amanda M; Willis, Peter A

    2012-09-01

    The search for signs of life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies is among NASA's top priorities in Solar System exploration. The associated pursuit of organics and biomolecules as evidence of past or present life demands in situ investigations of planetary bodies for which sample return missions are neither practical nor affordable. These in situ studies require instrumentation capable of sensitive chemical analyses of complex mixtures including a broad range of organic molecules. Instrumentation must also be capable of autonomous operation aboard a robotically controlled vehicle that collects data and transmits it back to Earth. Microchip capillary electrophoresis (μCE) coupled to laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection provides this required sensitivity and targets a wide range of relevant organics while offering low mass, volume, and power requirements. Thus, this technology would be ideally suited for in situ studies of astrobiology targets, such as Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and Titan. In this review, we introduce the characteristics of these planetary bodies that make them compelling destinations for extraterrestrial astrobiological studies, and the principal groups of organics of interest associated with each. And although the technology we describe here was first developed specifically for proposed studies of Mars, by summarizing its evolution over the past decade, we demonstrate how μCE-LIF instrumentation has become an ideal candidate for missions of exploration to all of these nearby worlds in our Solar System. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Multiplication of microbes below 0.690 water activity: implications for terrestrial and extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Andrew; Burkhardt, Jürgen; Cockell, Charles S; Cray, Jonathan A; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Kee, Terence P; Kminek, Gerhard; McGenity, Terry J; Timmis, Kenneth N; Timson, David J; Voytek, Mary A; Westall, Frances; Yakimov, Michail M; Hallsworth, John E

    2015-02-01

    Since a key requirement of known life forms is available water (water activity; aw ), recent searches for signatures of past life in terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments have targeted places known to have contained significant quantities of biologically available water. However, early life on Earth inhabited high-salt environments, suggesting an ability to withstand low water-activity. The lower limit of water activity that enables cell division appears to be ∼ 0.605 which, until now, was only known to be exhibited by a single eukaryote, the sugar-tolerant, fungal xerophile Xeromyces bisporus. The first forms of life on Earth were, though, prokaryotic. Recent evidence now indicates that some halophilic Archaea and Bacteria have water-activity limits more or less equal to those of X. bisporus. We discuss water activity in relation to the limits of Earth's present-day biosphere; the possibility of microbial multiplication by utilizing water from thin, aqueous films or non-liquid sources; whether prokaryotes were the first organisms able to multiply close to the 0.605-aw limit; and whether extraterrestrial aqueous milieux of ≥ 0.605 aw can resemble fertile microbial habitats found on Earth. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. The Ĝ Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies. I. Background and Justification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J. T.; Mullan, B.; Sigurdsson, S.; Povich, M. S.

    2014-09-01

    We motivate the Ĝ infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies. We discuss some philosophical difficulties of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and how communication SETI circumvents them. We review "Dysonian SETI," the search for artifacts of alien civilizations, and find that it is highly complementary to traditional communication SETI; the two together might succeed where either one alone has not. We discuss the argument of Hart that spacefaring life in the Milky Way should be either galaxy-spanning or non-existent, and examine a portion of his argument that we call the "monocultural fallacy." We discuss some rebuttals to Hart that invoke sustainability and predict long Galaxy colonization timescales. We find that the maximum Galaxy colonization timescale is actually much shorter than previous work has found (intelligence implies the ability to overcome such limitations. As such, if Hart's thesis is correct, then searches for large alien civilizations in other galaxies may be fruitful; if it is incorrect, then searches for civilizations within the Milky Way are more likely to succeed than Hart argued. We review some past Dysonian SETI efforts and discuss the promise of new mid-infrared surveys, such as that of WISE.

  13. Novel Flourescent Sensors for the Detection of Organic Molecules in Extraterrestrial Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adkin, Roy C.; Bruce, James I.; Pearson, Victoria K.

    2015-04-01

    Organic compounds in extraterrestrial samples have mostly been elucidated by destructive analytical techniques therefore information regarding spatial relationships between minerals and organic species is lost. Minerals form under specific chemical and physical conditions so organic compounds associated with these minerals are likely to have formed under the same conditions. It is therefore possible to infer in which cosmological provinces their chemical evolution took place. We will describe progress towards developing fluorescent sensors that may resolve spatial discrimination. Lanthanide elements such as europium and terbium produce well defined line-like, high intensity and long lived fluorescent emissions. Interactions with organic molecules may alter the luminescent emission characteristics. The lanthanide atom needs to be rendered chemically inert but must remain susceptible to these organic molecule interactions. An organic ligand must be employed to attain this. DOTA (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecanetetracetic acid) was chosen as a plausible organic ligand because its structure, a tetra-substituted cyclen ring, and ability to chelate are well characterized. It is also commercially available. Fluorescent lanthanide-DOTA complexes are used in many biological and analytical imaging applications so it is logical to investigate their applicability to fluorimetric analysis of extraterrestrial organics. Lanthanide-DOTA complexes are very stable because the lanthanide metal atom is enveloped within the DOTA structure. Experimental procedures were designed to investigate lanthanide/analyte interactions and their effect upon fluorescent emissions. A range of compounds were chosen giving a good representation of the organics identified in extraterrestrial samples and whether they may to interact with the lanthanide metal ion. An Europium-DOTA baseline fluorescent spectrum was obtained and compared against Europium-DOTA/analyte mixtures of a range of concentrations

  14. Sound ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duffy, Michelle

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Discussions about what constitutes ‘the rural’ invariably focus on notions of spatial location – of inhabiting spaces apart from that of the metropolitan. Deeply embedded in our images of what it means to be Australian, nonetheless our intellectual framing of ‘the rural’ as something outback and beyond has significant implications for our relations with these spaces. The relatively recent phenomenon of sea- and tree-changes has struck many unawares, and not simply because a good latté is so hard to find. Although a frivolous remark, such an apparent lack does shift our focus to a bodily scale of the rural; how is rural place re/made through our experiences of it? This article originates out of on-going research that explores the practice of listening and sound and the ways in which the body can draw attention to the intuitive, emotional, and psychoanalytical processes of subjectivity and place-making. Drawing on Nigel Thrift’s concept of an ecology of place, I suggest that contemporary heightened concerns with regards to loss and lack in rural Australia has led to a nascent emotional economy – one in which individual and intimate connections to the rural require a rethinking of how we live community and belonging. In such a terrain, what does it mean to be rural?

  15. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Modern Western Ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Indigenous knowledge is often dismissed as 'traditional and outdated', and hence irrelevant to modern ecological assessment. This theoretical paper critically examines the arguments advanced to elevate modern western ecological knowledge over indigenous ecological knowledge, as well as the sources and uses of ...

  16. Extraterrestrial Viruses?

    OpenAIRE

    Jurado Hernández, Daniel José

    2017-01-01

    Fundamentals of Life - Origin and Fundamentals of Living Things. Evaluation rubric to evaluate the debate and presentation about the point of view regarding the possibility of viruses from the outer space.

  17. Extraterrestrial hydrogeology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Victor R.; Dohm, James M.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Ferré, Ty P. A.; Ferris, Justin C.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2005-03-01

    Subsurface water processes are common for planetary bodies in the solar system and are highly probable for exoplanets (planets outside the solar system). For many solar system objects, the subsurface water exists as ice. For Earth and Mars, subsurface saturated zones have occurred throughout their planetary histories. Earth is mostly clement with the recharge of most groundwater reservoirs from ample precipitation during transient ice- and hot-house conditions, as recorded through the geologic and fossilized records. On the other hand, Mars is mostly in an ice-house stage, which is interrupted by endogenic-driven activity. This activity catastrophically drives short-lived hydrological cycling and associated climatic perturbations. Regional aquifers in the Martian highlands that developed during past, more Earth-like conditions delivered water to the northern plains. Water was also cycled to the South Polar Region during changes in climate induced by endogenic activity and/or by changes in Mars' orbital parameters. Venus very likely had a warm hydrosphere for hundreds of millions of years, before the development of its current extremely hot atmosphere and surface. Subsequently, Venus lost its hydrosphere as solar luminosity increased and a run-away moist greenhouse took effect. Subsurface oceans of water or ammonia-water composition, induced by tidal forces and radiogenic heating, probably occur on the larger satellites Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, and Triton. Tidal forces operating between some of the small bodies of the outer solar system could also promote the fusion of ice and the stability of inner liquid-water oceans. Les processus de subsurface impliquant l'eau sont communs pour les corps planétaires du système solaire et sont très probables sur les exoplanètes (planètes en dehors du système solaire). Pour plusieurs objets du systèmes solaire, l'eau de subsurface est présente sous forme de glace. Pour la Terre et Mars, les zones saturées de subsurface apparaissent à travers toute leur histoire planétaire. La Terre est particulièrement clémente avec la recharge des réservoirs, avec de amples précipitations, des conditions glaciaires et de fortes chaleurs, comme l'atteste les enregistrements géologiques et paléontologiques. D'un autre côté, Mars se trouve dans une phase essentiellement glaciaire, qui est interrompue par des activités contraintes par les phénomènes endogéniques. Cette activité conduit de manière catastrophique à des cycles hydrologiques et à des perturbations climatiques brutaux. Les aquifères régionaux dans les haute terres martiennes qui se sont formés dans des conditions similaires aux conditions terrestres, alimentent les plaines du Nord. L'eau a également été déplacée vers le Pôle Sud martien durant des changements marqués par une forte activité endogénique et une modification des paramètres de l'orbite de Mars. Venus possèdait vrais emblablement une hydrosphère chaude durant des millions d'année, avant le développement de son atmosphère et sa surface particulièrement chaude. Par après Venus a perdit son hydrosphère alors que la luminosité solaire augmentait et qu'une humidité liée à un effet de serre s'installait. Les océans de subsurface d'eau ou d'eau ammoniacale, induits par les forces de marée et le chauffage radiogénique, apparaissent probablement sur les satellites les plus importants (Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Triton). Les forces de marée entre les petits corps externes du système solaire peuvent également occasionner la fusion de glace et la stabilité des océans internes d'eau liquide. Los procesos hídricos subsuperficiales son comunes en cuerpos planetarios del sistema solar y son altamente probables para exoplanetas (planetas fuera del sistema solar). Para muchos cuerpos del sistema solar, el agua subsuperficial existe como hielo. Para la Tierra y Marte han ocurrido zonas saturadas subsuperficiales a través de sus historias planetarias. La Tierra es principalmente generosa con la recarga de la mayoría de reservorios de aguas subterráneas a partir de amplia precipitación reconocida en condiciones transitorias calientes y heladas, tal y como aparece en los registros fósiles y geológicos. Por otro lado, Marte se encuentra principalmente en una etapade cámara de hielo la cual es interrumpida por actividad de tipo endogénico. Esta actividad pone en funcionamiento catastróficamente ciclos hidrológicos de vida corta y perturbaciones climáticas asociadas. Acuíferos regionales en las montañas de Marte que se desarrollaron en el pasado en condiciones similares a la Tierra distribuyen agua a las planicies del norte. El agua ha sido transportada hacia el sur de la región polar durante cambios en el clima inducidos por actividad endogénica y/o cambios en los parámetros orbitales de Marte. Venus muy probablemente tuvo una hidrósfera caliente durante cientos de millones de años, antes de que se desarrollara su atmósfera y superficie actual extremadamente caliente. Subsecuentemente, Venus perdió su hidrósfera a medida que la luminosidad solar aumentó y un efecto de invernadero húmedo escapatorio se llevó a cabo. Océanos subsuperficiales de composición agua o amoniaco-agua, inducidos por fuerzas de marea y calentamiento radiogénico, probablemente ocurren en los satélites más grandes como Europa, Ganimeda, Callisto, Titan y Triton. Las fuerzas de marea que operan entre los cuerpos pequeños del sistema solar externo podrían también promover la fusión de hielo y la estabilidad de líquido interno-aguas de los océanos.

  18. Accretion rate of extraterrestrial matter: Iridium deposited over the last 70 million years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    1988-01-01

    In order to quantify the accretion rate of extraterrestrial matter during the Cenozoic, Ir concentrations were measured in a continuous series of 450 samples across most of the length of piston core LL44-GPC3. LL44-GPC3 is a 25-meter-long, large-diameter piston core of abyssal clay from the central North Pacific. This core contains a nearly continuous record of sedimentation over the last 70 Ma, as this site migrated from a region near the Equator in the late Cretaceous to its present position north of Hawaii. The first-cut survey across the core is nearing completion, and all of the conclusions of the earlier study, in which was reported the concentrations of Ir, Co, and Sb across 9 meters of this core, remain unchanged. The only strongly enhanced Ir concentrations occur at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary and outside the K-T boundary Ir correlates well with Co, a terrestrial element which is largely present in hydrogenous ferromanganese oxide precipitates from seawater. Concentrations of both elements appear to be inversely correlated with the sedimentation rate. Although the K-T Ir anomaly is unique in magnitude in this core, there are several small bumps in the Ir profile which may reflect smaller accretionary events. The most promising Ir enhancement was observed in a 30 cm section approximately 1 m below the K-T boundary. Preliminary data suggest deposition of an excess across this interval at a time estimate to be approximate 1 Ma before the K-T impact event, but there is insufficient evidence at present to prove that this reflects enhanced accretion of extraterrestrial matter. A detailed model is being prepared of the chemical record of sedimentation in this core using a combined database of 39 elements in approximately 450 samples across the Cenozoic. Preliminary working model indicates that the only sedimentary sources which contribute significantly to the Ir budget in this core are the hydrogenous precipitates and extraterrestrial particulates.

  19. Evidence for high-energy extraterrestrial neutrinos at the IceCube detector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aartsen, M G; Abbasi, R; Abdou, Y; Ackermann, M; Adams, J; Aguilar, J A; Ahlers, M; Altmann, D; Auffenberg, J; Bai, X; Baker, M; Barwick, S W; Baum, V; Bay, R; Beatty, J J; Bechet, S; Becker Tjus, J; Becker, K-H; Benabderrahmane, M L; BenZvi, S; Berghaus, P; Berley, D; Bernardini, E; Bernhard, A; Bertrand, D; Besson, D Z; Binder, G; Bindig, D; Bissok, M; Blaufuss, E; Blumenthal, J; Boersma, D J; Bohaichuk, S; Bohm, C; Bose, D; Böser, S; Botner, O; Brayeur, L; Bretz, H-P; Brown, A M; Bruijn, R; Brunner, J; Carson, M; Casey, J; Casier, M; Chirkin, D; Christov, A; Christy, B; Clark, K; Clevermann, F; Coenders, S; Cohen, S; Cowen, D F; Cruz Silva, A H; Danninger, M; Daughhetee, J; Davis, J C; Day, M; De Clercq, C; De Ridder, S; Desiati, P; de Vries, K D; de With, M; DeYoung, T; Díaz-Vélez, J C; Dunkman, M; Eagan, R; Eberhardt, B; Eichmann, B; Eisch, J; Ellsworth, R W; Euler, S; Evenson, P A; Fadiran, O; Fazely, A R; Fedynitch, A; Feintzeig, J; Feusels, T; Filimonov, K; Finley, C; Fischer-Wasels, T; Flis, S; Franckowiak, A; Frantzen, K; Fuchs, T; Gaisser, T K; Gallagher, J; Gerhardt, L; Gladstone, L; Glüsenkamp, T; Goldschmidt, A; Golup, G; Gonzalez, J G; Goodman, J A; Góra, D; Grandmont, D T; Grant, D; Groß, A; Ha, C; Haj Ismail, A; Hallen, P; Hallgren, A; Halzen, F; Hanson, K; Heereman, D; Heinen, D; Helbing, K; Hellauer, R; Hickford, S; Hill, G C; Hoffman, K D; Hoffmann, R; Homeier, A; Hoshina, K; Huelsnitz, W; Hulth, P O; Hultqvist, K; Hussain, S; Ishihara, A; Jacobi, E; Jacobsen, J; Jagielski, K; Japaridze, G S; Jero, K; Jlelati, O; Kaminsky, B; Kappes, A; Karg, T; Karle, A; Kelley, J L; Kiryluk, J; Kläs, J; Klein, S R; Köhne, J-H; Kohnen, G; Kolanoski, H; Köpke, L; Kopper, C; Kopper, S; Koskinen, D J; Kowalski, M; Krasberg, M; Krings, K; Kroll, G; Kunnen, J; Kurahashi, N; Kuwabara, T; Labare, M; Landsman, H; Larson, M J; Lesiak-Bzdak, M; Leuermann, M; Leute, J; Lünemann, J; Madsen, J; Maggi, G; Maruyama, R; Mase, K; Matis, H S; McNally, F; Meagher, K; Merck, M; Meures, T; Miarecki, S; Middell, E; Milke, N; Miller, J; Mohrmann, L; Montaruli, T; Morse, R; Nahnhauer, R; Naumann, U; Niederhausen, H; Nowicki, S C; Nygren, D R; Obertacke, A; Odrowski, S; Olivas, A; O'Murchadha, A; Paul, L; Pepper, J A; Pérez de los Heros, C; Pfendner, C; Pieloth, D; Pinat, E; Posselt, J; Price, P B; Przybylski, G T; Rädel, L; Rameez, M; Rawlins, K; Redl, P; Reimann, R; Resconi, E; Rhode, W; Ribordy, M; Richman, M; Riedel, B; Rodrigues, J P; Rott, C; Ruhe, T; Ruzybayev, B; Ryckbosch, D; Saba, S M; Salameh, T; Sander, H-G; Santander, M; Sarkar, S; Schatto, K; Scheriau, F; Schmidt, T; Schmitz, M; Schoenen, S; Schöneberg, S; Schönwald, A; Schukraft, A; Schulte, L; Schulz, O; Seckel, D; Sestayo, Y; Seunarine, S; Shanidze, R; Sheremata, C; Smith, M W E; Soldin, D; Spiczak, G M; Spiering, C; Stamatikos, M; Stanev, T; Stasik, A; Stezelberger, T; Stokstad, R G; Stößl, A; Strahler, E A; Ström, R; Sullivan, G W; Taavola, H; Taboada, I; Tamburro, A; Tepe, A; Ter-Antonyan, S; Tešić, G; Tilav, S; Toale, P A; Toscano, S; Unger, E; Usner, M; van Eijndhoven, N; Van Overloop, A; van Santen, J; Vehring, M; Voge, M; Vraeghe, M; Walck, C; Waldenmaier, T; Wallraff, M; Weaver, Ch; Wellons, M; Wendt, C; Westerhoff, S; Whitehorn, N; Wiebe, K; Wiebusch, C H; Williams, D R; Wissing, H; Wolf, M; Wood, T R; Woschnagg, K; Xu, D L; Xu, X W; Yanez, J P; Yodh, G; Yoshida, S; Zarzhitsky, P; Ziemann, J; Zierke, S; Zoll, M

    2013-11-22

    We report on results of an all-sky search for high-energy neutrino events interacting within the IceCube neutrino detector conducted between May 2010 and May 2012. The search follows up on the previous detection of two PeV neutrino events, with improved sensitivity and extended energy coverage down to about 30 TeV. Twenty-six additional events were observed, substantially more than expected from atmospheric backgrounds. Combined, both searches reject a purely atmospheric origin for the 28 events at the 4σ level. These 28 events, which include the highest energy neutrinos ever observed, have flavors, directions, and energies inconsistent with those expected from the atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. These properties are, however, consistent with generic predictions for an additional component of extraterrestrial origin.

  20. From Fossils to Astrobiology Records of Life on Earth and Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    CERN Document Server

    Seckbach, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos. In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies. The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond. This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusi...

  1. Extraterrestrial Life as the Great Analogy, Two Centuries Ago and in Modern Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T.

    Mainstream ideas on the existence of extraterrestrial life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries are examined, with a focus on William Herschel, one of the greatest astronomers of all time. Herschel viewed all of the planets and moons of our solar system as inhabited, and gave logical arguments that even the Sun, and by extension all of the stars, was a giant planet fit for habitation by intelligent beings. The importance for astrobiology both two centuries ago and now of the type of inductive reasoning called "analogy" is emphasized. Analogy is an imperfect tool, but given that we have only one known case of life and of a life-bearing planet, it is very difficult to make progress in astrobiology without resorting to analogy, in particular between known life and possible other life. We cannot overcome the "N = 1 Problem" without resorting to this "Great Analogy" to guide our research.

  2. Extraterrestrial intelligence and human imagination SETI at the intersection of science, religion, and culture

    CERN Document Server

    Traphagan, John

    2015-01-01

    The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) represents one of the most significant crossroads at which the assumptions and methods of scientific inquiry come into direct contact with—and in many cases conflict with—those of religion. Indeed, at the core of SETI is the same question that motivates many interested in religion: What is the place of humanity in the universe? Both scientists involved with SETI (and in other areas) and those interested in and dedicated to some religious traditions are engaged in contemplating these types of questions, even if their respective approaches and answers differ significantly. This book explores this intersection with a focus on three core points: 1) the relationship between science and religion as it is expressed within the framework of SETI research, 2) the underlying assumptions, many of which are tacitly based upon cultural values common in American society, that have shaped the ways in which SETI researchers have conceptualized the nature of their endeavo...

  3. Measuring the effect of an astrobiology course on student optimism regarding extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, David L.

    2017-07-01

    Students in an introductory undergraduate Astrobiology course were given a pre/post-test based on the Drake Equation in an attempt to measure changes in their perceptions regarding the prevalence of life in the Galaxy after taking the course. The results indicated that, after taking the course, the students were considerably more optimistic, by a 2 to 1 margin or more, about the prospect of habitable planets, the origin of life, and the evolution of intelligence in other planetary systems. The results suggest that, while it may not be the explicit goal of an astrobiology course to change student beliefs about the abundance or rarity of extraterrestrial life, such changes in opinion can and do occur.

  4. A study of extraterrestrial antineutrino sources with the KamLAND detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    The KamLAND Collaboration; Gando, A.; Gando, Y.; Ichimura, K.; Ikeda, H.; Inoue, K.; Kibe, Y.; Kishimoto, Y.; Koga, M.; Minekawa, Y.; Mitsui, T.; Morikawa, T.; Nagai, N.; Nakajima, K.; Nakamura, K.; Narita, K.; Shimizu, I.; Shimizu, Y.; Shirai, J.; Suekane, F.; Suzuki, A.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, N.; Takemoto, Y.; Tamae, K.; Watanabe, H.; Xu, B. D.; Yabumoto, H.; Yoshida, H.; Yoshida, S.; Enomoto, S.; Kozlov, A.; Murayama, H.; Grant, C.; Keefer, G.; Piepke, A.; Banks, T. I.; Bloxham, T.; Detwiler, J. A.; Freedman, S. J.; Fujikawa, B. K.; Han, K.; Kadel, R.; O' Donnell, T.; Steiner, H. M.; Dwyer, D. A.; McKeown, R. D.; Zhang, C.; Berger, B. E.; Lane, C. E.; Maricic, J.; Miletic, T.; Batygov, M.; Learned, J. G.; Matsuno, S.; Sakai, M.; Horton-Smith, G. A.; Downum, K. E.; Gratta, G.; Efremenko, Y.; Kamyshkov, Y.; Perevozchikov, O.; Karwowski, H. J.; Markoff, D. M.; Tornow, W.; Heeger, K. M.; Decowski, M. P.

    2011-05-18

    We present the results of a search for extraterrestrial electron antineutrinos ({bar {nu}}{sub e}'s) in the energy range 8.3 MeV < E{sub {bar {nu}}}{sub e} < 30.8 MeV using the KamLAND detector. In an exposure of 4.53 kton-year, we identify 25 candidate events. All of the candidate events can be attributed to background, most importantly neutral current atmospheric neutrino interactions, setting an upper limit on the probability of {sup 8}B solar {nu}{sub e}'s converting into {bar {nu}}{sub e}'s at 5.3 x 10{sup -5} (90% C.L.). The present data also allows us to set more stringent limits on the diffuse supernova neutrino flux and on the annihilation rates for light dark matter particles.

  5. Modeling an Optical and Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Survey with Exoplanet Direct Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vides, Christina; Macintosh, Bruce; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Nielsen, Eric; Povich, Matthew Samuel

    2018-01-01

    Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a direct high contrast imaging instrument coupled to the Gemini South Telescope. Its purpose is to image extrasolar planets around young (~Intelligence), we modeled GPI’s capabilities to detect an extraterrestrial continuous wave (CW) laser broadcasted within the H-band have been modeled. By using sensitivity evaluated for actual GPI observations of young target stars, we produced models of the CW laser power as a function of distance from the star that could be detected if GPI were to observe nearby (~ 3-5 pc) planet-hosting G-type stars. We took a variety of transmitters into consideration in producing these modeled values. GPI is known to be sensitive to both pulsed and CW coherent electromagnetic radiation. The results were compared to similar studies and it was found that these values are competitive to other optical and infrared observations.

  6. Fermi's paradox, extraterrestrial life and the future of humanity: a Bayesian analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verendel, Vilhelm; Häggström, Olle

    2017-01-01

    The Great Filter interpretation of Fermi's great silence asserts that Npq is not a very large number, where N is the number of potentially life-supporting planets in the observable universe, p is the probability that a randomly chosen such planet develops intelligent life to the level of present-day human civilization, and q is the conditional probability that it then goes on to develop a technological supercivilization visible all over the observable universe. Evidence suggests that N is huge, which implies that pq is very small. Hanson (1998) and Bostrom (2008) have argued that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would point towards p not being small and therefore a very small q, which can be seen as bad news for humanity's prospects of colonizing the universe. Here we investigate whether a Bayesian analysis supports their argument, and the answer turns out to depend critically on the choice of prior distribution.

  7. Internalizing Null Extraterrestrial "Signals": An Astrobiological App for a Technological Society

    CERN Document Server

    Chaisson, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    One of the beneficial outcomes of searching for life in the Universe is that it grants greater awareness of our own problems here on Earth. Lack of contact with alien beings to date might actually comprise a null "signal" pointing humankind toward a viable future. Astrobiology has surprising practical applications to human society; within the larger cosmological context of cosmic evolution, astrobiology clarifies the energetic essence of complex systems throughout the Universe, including technological intelligence that is intimately dependent on energy and likely will be for as long as it endures. The "message" contained within the "signal" with which today's society needs to cope is reasonably this: Only solar energy can power our civilization going forward without soiling the environment with increased heat yet robustly driving the economy with increased per capita energy usage. The null "signals" from extraterrestrials also offer a rational solution to the Fermi paradox as a principle of cosmic selection l...

  8. Crystallographic Characterization of Extraterrestrial Materials by Energy-Scanning X-ray Diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagiya, Kenji; Mikouchi, Takashi; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Terada, Yasuko; Yagi, Naoto; Komatsu, Mutsumi; Yamaguchi, Shoki; Hirata, Arashi; Kurokawa, Ayaka; Zolensky, Michael E. (Principal Investigator)

    2016-01-01

    We have continued our long-term project using X-ray diffraction to characterize a wide range of extraterrestrial samples. The stationary sample method with polychromatic X-rays is advantageous because the irradiated area of the sample is always same and fixed, meaning that all diffraction spots occur from the same area of the sample, however, unit cell parameters cannot be directly obtained by this method though they are very important for identification of mineral and for determination of crystal structures. In order to obtain the cell parameters even in the case of the sample stationary method, we apply energy scanning of a micro-beam of monochromatic SR at SPring-8.

  9. High molecular diversity of extraterrestrial organic matter in Murchison meteorite revealed 40 years after its fall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Gabelica, Zelimir; Gougeon, Régis D; Fekete, Agnes; Kanawati, Basem; Harir, Mourad; Gebefuegi, Istvan; Eckel, Gerhard; Hertkorn, Norbert

    2010-02-16

    Numerous descriptions of organic molecules present in the Murchison meteorite have improved our understanding of the early interstellar chemistry that operated at or just before the birth of our solar system. However, all molecular analyses were so far targeted toward selected classes of compounds with a particular emphasis on biologically active components in the context of prebiotic chemistry. Here we demonstrate that a nontargeted ultrahigh-resolution molecular analysis of the solvent-accessible organic fraction of Murchison extracted under mild conditions allows one to extend its indigenous chemical diversity to tens of thousands of different molecular compositions and likely millions of diverse structures. This molecular complexity, which provides hints on heteroatoms chronological assembly, suggests that the extraterrestrial chemodiversity is high compared to terrestrial relevant biological- and biogeochemical-driven chemical space.

  10. Extraterrestrial demise of banded iron formations 1.85 billion years ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slack, J.F.; Cannon, W.F.

    2009-01-01

    In the Lake Superior region of North America, deposition of most banded iron formations (BIFs) ended abruptly 1.85 Ga ago, coincident with the oceanic impact of the giant Sudbury extraterrestrial bolide. We propose a new model in which this impact produced global mixing of shallow oxic and deep anoxic waters of the Paleoproterozoic ocean, creating a suboxic redox state for deep seawater. This suboxic state, characterized by only small concentrations of dissolved O2 (???1 ??M), prevented transport of hydrothermally derived Fe(II) from the deep ocean to continental-margin settings, ending an ???1.1 billion-year-long period of episodic BIF mineralization. The model is supported by the nature of Precambrian deep-water exhalative chemical sediments, which changed from predominantly sulfide facies prior to ca. 1.85 Ga to mainly oxide facies thereafter. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.

  11. Superrotation of Earth’s Inner Core, Extraterrestrial Impacts, and the Effective Viscosity of Outer Core

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pirooz Mohazzabi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The recently verified superrotation of Earth’s inner core is examined and a new model is presented which is based on the tidal despinning of the mantle and the viscosity of the outer core. The model also takes into account other damping mechanisms arising from the inner core superrotation such as magnetic and gravitational coupling as well as contribution from eddy viscosity in the outer core. The effective viscosity obtained in this model confirms a previously well constrained value of about 103 Pa s. In addition, the model shows that the currently measured superrotation of the inner core must be almost exactly equal to its asymptotic or steady-state value. The effect of extraterrestrial impacts is also investigated, and it is shown that perturbations due to such impacts can only persist over a short geological time.

  12. The Murray Springs Clovis site, Pleistocene extinction, and the question of extraterrestrial impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, C Vance; Boerner, J; Domanik, K; Lauretta, D; Ballenger, J; Goreva, J

    2010-03-02

    Some of the evidence for the recent hypothesis of an extraterrestrial impact that caused late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions [Firestone et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:16016-16021] was based upon samples collected at Murray Springs, a Clovis archaeological site in southeastern Arizona. Here we describe sampling and analyses of magnetic separates from within, above, and below the lower Younger Dryas boundary (LYDB) black mat at Murray Springs, as well as radiation measurements from the LYDB at Murray Springs and two other well-stratified Clovis sites. The main magnetic fraction at Murray Springs is maghemite. Magnetic microspherules have terrestrial origins but also occur as cosmic dust particles. We failed to find iridium or radiation anomalies. The evidence for massive biomass burning at Murray Springs is addressed and found to be lacking. We could not substantiate some of the claims by Firestone and others, but our findings do not preclude a terminal Pleistocene cosmic event.

  13. Polyphase-discrete Fourier transform spectrum analysis for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence sky survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, G. A.; Gulkis, S.

    1991-01-01

    The sensitivity of a matched filter-detection system to a finite-duration continuous wave (CW) tone is compared with the sensitivities of a windowed discrete Fourier transform (DFT) system and an ideal bandpass filter-bank system. These comparisons are made in the context of the NASA Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) microwave observing project (MOP) sky survey. A review of the theory of polyphase-DFT filter banks and its relationship to the well-known windowed-DFT process is presented. The polyphase-DFT system approximates the ideal bandpass filter bank by using as few as eight filter taps per polyphase branch. An improvement in sensitivity of approx. 3 dB over a windowed-DFT system can be obtained by using the polyphase-DFT approach. Sidelobe rejection of the polyphase-DFT system is vastly superior to the windowed-DFT system, thereby improving its performance in the presence of radio frequency interference (RFI).

  14. The Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life for Religion and Theology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Ted

    2012-05-01

    This paper asks about the future of religion: (1) Will confirmation of ETI cause terrestrial religion to collapse? "No" is the answer based upon a summary of the "Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey." Then three questions are posed to the astrotheologian: (2) What is the scope of God's creation? (3) What can we expect when we encounter ETI? (4) Will contact with more advanced ETI diminish human dignity? The paper's thesis is that contact with extraterrestrial intelligence will expand the existing Christian vision that all of creation — including the 13.7 billion year history of the universe replete with all of God's creatures — is the gift of a loving and gracious God.

  15. New insights in the bacterial spore resistance to extreme terrestrial and extraterrestrial factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Ralf; Horneck, Gerda; Reitz, Guenther

    Based on their unique resistance to various space parameters, Bacillus endospores are one of the model systems used for astrobiological studies. The extremely high resistance of bacterial endospores to environmental stress factors has intrigued researchers since long time and many characteristic spore features, especially those involved in the protection of spore DNA, have already been uncovered. The disclosure of the complete genomic sequence of Bacillus subtilis 168, one of the often used astrobiological model system, and the rapid development of tran-scriptional microarray techniques have opened new opportunities of gaining further insights in the enigma of spore resistance. Spores of B. subtilis were exposed to various extreme ter-restrial and extraterrestrial stressors to reach a better understanding of the DNA protection and repair strategies, which them to cope with the induced DNA damage. Following physical stress factors of environmental importance -either on Earth or in space -were selected for this thesis: (i) mono-and polychromatic UV radiation, (ii) ionizing radiation, (iii) exposure to ultrahigh vacuum; and (iv) high shock pressures simulating meteorite impacts. To reach a most comprehensive understanding of spore resistance to those harsh terrestrial or simulated extraterrestrial conditions, a standardized experimental protocol of the preparation and ana-lyzing methods was established including the determination of the following spore responses: (i) survival, (ii) induced mutations, (iii) DNA damage, (iv) role of different repair pathways by use of a set of repair deficient mutants, and (v) transcriptional responses during spore germi-nation by use of genome-wide transcriptome analyses and confirmation by RT-PCR. From this comprehensive set of data on spore resistance to a variety of environmental stress parameters a model of a "built-in" transcriptional program of bacterial spores in response to DNA damaging treatments to ensure DNA restoration

  16. PHILOSOPHICAL-ANTROPOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF A PROBLEM OF SEARCH EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL OF CIVILIZATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. T. Tshedrin

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The fears express, that «METI-projects», which testify to existence of mankind as technicalgeneous of a civilization for highly advanced ETC of a Galaxy, can have the extremely negative consequences, and «SETI-projects» and received radiosignals can become the information weapon aggressive ETC. The analysis of these fears as complete sociocultural of a phenomenon, them philosophical-anthropological of measurement, sociocultural of the basis, the forms of their display are the purpose of clause. Methodology. Author used the social-communicative approach, methods of system and cluster analyses. Scientific innovation. Are opened philosophical-anthropological of measurement of a problem of life extra-terrestrial intelligents (ETI, the factors of statement of a problem of contacts with ETC in the modern form connected with spacing of scientific and technical activity of mankind, influence of processes globalization on philosophical-anthropological aspects of a problem ETC, connected with changes in the fundamental relation «the Man - World» are investigated. These processes conduct to growth of fears concerning unpredictable intervention in terrestrial sociocultural system of alien reason. The persuasive fears, connected with possible consequences of contacts with ETC, take the form of hypotheses rather extra-terrestrial of artificial intelligence (ETAI as potential subject of space contact. The positive and negative scripts of dialogue with ETAI, problem «of high quality of a signal» and «SETI-hacker», connected with ETAI as by the subject of space dialogue are considered. Conclusions. The further development of a problem of search ETC and establishment of contacts with it will be connected, on the one hand to success in overcoming civilization of impasse, in which there was a mankind on a boundary ХХ – ХХI of centuries, and with another - deepening of revolution in cosmology, progress of observant astronomy, philosophical

  17. The Ĝ infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies. I. Background and justification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, J. T.; Mullan, B.; Sigurdsson, S. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Povich, M. S. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    We motivate the Ĝ infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies. We discuss some philosophical difficulties of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and how communication SETI circumvents them. We review 'Dysonian SETI', the search for artifacts of alien civilizations, and find that it is highly complementary to traditional communication SETI; the two together might succeed where either one alone has not. We discuss the argument of Hart that spacefaring life in the Milky Way should be either galaxy-spanning or non-existent, and examine a portion of his argument that we call the 'monocultural fallacy'. We discuss some rebuttals to Hart that invoke sustainability and predict long Galaxy colonization timescales. We find that the maximum Galaxy colonization timescale is actually much shorter than previous work has found (<10{sup 9} yr), and that many 'sustainability' counter-arguments to Hart's thesis suffer from the monocultural fallacy. We extend Hart's argument to alien energy supplies and argue that detectably large energy supplies can plausibly be expected to exist because life has the potential for exponential growth until checked by resources or other limitations, and intelligence implies the ability to overcome such limitations. As such, if Hart's thesis is correct, then searches for large alien civilizations in other galaxies may be fruitful; if it is incorrect, then searches for civilizations within the Milky Way are more likely to succeed than Hart argued. We review some past Dysonian SETI efforts and discuss the promise of new mid-infrared surveys, such as that of WISE.

  18. Aib and iva in the biosphere: neither rare nor necessarily extraterrestrial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Hans; Becker, Dieter; Gams, Walter; Degenkolb, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Fourty-nine species and strains of filamentous fungi of the genera Acremonium, Bionectria, Clonostachys, Emericellopsis, Hypocrea/Trichoderma, Lecythophora, Monocillium, Nectriopsis, Niesslia, Tolypocladium, and Wardomyces, deposited with the culture collection of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) in Utrecht, The Netherlands, were grown on nutrient agar plates. Organic extracts of mycelia were analyzed after acidic total hydrolysis and derivatization by GC/SIM-MS on Chirasil-L-Val for the presence of Aib (=alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, 2-methylalanine) and DL-Iva (=isovaline, 2-ethylalanine). In 37 of the hydrolysates, Aib was detected, and in several of them D-Iva or mixtures of D- and L-Iva. Non-proteinogenic Aib, in particular, is a highly specific marker for a distinctive group of fungal polypeptides named peptaibols or, comprehensively, peptaibiotics, i.e., peptides containing Aib and displaying (anti)biotic activities. The biotic synthesis of these amino acids by filamentous fungi contradicts the still widespread belief that alpha,alpha-dialkyl-alpha-amino acids do not or rarely occur in the biosphere and, if detected, are of extraterrestrial origin. The abundant production of peptaibiotics by cosmopolitan species of microfungi has also to be considered in the discussion on the occurrence of Aib and Iva in ancient and recent sediments. The detection of trace amounts of Aib in ice samples of Antarctica that are devoid of meteorites might also be related to the presence of Aib-producing microorganisms, being either indigenous psychrophiles, or being transported and localized by mechanisms related to bioaerosols and cryoconites. The presence of microfungi being capable of producing alpha,alpha-dialkyl alpha-amino acids in terrestrial samples, and possible contamination of extraterrestrial materials are pointed out to be of relevance for the reliable interpretation of cosmogeochemical data.

  19. Evidence from central Mexico supporting the Younger Dryas extraterrestrial impact hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israde-Alcántara, Isabel; Bischoff, James L; Domínguez-Vázquez, Gabriela; Li, Hong-Chun; DeCarli, Paul S; Bunch, Ted E; Wittke, James H; Weaver, James C; Firestone, Richard B; West, Allen; Kennett, James P; Mercer, Chris; Xie, Sujing; Richman, Eric K; Kinzie, Charles R; Wolbach, Wendy S

    2012-03-27

    We report the discovery in Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico of a black, carbon-rich, lacustrine layer, containing nanodiamonds, microspherules, and other unusual materials that date to the early Younger Dryas and are interpreted to result from an extraterrestrial impact. These proxies were found in a 27-m-long core as part of an interdisciplinary effort to extract a paleoclimate record back through the previous interglacial. Our attention focused early on an anomalous, 10-cm-thick, carbon-rich layer at a depth of 2.8 m that dates to 12.9 ka and coincides with a suite of anomalous coeval environmental and biotic changes independently recognized in other regional lake sequences. Collectively, these changes have produced the most distinctive boundary layer in the late Quaternary record. This layer contains a diverse, abundant assemblage of impact-related markers, including nanodiamonds, carbon spherules, and magnetic spherules with rapid melting/quenching textures, all reaching synchronous peaks immediately beneath a layer containing the largest peak of charcoal in the core. Analyses by multiple methods demonstrate the presence of three allotropes of nanodiamond: n-diamond, i-carbon, and hexagonal nanodiamond (lonsdaleite), in order of estimated relative abundance. This nanodiamond-rich layer is consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary layer found at numerous sites across North America, Greenland, and Western Europe. We have examined multiple hypotheses to account for these observations and find the evidence cannot be explained by any known terrestrial mechanism. It is, however, consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary impact hypothesis postulating a major extraterrestrial impact involving multiple airburst(s) and and/or ground impact(s) at 12.9 ka.

  20. Extraterrestrial Amino Acids Identified in Metal-Rich CH and CB Carbonaceous Chondrites from Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Hein, Jason E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2013-01-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites contain numerous indigenous organic compounds and could have been an important source of prebiotic compounds required for the origin of life on Earth or elsewhere. Extraterrestrial amino acids have been reported in five of the eight groups of carbonaceous chondrites and are most abundant in CI, CM, and CR chondritesbut are also present in the more thermally altered CV and CO chondrites. We report the abundance, distribution, and enantiomeric and isotopic compositions of simple primary amino acids in six metal-rich CH and CB carbonaceous chondrites that have not previously been investigated for amino acids: Allan Hills (ALH) 85085 (CH3), Pecora Escarpment(PCA) 91467 (CH3), Patuxent Range (PAT) 91546 (CH3), MacAlpine Hills (MAC) 02675(CBb), Miller Range (MIL) 05082 (CB), and Miller Range (MIL) 07411 (CB). Amino acid abundances and carbon isotopic values were obtained by using both liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry and fluorescence, and gas chromatography isotope ratiomass spectrometry. The (delta D, delta C-13, delta N-15) ratios of multiple amino acids fall outside of the terrestrial range and support their extraterrestrial origin. Extracts of CH chondrites were found to be particularly rich in amino acids (1316 parts per million, ppm) while CB chondrite extracts had much lower abundances (0.22 ppm). The amino acid distributions of the CH and CB chondrites were distinct from the distributions observed in type 2 and 3 CM and CR chondrites and contained elevated levels of beta-, gamma-, and delta-amino acids compared to the corresponding alpha-amino acids, providing evidence that multiple amino acid formation mechanisms were important in CH and CB chondrites.

  1. Most Probable Fire Scenarios in Spacecraft and Extraterrestrial Habitats: Why NASA's Current Test 1 Might Not Always be Conservative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, S. L.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's current method of material screening determines fire resistance under conditions representing a worst-case for normal gravity flammability - the Upward Flame Propagation Test (Test 1). Its simple pass-fail criteria eliminates materials that burn for more than 12 inches from a standardized ignition source. In addition, if a material drips burning pieces that ignite a flammable fabric below, it fails. The applicability of Test 1 to fires in microgravity and extraterrestrial environments, however, is uncertain because the relationship between this buoyancy-dominated test and actual extraterrestrial fire hazards is not understood. There is compelling evidence that the Test 1 may not be the worst case for spacecraft fires, and we don t have enough information to assess if it is adequate at Lunar or Martian gravity levels.

  2. Microbial Contamination of Allende and Murchison Carbonaceous Chondrites; Developing a Protocol for Life Detection in Extraterrestrial Materials Using Biotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, A.; Whitby, C.; Griffin, C.; Toporski, J. K. W.; Westall, F.; Saunders, J. R.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    The arguments used to refute the McKay et al., (1996) hypothesis of possible Martian life in ALH84001 failed to use contamination of the meteorite as a source. This has worrying implications for our ability to detect terrestrial microbiota in meteorites and therefore any potential extraterrestrial biosignatures in both meteorites and possible returned samples. We report on imaging and microbial culturing of both Allende and Murchison carbonaceous chondrites and on the use of molecular biology techniques on a sample of Allende. Contaminating fungi and bacteria were observed (in the case of Murchison) and cultured from both meteorites. DNA was successfully extracted and subsequent PCR showed the presence of both bacterial and fungal DNA although no Archaea were detected. These results show that it is possible to use molecular biological techniques on very small quantities (300 mg) of extraterrestrial material.

  3. NanoSIMS opens a New Window for Deciphering Organic Matter in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy ZS.; Robert, Francois; Mostefaoui, Smail; Meibom, Anders; Selo, Madeleine; McKay, David S.; Gibson, Everett K.

    2007-01-01

    Recognition of the earliest morphological or chemical evidence of terrestrial life has proved to be challenging, as organic matter in ancient rocks is commonly fragmentary and difficult to distinguish from abiotically-produced materials (Schopf, 1993; Van Zuilen et al., 2002; Altermann & Kazmierczak, 2003; Cady et al., 2003; Brasier et al., 2002, 2004, 2005; Hofmann, 2004; Skrzypczak et al., 2004, 2005). Yet, the ability to identify remnants of earliest life is critical to our understanding of the timing of life's origin on earth, the nature of earliest terrestrial life, and recognition of potential remnants of microbial life that might occur in extraterrestrial materials. The search for earliest life on Earth now extends to early Archean organic remains; these tend to be very poorly preserved and considerably more difficult to interpret than the delicately permineralized microfossils known from many Proterozoic deposits. Thus, recent efforts have been directed toward finding biosignatures that can help distinguish fragmentary remnants of ancient microbes from either pseudofossils or abiotic organic materials that may have formed hydrothermally or in extraterrestrial processes (House et al., 2000; Boyce et al., 2001; Kudryavtsev et al., 2001; Schopf, 2002; Schopf et al., 2002, 2005a,b; Cady et al., 2003; Garc a-Ruiz et al., 2003; Hofmann, 2004; Brasier et al., 2005; Rushdi and Simoneit, 2005; Skrzypczak et al., 2005). An exciting area of biosignature research involves the developing technology of NanoSIMS. NanoSIMS is secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) for ultrafine feature, elemental and isotopic analysis. Its resolution approaches 0.05 micrometers for element mapping, which is 10-50 times finer than that attainable with conventional SIMS or electron microprobes. Consequently, NanoSIMS has the potential to reveal previously unknown, chemical and structural characteristics of organic matter preserved in geologic materials. Robert et al. (2005) were the first to

  4. Measurement of microbial activity in soil by colorimetric observation of in situ dye reduction: an approach to detection of extraterrestrial life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barnes Bruce

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detecting microbial life in extraterrestrial locations is a goal of space exploration because of ecological and health concerns about possible contamination of other planets with earthly organisms, and vice versa. Previously we suggested a method for life detection based on the fact that living entities require a continual input of energy accessed through coupled oxidations and reductions (an electron transport chain. We demonstrated using earthly soils that the identification of extracted components of electron transport chains is useful for remote detection of a chemical signature of life. The instrument package developed used supercritical carbon dioxide for soil extraction, followed by chromatography or electrophoresis to separate extracted compounds, with final detection by voltammetry and tandem mass-spectrometry. Results Here we used Earth-derived soils to develop a related life detection system based on direct observation of a biological redox signature. We measured the ability of soil microbial communities to reduce artificial electron acceptors. Living organisms in pure culture and those naturally found in soil were shown to reduce 2,3-dichlorophenol indophenol (DCIP and the tetrazolium dye 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt (XTT. Uninoculated or sterilized controls did not reduce the dyes. A soil from Antarctica that was determined by chemical signature and DNA analysis to be sterile also did not reduce the dyes. Conclusion Observation of dye reduction, supplemented with extraction and identification of only a few specific signature redox-active biochemicals such as porphyrins or quinones, provides a simplified means to detect a signature of life in the soils of other planets or their moons.

  5. Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firestone, R B; West, A; Kennett, J P; Becker, L; Bunch, T E; Revay, Z S; Schultz, P H; Belgya, T; Kennett, D J; Erlandson, J M; Dickenson, O J; Goodyear, A C; Harris, R S; Howard, G A; Kloosterman, J B; Lechler, P; Mayewski, P A; Montgomery, J; Poreda, R; Darrah, T; Hee, S S Que; Smith, A R; Stich, A; Topping, W; Wittke, J H; Wolbach, W S

    2007-10-09

    A carbon-rich black layer, dating to approximately 12.9 ka, has been previously identified at approximately 50 Clovis-age sites across North America and appears contemporaneous with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas (YD) cooling. The in situ bones of extinct Pleistocene megafauna, along with Clovis tool assemblages, occur below this black layer but not within or above it. Causes for the extinctions, YD cooling, and termination of Clovis culture have long been controversial. In this paper, we provide evidence for an extraterrestrial (ET) impact event at approximately equal 12.9 ka, which we hypothesize caused abrupt environmental changes that contributed to YD cooling, major ecological reorganization, broad-scale extinctions, and rapid human behavioral shifts at the end of the Clovis Period. Clovis-age sites in North American are overlain by a thin, discrete layer with varying peak abundances of (i) magnetic grains with iridium, (ii) magnetic microspherules, (iii) charcoal, (iv) soot, (v) carbon spherules, (vi) glass-like carbon containing nanodiamonds, and (vii) fullerenes with ET helium, all of which are evidence for an ET impact and associated biomass burning at approximately 12.9 ka. This layer also extends throughout at least 15 Carolina Bays, which are unique, elliptical depressions, oriented to the northwest across the Atlantic Coastal Plain. We propose that one or more large, low-density ET objects exploded over northern North America, partially destabilizing the Laurentide Ice Sheet and triggering YD cooling. The shock wave, thermal pulse, and event-related environmental effects (e.g., extensive biomass burning and food limitations) contributed to end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions and adaptive shifts among PaleoAmericans in North America.

  6. Measurement of microbial activity in soil by colorimetric observation of in situ dye reduction: an approach to detection of extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Ronald; Paszczynski, Andrzej; Lang, Qingyong; Erwin, Daniel; Allenbach, Lisa; Corti, Giancarlo; Anderson, Tony; Cheng, I; Wai, Chien; Barnes, Bruce; Wells, Richard; Assefi, Touraj; Mojarradi, Mohammad

    2002-07-31

    Detecting microbial life in extraterrestrial locations is a goal of space exploration because of ecological and health concerns about possible contamination of other planets with earthly organisms, and vice versa. Previously we suggested a method for life detection based on the fact that living entities require a continual input of energy accessed through coupled oxidations and reductions (an electron transport chain). We demonstrated using earthly soils that the identification of extracted components of electron transport chains is useful for remote detection of a chemical signature of life. The instrument package developed used supercritical carbon dioxide for soil extraction, followed by chromatography or electrophoresis to separate extracted compounds, with final detection by voltammetry and tandem mass-spectrometry. Here we used Earth-derived soils to develop a related life detection system based on direct observation of a biological redox signature. We measured the ability of soil microbial communities to reduce artificial electron acceptors. Living organisms in pure culture and those naturally found in soil were shown to reduce 2,3-dichlorophenol indophenol (DCIP) and the tetrazolium dye 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide inner salt (XTT). Uninoculated or sterilized controls did not reduce the dyes. A soil from Antarctica that was determined by chemical signature and DNA analysis to be sterile also did not reduce the dyes. Observation of dye reduction, supplemented with extraction and identification of only a few specific signature redox-active biochemicals such as porphyrins or quinones, provides a simplified means to detect a signature of life in the soils of other planets or their moons.

  7. Widening perspectives: the intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology (regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, I. A.

    2018-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  8. Widening Perspectives: The Intellectual and Social Benefits of Astrobiology (Regardless of Whether Extraterrestrial Life is Discovered or Not)

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Ian A.

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  9. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  10. Taoism and Deep Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvan, Richard; Bennett, David

    1988-01-01

    Contrasted are the philosophies of Deep Ecology and ancient Chinese. Discusses the cosmology, morality, lifestyle, views of power, politics, and environmental philosophies of each. Concludes that Deep Ecology could gain much from Taoism. (CW)

  11. Pieces of Other Worlds - Extraterrestrial Samples for Education and Public Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.

    2010-01-01

    During the Year of the Solar System spacecraft from NASA and our international partners will encounter two comets; orbit the asteroid Vesta, continue to explore Mars with rovers, and launch robotic explorers to the Moon and Mars. We have pieces of all these worlds in our laboratories, and their continued study provides incredibly valuable "ground truth" to complement space exploration missions. Extensive information about these unique materials, as well as actual lunar samples and meteorites, are available for display and education. The Johnson Space Center (JSC) has the unique responsibility to curate NASA's extraterrestrial samples from past and future missions. Curation includes documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach. At the current time JSC curates six types of extraterrestrial samples: (1) Moon rocks and soils collected by the Apollo astronauts (2) Meteorites collected on US expeditions to Antarctica (including rocks from the Moon, Mars, and many asteroids including Vesta) (3) "Cosmic dust" (asteroid and comet particles) collected by high-altitude aircraft (4) Solar wind atoms collected by the Genesis spacecraft (5) Comet particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft (6) Interstellar dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft These rocks, soils, dust particles, and atoms continue to be studied intensively by scientists around the world. Descriptions of the samples, research results, thousands of photographs, and information on how to request research samples are on the JSC Curation website: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/ NASA provides a limited number of Moon rock samples for either short-term or long-term displays at museums, planetariums, expositions, and professional events that are open to the public. The JSC Public Affairs Office handles requests for such display samples. Requestors should apply in writing to Mr. Louis Parker, JSC Exhibits Manager. Mr. Parker will advise

  12. Ecological restoration [book review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Gustafson

    2010-01-01

    Ecological restoration has increased in prominence in recent years as environmental policies have slowed the rate of environmental degradation in many parts of the world and practitioners have looked for active ways to reverse the damage. Because of the vast number of types and contexts of degraded ecological systems, the field of ecological restoration is still very...

  13. Observational program options and system requirements for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence /SETI/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billingham, J.; Wolfe, J. H.; Edelson, R. E.; Gulkis, S.; Sadin, S. R.

    1978-01-01

    The possibility that intelligent life may be widespread in the universe is now being investigated. A formula for estimating the number of coexisting communicative civilizations has been developed by Drake. A good way of conducting a search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is to examine the microwave window of the electromagnetic spectrum for narrow-band signals which such civilizations may be transmitting. Two specific search strategies are described. Both employ existing antennas equipped with sophisticated multichannel spectrum analyzers and pattern recognition devices. The Ames Research Center proposal is a high sensitivity, high-resolution search of nearby promising stars and selected sky areas in the 'water hole' (1400-1727 MHz). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposal is for a survey of most of the sky over a significant portion of the free-space microwave window at lower sensitivities and resolutions. The approaches are complementary and both are being pursued. The consummation of these programs could achieve one of the most profound discoveries in the history of human civilization, or at least will show the way to future efforts.

  14. Extraterrestrial vestibular research, a new partial field of medical research into the human vestibular apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichler, H J

    1967-01-01

    The first otologic professorial chair in the world was established by Politzer in Vienna as long ago as 1861. In 1914 an assistant of the 1st Vienna Ear Clinic with Politzer as its head, Barany, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his fundamental investigations into the organ of equilibration and for his discovery of the caloric sensitivity of the semicircular canals. Since that time Barany is regarded as the founder of the physiology of the vestibular apparatus. During the period 1959 to 1963 a new conception of fundamental research into the vestibule was demanded and elaborated in Vienna with the postulate that, in all theoretical deliberations and practical experience, one should take into consideration that our experiments into the vestibule do not take place on a static platform but rather on a diversely moving one, namely the surface of the earth. This led to new findings in the field of research into the otolith apparatus. In 1962 it was discovered that the gravitation of the sun at the distance of earth-sun represents a supraliminal stimulus, namely both in the aphelion as well as in the perihelion position of the earth. In 1965 it was suggested in Vienna that a new branch of research into the vestibule should be established on an international level, the so-called extraterrestrial vestibular research. The importance of this new branch of research is discussed for all problems of orientation of human beings in space.

  15. Sea ice, extremophiles and life on extra-terrestrial ocean worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Andrew; McMinn, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    The primary aim of this review is to highlight that sea-ice microbes would be capable of occupying ice-associated biological niches on Europa and Enceladus. These moons are compelling targets for astrobiological exploration because of the inferred presence of subsurface oceans that have persisted over geological timescales. Although potentially hostile to life in general, Europa and Enceladus may still harbour biologically permissive domains associated with the ice, ocean and seafloor environments. However, validating sources of free energy is challenging, as is qualifying possible metabolic processes or ecosystem dynamics. Here, the capacity for biological adaptation exhibited by microorganisms that inhabit sea ice is reviewed. These ecosystems are among the most relevant Earth-based analogues for considering life on ocean worlds because microorganisms must adapt to multiple physicochemical extremes. In future, these organisms will likely play a significant role in defining the constraints on habitability beyond Earth and developing a mechanistic framework that contrasts the limits of Earth's biosphere with extra-terrestrial environments of interest.

  16. SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL ANTINEUTRINO SOURCES WITH THE KamLAND DETECTOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gando, A.; Gando, Y.; Ichimura, K.; Ikeda, H.; Inoue, K.; Kibe, Y.; Kishimoto, Y.; Koga, M.; Minekawa, Y.; Mitsui, T.; Morikawa, T.; Nagai, N.; Nakajima, K.; Nakamura, K.; Narita, K.; Shimizu, I.; Shimizu, Y.; Shirai, J.; Suekane, F.; Suzuki, A. [Research Center for Neutrino Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578 (Japan); and others

    2012-02-01

    We present the results of a search for extraterrestrial electron antineutrinos ({nu}-bar{sub e}'s) in the energy range 8.3 MeV < E{sub {nu}}-bar{sub e} < 31.8 MeV using the KamLAND detector. In an exposure of 4.53 kton-year, we identify 25 candidate events. All of the candidate events can be attributed to background, most importantly neutral current atmospheric neutrino interactions, setting an upper limit on the probability of {sup 8}B solar {nu}{sub e}'s converting into {nu}-bar{sub e}'s at 5.3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -5} (90% CL), if we assume an undistorted {nu}-bar{sub e} shape. This limit corresponds to a solar {nu}-bar{sub e} flux of 93 cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} or an event rate of 1.6 events (kton - year){sup -1} above the energy threshold (E{sub {nu}}-bar{sub e}>=8.3 MeV). The present data also allows us to set more stringent limits on the diffuse supernova neutrino flux and on the annihilation rates for light dark matter particles.

  17. Extremophilic iron-reducing bacteria: Their implications for possible life in extraterrestrial environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, J.; Liu, S.V.; Zhang, C.; Palumbo, A.V.; Phelps, T.J.

    1998-06-01

    Iron reduction is believed to be an early form of respiration and iron-reducing bacteria might have evolved very early on Earth. To support this hypothesis, the authors began to search for both thermophilic and psychrophilic iron-reducing bacteria because iron-reducing capacity may be a widely distributed trait if ancestral microorganisms include extremophilic iron-reducing bacteria. To date, they have obtained thermophilic Fe(III)-reducing and magnetite-forming enrichment cultures from geologically and hydrologically isolated, millions of years-old deep terrestrial subsurface samples. Three dominant bacteria were identified based on 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Phylogenetical analysis indicated that these bacteria were closely related to Thermoanaerobacter ethanoliticus. Two pure thermophilic iron-reducing bacteria have been isolated and characterized from these enrichments, they also are able to degrade cellulose and xylan. Geological evidence indicated that these bacteria were separated from modern organisms for about 200 million years, and they are the oldest isolated bacteria available now. Evolutionary sequence analysis showed that the 16S rRNA genes evolved extremely slowly in these bacteria. In addition, the authors have obtained about 30 psychrophilic iron-reducing bacteria in samples from Siberia and Alaska permafrost soils, Pacific marine sediments and Hawaii deep sea water. These bacteria were also able to reduce other heavy metals. The isolation of both thermophilic and psychrophilic iron-reducing bacteria from surface and subsurface environments has significant implications for microbial evolution and for studying the origin of life in extraterrestrial environments.

  18. Teaching Planetary Science as Part of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Greenberg, Adam H.

    2017-10-01

    In Spring 2016 and 2017, UCLA offered a course titled "EPSS C179/279 - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Theory and Applications". The course is designed for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in the science, technical, engineering, and mathematical fields. Each year, students designed an observing sequence for the Green Bank telescope, observed known planetary systems remotely, wrote a sophisticated and modular data processing pipeline, analyzed the data, and presented their results. In 2016, 15 students participated in the course (9U, 5G; 11M, 3F) and observed 14 planetary systems in the Kepler field. In 2017, 17 students participated (15U, 2G; 10M, 7F) and observed 10 planetary systems in the Kepler field, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. In order to select suitable targets, students learned about planetary systems, planetary habitability, and planetary dynamics. In addition to planetary science fundamentals, students learned radio astronomy fundamentals, collaborative software development, signal processing techniques, and statistics. Evaluations indicate that the course is challenging but that students are eager to learn because of the engrossing nature of SETI. Students particularly value the teamwork approach, the observing experience, and working with their own data. The next offering of the course will be in Spring 2018. Additional information about our SETI work is available at seti.ucla.edu.

  19. Curating NASA's future extraterrestrial sample collections: How do we achieve maximum proficiency?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Evans, Cynthia; Allton, Judith; Fries, Marc; Righter, Kevin; Zolensky, Michael; Zeigler, Ryan

    2016-07-01

    Introduction: The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office (henceforth referred to herein as NASA Curation Office) at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is responsible for curating all of NASA's extraterrestrial samples. Under the governing document, NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 7100.10E "Curation of Extraterrestrial Materials", JSC is charged with "The curation of all extraterrestrial material under NASA control, including future NASA missions." The Directive goes on to define Curation as including "…documentation, preservation, preparation, and distribution of samples for research, education, and public outreach." Here we describe some of the ongoing efforts to ensure that the future activities of the NASA Curation Office are working to-wards a state of maximum proficiency. Founding Principle: Curatorial activities began at JSC (Manned Spacecraft Center before 1973) as soon as design and construction planning for the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL) began in 1964 [1], not with the return of the Apollo samples in 1969, nor with the completion of the LRL in 1967. This practice has since proven that curation begins as soon as a sample return mission is conceived, and this founding principle continues to return dividends today [e.g., 2]. The Next Decade: Part of the curation process is planning for the future, and we refer to these planning efforts as "advanced curation" [3]. Advanced Curation is tasked with developing procedures, technology, and data sets necessary for curating new types of collections as envisioned by NASA exploration goals. We are (and have been) planning for future curation, including cold curation, extended curation of ices and volatiles, curation of samples with special chemical considerations such as perchlorate-rich samples, curation of organically- and biologically-sensitive samples, and the use of minimally invasive analytical techniques (e.g., micro-CT, [4]) to characterize samples. These efforts will be useful for Mars Sample Return

  20. Pyrolysis of simple amino acids and nucleobases: survivability limits and implications for extraterrestrial delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basiuk, Vladimir A.; Douda, Janna

    1999-04-01

    The idea of extraterrestrial delivery of organic matter to the early Earth is strongly supported by the detection of a large variety of organic compounds in the interstellar medium, comets, and carbonaceous chondrites. Whether organic compounds essential for the emergence and evolution of life, particularly amino acids and nucleic acid bases found in the meteorites, can be efficiently delivered by other space bodies is unclear and depends primarily on capability of the biomolecules to survive high temperatures during atmospheric deceleration and impacts to the terrestrial surface. In the present study we estimated survivability of simple amino acids (glycine, Lalanine, α-aminoisobutyric acid, L-valine and L-leucine), purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (uracil and cytosine) under rapid heating to temperatures of 400-1000°C under N2 or CO2 atmosphere. We have found that most of the compounds studied cannot survive the temperatures substantially higher than 700°C; however at 500600°C, the recovery can be at a percent level (or even 10%-level for adenine, uracil, alanine, and valine). The final fate of amino acids and nucleobases during the atmospheric deceleration and surface impacts is discussed depending on such factors as size of the space body, nature and altitude of the heating, chemical composition of the space body and of the atmosphere.

  1. Understanding Prebiotic Chemistry Through the Analysis of Extraterrestrial Amino Acids and Nucleobases in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Stern, Jennifer C.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2012-01-01

    The discoveries of amino acids of extraterrestrial origin in many meteorites over the last 50 years have revolutionized the Astrobiology field. A variety of non-terrestrial amino acids similar to those found in life on Earth have been detected in meteorites. A few amino acids have even been found with chiral excesses, suggesting that meteorites could have contributed to the origin of homochirality in life on Earth. In addition to amino acids, which have been productively studied for years, sugar-like molecules, activated phosphates, and nucleobases have also been determined to be indigenous to numerous meteorites. Because these molecules are essential for life as we know it, and meteorites have been delivering them to the Earth since accretion, it is plausible that the origines) of life on Earth were aided by extrataterrestrially-synthesized molecules. Understanding the origins of life on Earth guides our search for life elsewhere, helping to answer the question of whether biology is unique to Earth. This tutorial focuses on meteoritic amino acids and nucleobases, exploring modern analytical methods and possible formation mechanisms. We will also discuss the unique window that meteorites provide into the chemistry that preceded life on Earth, a chemical record we do not have access to on Earth due to geologic recycling of rocks and the pervasiveness of biology across the planet. Finally. we will address the future of meteorite research, including asteroid sample return missions.

  2. An Infrared Spectroscopic Study Toward the Formation of Alkylphosphonic Acids and Their Precursors in Extraterrestrial Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Andrew M.; Abplanalp, Matthew J.; Blair, Tyler J.; Dayuha, Remwilyn; Kaiser, Ralf I.

    2018-01-01

    The only known phosphorus-containing organic compounds of extraterrestrial origin, alkylphosphonic acids, were discovered in the Murchison meteorite and have accelerated the hypothesis that reduced oxidation states of phosphorus were delivered to early Earth and served as a prebiotic source of phosphorus. While previous studies looking into the formation of these alkylphosphonic acids have focused on the iron–nickel phosphide mineral schreibersite and phosphorous acid as a source of phosphorus, this work utilizes phosphine (PH3), which has been discovered in the circumstellar envelope of IRC +10216, in the atmosphere of Jupiter and Saturn, and believed to be the phosphorus carrier in comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Phosphine ices prepared with interstellar molecules such as carbon dioxide, water, and methane were subjected to electron irradiation, which simulates the secondary electrons produced from galactic cosmic rays penetrating the ice, and probed using infrared spectroscopy to understand the possible formation of alkylphosphonic acids and their precursors on interstellar icy grains that could become incorporated into meteorites such as Murchison. We present the first study and results on the possible synthesis of alkylphosphonic acids produced from phosphine-mixed ices under interstellar conditions. All functional groups of alkylphosphonic acids were detected through infrared spectroscopically, suggesting that this class of molecules can be formed in interstellar ices.

  3. Fluid-induced organic synthesis in the solar nebula recorded in extraterrestrial dust from meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Christian; Kepaptsoglou, Demie; Leitner, Jan; Busemann, Henner; Spring, Nicole H; Ramasse, Quentin M; Hoppe, Peter; Nittler, Larry R

    2014-10-28

    Isotopically anomalous carbonaceous grains in extraterrestrial samples represent the most pristine organics that were delivered to the early Earth. Here we report on gentle aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy investigations of eight (15)N-rich or D-rich organic grains within two carbonaceous Renazzo-type (CR) chondrites and two interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) originating from comets. Organic matter in the IDP samples is less aromatic than that in the CR chondrites, and its functional group chemistry is mainly characterized by C-O bonding and aliphatic C. Organic grains in CR chondrites are associated with carbonates and elemental Ca, which originate either from aqueous fluids or possibly an indigenous organic source. One distinct grain from the CR chondrite NWA 852 exhibits a rim structure only visible in chemical maps. The outer part is nanoglobular in shape, highly aromatic, and enriched in anomalous nitrogen. Functional group chemistry of the inner part is similar to spectra from IDP organic grains and less aromatic with nitrogen below the detection limit. The boundary between these two areas is very sharp. The direct association of both IDP-like organic matter with dominant C-O bonding environments and nanoglobular organics with dominant aromatic and C-N functionality within one unique grain provides for the first time to our knowledge strong evidence for organic synthesis in the early solar system activated by an anomalous nitrogen-containing parent body fluid.

  4. Microbial fuel cells applied to the metabolically based detection of extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Mauas, Pablo J D; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-12-01

    Since the 1970s, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments to detect microbial metabolism on the surface of Mars, the search for nonspecific methods to detect life in situ has been one of the goals of astrobiology. It is usually required that a methodology detect life independently from its composition or form and that the chosen biological signature point to a feature common to all living systems, such as the presence of metabolism. In this paper, we evaluate the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for the detection of microbial life in situ. MFCs are electrochemical devices originally developed as power electrical sources and can be described as fuel cells in which the anode is submerged in a medium that contains microorganisms. These microorganisms, as part of their metabolic process, oxidize organic material, releasing electrons that contribute to the electric current, which is therefore proportional to metabolic and other redox processes. We show that power and current density values measured in MFCs that use microorganism cultures or soil samples in the anode are much larger than those obtained with a medium free of microorganisms or sterilized soil samples, respectively. In particular, we found that this is true for extremophiles, which have been proposed as potential inhabitants of extraterrestrial environments. Therefore, our results show that MFCs have the potential to be used for in situ detection of microbial life.

  5. The high-resolution extraterrestrial solar spectrum (QASUMEFTS) determined from ground-based solar irradiance measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gröbner, Julian; Kröger, Ingo; Egli, Luca; Hülsen, Gregor; Riechelmann, Stefan; Sperfeld, Peter

    2017-09-01

    A high-resolution extraterrestrial solar spectrum has been determined from ground-based measurements of direct solar spectral irradiance (SSI) over the wavelength range from 300 to 500 nm using the Langley-plot technique. The measurements were obtained at the Izaña Atmospheric Research Centre from the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, Tenerife, Spain, during the period 12 to 24 September 2016. This solar spectrum (QASUMEFTS) was combined from medium-resolution (bandpass of 0.86 nm) measurements of the QASUME (Quality Assurance of Spectral Ultraviolet Measurements in Europe) spectroradiometer in the wavelength range from 300 to 500 nm and high-resolution measurements (0.025 nm) from a Fourier transform spectroradiometer (FTS) over the wavelength range from 305 to 380 nm. The Kitt Peak solar flux atlas was used to extend this high-resolution solar spectrum to 500 nm. The expanded uncertainties of this solar spectrum are 2 % between 310 and 500 nm and 4 % at 300 nm. The comparison of this solar spectrum with solar spectra measured in space (top of the atmosphere) gave very good agreements in some cases, while in some other cases discrepancies of up to 5 % were observed. The QASUMEFTS solar spectrum represents a benchmark dataset with uncertainties lower than anything previously published. The metrological traceability of the measurements to the International System of Units (SI) is assured by an unbroken chain of calibrations leading to the primary spectral irradiance standard of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany.

  6. Single-photon technique for the detection of periodic extraterrestrial laser pulses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeb, W R; Poppe, A; Hammel, E; Alves, J; Brunner, M; Meingast, S

    2013-06-01

    To draw humankind's attention to its existence, an extraterrestrial civilization could well direct periodic laser pulses toward Earth. We developed a technique capable of detecting a quasi-periodic light signal with an average of less than one photon per pulse within a measurement time of a few tens of milliseconds in the presence of the radiation emitted by an exoplanet's host star. Each of the electronic events produced by one or more single-photon avalanche detectors is tagged with precise time-of-arrival information and stored. From this we compute a histogram displaying the frequency of event-time differences in classes with bin widths on the order of a nanosecond. The existence of periodic laser pulses manifests itself in histogram peaks regularly spaced at multiples of the-a priori unknown-pulse repetition frequency. With laser sources simulating both the pulse source and the background radiation, we tested a detection system in the laboratory at a wavelength of 850 nm. We present histograms obtained from various recorded data sequences with the number of photons per pulse, the background photons per pulse period, and the recording time as main parameters. We then simulated a periodic signal hypothetically generated on a planet orbiting a G2V-type star (distance to Earth 500 light-years) and show that the technique is capable of detecting the signal even if the received pulses carry as little as one photon on average on top of the star's background light.

  7. Nanoscale infrared spectroscopy as a non-destructive probe of extraterrestrial samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, Gerardo; Mcleod, A S; Gainsforth, Zack; Kelly, P; Bechtel, Hans A; Keilmann, Fritz; Westphal, Andrew; Thiemens, Mark; Basov, D N

    2014-12-09

    Advances in the spatial resolution of modern analytical techniques have tremendously augmented the scientific insight gained from the analysis of natural samples. Yet, while techniques for the elemental and structural characterization of samples have achieved sub-nanometre spatial resolution, infrared spectral mapping of geochemical samples at vibrational 'fingerprint' wavelengths has remained restricted to spatial scales >10 μm. Nevertheless, infrared spectroscopy remains an invaluable contactless probe of chemical structure, details of which offer clues to the formation history of minerals. Here we report on the successful implementation of infrared near-field imaging, spectroscopy and analysis techniques capable of sub-micron scale mineral identification within natural samples, including a chondrule from the Murchison meteorite and a cometary dust grain (Iris) from NASA's Stardust mission. Complementary to scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy probes, this work evidences a similarity between chondritic and cometary materials, and inaugurates a new era of infrared nano-spectroscopy applied to small and invaluable extraterrestrial samples.

  8. Inhabited or Uninhabited? Pitfalls in the Interpretation of Possible Chemical Signatures of Extraterrestrial Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Stefan; Strasdeit, Henry

    2017-01-01

    The "Rare Earth" hypothesis-put forward by Ward and Brownlee in their 2000 book of the same title-states that prokaryote-type organisms may be common in the universe but animals and higher plants are exceedingly rare. If this idea is correct, the search for extraterrestrial life is essentially the search for microorganisms. Various indicators may be used to detect extant or extinct microbial life beyond Earth. Among them are chemical biosignatures, such as biomolecules and stable isotope ratios. The present minireview focuses on the major problems associated with the identification of chemical biosignatures. Two main types of misinterpretation are distinguished, namely false positive and false negative results. The former can be caused by terrestrial biogenic contaminants or by abiotic products. Terrestrial contamination is a common problem in space missions that search for biosignatures on other planets and moons. Abiotic organics can lead to false positive results if erroneously interpreted as biomolecules, but also to false negatives, for example when an abiotic source obscures a less productive biological one. In principle, all types of putative chemical biosignatures are prone to misinterpretation. Some, however, are more reliable ("stronger") than others. These include: (i) homochiral polymers of defined length and sequence, comparable to proteins and polynucleotides; (ii) enantiopure compounds; (iii) the existence of only a subset of molecules when abiotic syntheses would produce a continuous range of molecules; the proteinogenic amino acids constitute such a subset. These considerations are particularly important for life detection missions to solar system bodies such as Mars, Europa, and Enceladus.

  9. SETI turns 50: five decades of progress in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarter, J. C.; Agrawal, A.; Ackermann, R.; Backus, P.; Blair, S. K.; Bradford, M. T.; Harp, G. R.; Jordan, J.; Kilsdonk, T.; Smolek, K. E.; Richards, J.; Ross, J.; Shostak, G. S.; Vakoch, D.

    2010-09-01

    The 1959 Nature article by Giuseppe Cocconi and Phil Morrison1 provided the theoretical underpinnings for SETI, accompanied in 1960 by Project Ozma2, the first radio search for signals by Frank Drake at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Well over 100 search programs have been conducted since that time, primarily at radio and optical wavelengths, (see www.seti.org/searcharchives) without any successful signal detection. Some have suggested that this means humans are alone in the cosmos. But that is far too strong a conclusion to draw from far too small an observational sampling. Instead of concluding that intelligent life on Earth is unique, it is more appropriate to note that in 50 years our ability to search for electromagnetic signals has improved by at least 14 orders of magnitude and that these improvements are still occurring at an exponential rate. At the SETI Institute we are in the process of reinventing the way we search in order to fully utilize these technological enhancements. We are now building the setiQuest community and we intend to get the world involved in making our searches better. We need to find ways to harness the intelligence of all Earthlings in order to better seek out extraterrestrial intelligence. If we do it right, we just might succeed, and we might also change how we see ourselves, and make our own world a better place.

  10. Philosophy of ecology

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Bryson; Peacock, Kent A

    2011-01-01

    The most pressing problems facing humanity today - over-population, energy shortages, climate change, soil erosion, species extinctions, the risk of epidemic disease, the threat of warfare that could destroy all the hard-won gains of civilization, and even the recent fibrillations of the stock market - are all ecological or have a large ecological component. in this volume philosophers turn their attention to understanding the science of ecology and its huge implications for the human project. To get the application of ecology to policy or other practical concerns right, humanity needs a clear and disinterested philosophical understanding of ecology which can help identify the practical lessons of science. Conversely, the urgent practical demands humanity faces today cannot help but direct scientific and philosophical investigation toward the basis of those ecological challenges that threaten human survival. This book will help to fuel the timely renaissance of interest in philosophy of ecology that is now oc...

  11. [Ecological monitoring in agro-ecological systems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baĭkov, B D

    1983-01-01

    The fundamental principles of the ecologic monitoring in the antropogenic ecosystems are dealt with. Analyzed are the structure and function of the agroecologic systems, and, on the basis of the particular aspects established a concept is developed of the ecologic control at autoecologic and biocoenologic level. An analysis is likewise made of the ecologic sequelae resulting from the chemical war launched by the American aggressors in Vietnam and the specific trends therefrom in the substantiation of the ecologic monitoring. Stated is the necessity of profound investigations to establish the bioaccumulation of dioxine, a poisonous agent which was contained in herbicides and defoliants used in the war, and which was distinguished by exclusively high toxicity, producing teratogenic and cancerogenic effects and possessing high resistance in the environment.

  12. Using ecological production functions to link ecological ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively little attention. Ecological production functions may be defined as usable expressions (i.e., models) of the processes by which ecosystems produce ES, often including external influences on those processes. We identify key attributes of EPFs and discuss both actual and idealized examples of their use to inform decision making. Whenever possible, EPFs should estimate final, rather than intermediate, ES. Although various types of EPFs have been developed, we suggest that EPFs are more useful for decision making if they quantify ES outcomes, respond to ecosystem condition, respond to stressor levels or management scenarios, reflect ecological complexity, rely on data with broad coverage, have performed well previously, are practical to use, and are open and transparent. In an example using pesticides, we illustrate how EPFs with these attributes could enable the inclusion of ES in ecological risk assessment. The biggest challenges to ES inclusion are limited data sets that are easily adapted for use in modeling EPFs and generally poor understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver the ES. We conclude by advocating for the incorporation into E

  13. Hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacterial ecology for space agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, T.; Kanazawa, S.; Moriya, T.; Ishikawa, Y.; Hashimoto, H.; Yamashita, M.; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    A material recycling is one of core issues in engineering for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars A new composting system has been developed in Japan which utilizes some thermophilic bacteria to attain higher temperature than normally expected in the ordinary composting system Dead body of rat was found to be eaten up by the thermophilic bacteria under aerated condition and oxidized to carbon dioxide and few other inorganics within two hours Ecology of these composting bacteria is structured on the intensive symbiotic interactions among various species that participate in various reaction networks in a concert Complexity in the composting bacteria might be based on multiple interaction and interdependency among participating species and organisms Species identification and phylogeny of symbiotic bacteria and understanding of their ecology have been made Those bacterial systems are active and durable under temperature high in a range of 80 to 100 r C Biological combustion release heat and temperature goes up when air is fed through the reaction bed Since microbial activity decreases at exceeding temperature and release of heat decreases as well temperature in the reacting bed itself-regulated in the range Even though it should be verified composting bacteria themselves are presumed to be safe for human agricultural plant and animal species Their activity is restricted only to the condition under elevated temperature Their activities depend greatly on their symbiotic partners and extreme environment created by them The

  14. Pieces of Other Worlds - Enhance YSS Education and Public Outreach Events with Extraterrestrial Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.

    2010-12-01

    During the Year of the Solar System spacecraft will encounter two comets; orbit the asteroid Vesta, continue to explore Mars with rovers, and launch robotic explorers to the Moon and Mars. We have pieces of all these worlds in our laboratories. Extensive information about these unique materials, as well as actual lunar samples and meteorites, is available for display and education. The Johnson Space Center (JSC) curates NASA's extraterrestrial samples to support research, education, and public outreach. At the current time JSC curates five types of extraterrestrial samples: Moon rocks and soils collected by the Apollo astronauts Meteorites collected on US expeditions to Antarctica (including rocks from the Moon, Mars, and many asteroids including Vesta) “Cosmic dust” (asteroid and comet particles) collected by high-altitude aircraft Solar wind atoms collected by the Genesis spacecraft Comet and interstellar dust particles collected by the Stardust spacecraft These rocks, soils, dust particles, and atoms continue to be studied intensively by scientists around the world. Descriptions of the samples, research results, thousands of photographs, and information on how to request research samples are on the JSC Curation website: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/ NASA is eager for scientists and the public to have access to these exciting samples through our various loan procedures. NASA provides a limited number of Moon rock samples for either short-term or long-term displays at museums, planetariums, expositions, and professional events that are open to the public. The JSC Public Affairs Office handles requests for such display samples. Requestors should apply in writing to Mr. Louis Parker, JSC Exhibits Manager. He will advise successful applicants regarding provisions for receipt, display, and return of the samples. All loans will be preceded by a signed loan agreement executed between NASA and the requestor's organization. Email address: louis.a.parker@nasa.gov Sets

  15. Evidence for a Massive Extraterrestrial Airburst over North America 12.9 ka Ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firestone, R. B.; West, A.; Revay, Z.; Belgya, T.; Smith, A.; Que Hee, S. S.

    2007-05-01

    A carbon-rich black layer commonly referred to as a black mat, with a basal age of approximately 12.9 ka, has been identified at over 50 sites across North America1. The age of the base of the black mat coincides with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas cooling and megafaunal extinctions in North America. In situ bones of extinct mammals, including mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths, horses, camels, many smaller mammals and birds, and Clovis tool assemblages occur below the black mat but not within or above it. In this paper, we provide evidence for an ejecta layer at the base of the black mat from an extraterrestrial impact event 12.9 ka ago. We have investigated nine terminal Clovis-age sites in North America and a comparable site in Lommel, Belgium that are all marked by a thin, discrete layer containing varying peak abundances of (1) magnetic grains/microspherules containing iridium concentrations up to 117 ppb, (2) charcoal, (3) soot, (4) vesicular carbon spherules, (5) glass-like carbon, and (6) fullerenes enriched in 3He. This layer also extends throughout the rims of at least fifteen Carolina Bays, unique, elliptical, oriented lakes and wetlands scattered across the Atlantic Coastal Plain whose major axes point towards the Great Lakes and Canada. Microspherules, highly enriched in titanium, were found only in or near the YD boundary (YDB) layer with greatest deposition rates (35 per cm2) occurring near the Great Lakes. Magnetic grains also peak in the YDB with maximum deposition near the Great Lakes (30 mg/cm2). Magnetic grains near the Great Lakes are enriched in magnetite (4 mg/cm2) and silicates (23 mg/cm2) but contain less ilmenite/rutile (1 mg/cm2) than distant sites where ilmentite/rutile deposition ranges up to 18 mg/cm2. Analysis of the ilmenite/rutile-rich magnetic grains and microspherules indicates that they contain considerable water, up to 28 at.% hydrogen, and have TIO2/FeO, TIO2/Zr, Al2O3/FeO+MgO, CaO/Al2O3, REE/chondrite, K/Th, FeO/MnO ratios

  16. Development of Ecological Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrius Keizikas

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The article presents research on ecological buildings and their influence on the constructional sphere. The aim of the paper is to reveal the essence of ecological architecture showing substantial progress and its potential to stimulate architectural and technological growth. The article also describes relations between the ideas of ecological buildings and the ‘passive house’ concepts and aspects of development as well as describes the possibilities of improving building sustainability and energy efficiency. Article in Lithuanian

  17. Accretion rate of extraterrestrial {sup 41}Ca in Antarctic snow samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gómez-Guzmán, J.M., E-mail: jose.gomez@ph.tum.de [Technische Universität München, Fakultät für Physik, James-Franck-Strasse 1, 85748 Garching (Germany); Bishop, S.; Faestermann, T.; Famulok, N.; Fimiani, L.; Hain, K.; Jahn, S.; Korschinek, G.; Ludwig, P. [Technische Universität München, Fakultät für Physik, James-Franck-Strasse 1, 85748 Garching (Germany); Rodrigues, D. [Laboratorio TANDAR, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (Argentina)

    2015-10-15

    Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) are small grains, generally less than a few hundred micrometers in size. Their main source is the Asteroid Belt, located at 3 AU from the Sun, between Mars and Jupiter. During their flight from the Asteroid Belt to the Earth they are irradiated by galactic and solar cosmic rays (GCR and SCR), thus radionuclides are formed, like {sup 41}Ca and {sup 53}Mn. Therefore, {sup 41}Ca (T{sub 1/2} = 1.03 × 10{sup 5} yr) can be used as a key tracer to determine the accretion rate of IDPs onto the Earth because there are no significant terrestrial sources for this radionuclide. The first step of this study consisted to calculate the production rate of {sup 41}Ca in IDPs accreted by the Earth during their travel from the Asteroid Belt. This production rate, used in accordance with the {sup 41}Ca/{sup 40}Ca ratios that will be measured in snow samples from the Antarctica will be used to calculate the amount of extraterrestrial material accreted by the Earth per year. There challenges for this project are, at first, the much longer time for the flight needed by the IDPs to travel from the Asteroid Belt to the Earth in comparison with the {sup 41}Ca half-life yields an early saturation for the {sup 41}Ca/{sup 40}Ca ratio, and second, the importance of selecting the correct sampling site to avoid a high influx of natural {sup 40}Ca, preventing dilution of the {sup 41}Ca/{sup 40}Ca ratio, the quantity measured by AMS.

  18. The limits of extremophilic life expanded under extraterrestrial environment-simulated experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lage, C.; Dalmaso, G.; Teixeira, L.; Bendia, A.; Rosado, A.

    2012-09-01

    Astrobiology is a brand new area of science that seeks to understand the origin and dynamics of life in the universe. Several hypotheses to explain life in the cosmic context have been developed throughout human history, but only now technology has allowed many of them to be tested. Laboratory experiments have been able to show how chemical elements essential to life, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen combine in biologically important compounds. Interestingly, these compounds are found universally. As these compounds were combined to the point of originating cells and complex organisms is still a challenge to be unveiled by science. However, our 4.5 billion years-old solar system was born within a 10-billion years-old universe. Thus, simple cells like microorganisms may have had time to form in planets older than ours or other suitable molecular places in the universe. One hypothesis to explain the origin of life on Earth is called panspermia, which predicts that microbial life could have been formed in the universe billions of years ago, traveling between planets, and inseminating units of life that could have become more complex in habitable planets like ours. A project designed to test the viability of extremophile microorganisms exposed to simulated extraterrestrial environments is ongoing at the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics to test whether microbial life could withstand those inhospitable environments. Ultra-resistant (known or novel ones) microorganisms collected from terrestrial extreme environments, extremophiles, have been exposed to intense radiation sources simulating solar radiation (at synchrotron accelerators), capable of emitting in a few hours radiation equivalent of million years accumulated doses. The results obtained in these experiments reveal the interesting possibility of the existence of microbial life beyond Earth.

  19. Mini-Review: Probing the limits of extremophilic life in extraterrestrial environment-simulated experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lage, Claudia A. S.; Dalmaso, Gabriel Z. L.; Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Bendia, Amanda G.; Paulino-Lima, Ivan G.; Galante, Douglas; Janot-Pacheco, Eduardo; Abrevaya, Ximena C.; Azúa-Bustos, Armando; Pelizzari, Vivian H.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2012-10-01

    Astrobiology is a relatively recent scientific field that seeks to understand the origin and dynamics of life in the Universe. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain life in the cosmic context throughout human history, but only now, technology has allowed many of them to be tested. Laboratory experiments have been able to show how chemical elements essential to life, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen combine in biologically important compounds. Interestingly, these compounds are ubiquitous. How these compounds were combined to the point of originating cells and complex organisms is still to be unveiled by science. However, our 4.5 billion years old Solar system appeared in a 10 billion years old Universe. Thus, simple cells such as micro-organisms may have had time to form in planets older than ours or in other suitable places in the Universe. One hypothesis related to the appearance of life on Earth is called panspermia, which predicts that microbial life could have been formed in the Universe billions of years ago, travelling between planets, and inseminating units of life that could have become more complex in habitable planets such as Earth. A project designed to test the viability of extremophile micro-organisms exposed to simulated extraterrestrial environments is in progress at the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics (UFRJ, Brazil) to test whether microbial life could withstand inhospitable environments. Radiation-resistant (known or novel ones) micro-organisms collected from extreme terrestrial environments have been exposed (at synchrotron accelerators) to intense radiation sources simulating Solar radiation, capable of emitting radiation in a few hours equivalent to many years of accumulated doses. The results obtained in these experiments reveal an interesting possibility of the existence of microbial life beyond Earth.

  20. Chemical separation of Mo and W from terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples via anion exchange chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagai, Yuichiro; Yokoyama, Tetsuya

    2014-05-20

    A new two-stage chemical separation method was established using an anion exchange resin, Eichrom 1 × 8, to separate Mo and W from four natural rock samples. First, the distribution coefficients of nine elements (Ti, Fe, Zn, Zr, Nb, Mo, Hf, Ta, and W) under various chemical conditions were determined using HCl, HNO3, and HF. On the basis of the obtained distribution coefficients, a new technique for the two-stage chemical separation of Mo and W, along with the group separation of Ti-Zr-Hf, was developed as follows: 0.4 M HCl-0.5 M HF (major elements), 9 M HCl-0.05 M HF (Ti-Zr-Hf), 9 M HCl-1 M HF (W), and 6 M HNO3-3 M HF (Mo). After the chemical procedure, Nb remaining in the W fraction was separated using 9 M HCl-3 M HF. On the other hand, Nb and Zn remaining in the Mo fraction were removed using 2 M HF and 6 M HCl-0.1 M HF. The performance of this technique was evaluated by separating these elements from two terrestrial and two extraterrestrial samples. The recovery yields for Mo, W, Zr, and Hf were nearly 100% for all of the examined samples. The total contents of the Zr, Hf, W, and Mo in the blanks used for the chemical separation procedure were 582, 9, 29, and 396 pg, respectively. Therefore, our new separation technique can be widely used in various fields of geochemistry, cosmochemistry, and environmental sciences and particularly for multi-isotope analysis of these elements from a single sample with significant internal isotope heterogeneities.

  1. AN OPPORTUNISTIC SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) WITH THE MURCHISON WIDEFIELD ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tingay, S. J.; Tremblay, C.; Walsh, A.; Urquhart, R. [International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102 (Australia)

    2016-08-20

    A spectral line image cube generated from 115 minutes of MWA data that covers a field of view of 400 sq, deg. around the Galactic Center is used to perform the first Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Our work constitutes the first modern SETI experiment at low radio frequencies, here between 103 and 133 MHz, paving the way for large-scale searches with the MWA and, in the future, the low-frequency Square Kilometre Array. Limits of a few hundred mJy beam{sup −1} for narrowband emission (10 kHz) are derived from our data, across our 400 sq. deg. field of view. Within this field, 45 exoplanets in 38 planetary systems are known. We extract spectra at the locations of these systems from our image cube to place limits on the presence of narrow line emission from these systems. We then derive minimum isotropic transmitter powers for these exoplanets; a small handful of the closest objects (10 s of pc) yield our best limits of order 10{sup 14} W (Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power). These limits lie above the highest power directional transmitters near these frequencies currently operational on Earth. A SETI experiment with the MWA covering the full accessible sky and its full frequency range would require approximately one month of observing time. The MWA frequency range, its southern hemisphere location on an extraordinarily radio quiet site, its very large field of view, and its high sensitivity make it a unique facility for SETI.

  2. Implications of subzero metabolic activity on long-term microbial survival in terrestrial and extraterrestrial permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Pierre; Doyle, Shawn M; Battista, John R; Christner, Brent C

    2010-10-01

    The survival of microorganisms over extended time frames in frozen subsurface environments may be limited by chemical (i.e., via hydrolysis and oxidation) and ionizing radiation-induced damage to chromosomal DNA. In an effort to improve estimates for the survival of bacteria in icy terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments, we determined rates of macromolecular synthesis at temperatures down to -15°C in bacteria isolated from Siberian permafrost (Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 and P. arcticus 273-4) and the sensitivity of P. cryohalolentis to ionizing radiation. Based on experiments conducted over ≈400 days at -15°C, the rates of protein and DNA synthesis in P. cryohalolentis were <1 to 16 proteins cell(-1) d(-1) and 83 to 150 base pairs (bp) cell(-1) d(-1), respectively; P. arcticus synthesized DNA at rates of 20 to 1625 bp cell(-1) d(-1) at -15°C under the conditions tested. The dose of ionizing radiation at which 37% of the cells survive (D(37)) of frozen suspensions of P. cryohalolentis was 136 Gy, which was ∼2-fold higher (71 Gy) than identical samples exposed as liquid suspensions. Laboratory measurements of [(3)H]thymidine incorporation demonstrate the physiological potential for DNA metabolism at -15°C and suggest a sufficient activity is possible to offset chromosomal damage incurred in near-subsurface terrestrial and martian permafrost. Thus, our data imply that the longevity of microorganisms actively metabolizing within permafrost environments is not constrained by chromosomal DNA damage resulting from ionizing radiation or entropic degradation over geological time.

  3. The high-resolution extraterrestrial solar spectrum (QASUMEFTS determined from ground-based solar irradiance measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gröbner

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A high-resolution extraterrestrial solar spectrum has been determined from ground-based measurements of direct solar spectral irradiance (SSI over the wavelength range from 300 to 500 nm using the Langley-plot technique. The measurements were obtained at the Izaña Atmospheric Research Centre from the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, Tenerife, Spain, during the period 12 to 24 September 2016. This solar spectrum (QASUMEFTS was combined from medium-resolution (bandpass of 0.86 nm measurements of the QASUME (Quality Assurance of Spectral Ultraviolet Measurements in Europe spectroradiometer in the wavelength range from 300 to 500 nm and high-resolution measurements (0.025 nm from a Fourier transform spectroradiometer (FTS over the wavelength range from 305 to 380 nm. The Kitt Peak solar flux atlas was used to extend this high-resolution solar spectrum to 500 nm. The expanded uncertainties of this solar spectrum are 2 % between 310 and 500 nm and 4 % at 300 nm. The comparison of this solar spectrum with solar spectra measured in space (top of the atmosphere gave very good agreements in some cases, while in some other cases discrepancies of up to 5 % were observed. The QASUMEFTS solar spectrum represents a benchmark dataset with uncertainties lower than anything previously published. The metrological traceability of the measurements to the International System of Units (SI is assured by an unbroken chain of calibrations leading to the primary spectral irradiance standard of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany.

  4. Surface biosignatures of exo-earths: remote detection of extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Siddharth; Paulino-Lima, Ivan G; Kent, Ryan; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Rothschild, Lynn

    2015-03-31

    Exoplanet discovery has made remarkable progress, with the first rocky planets having been detected in the central star's liquid water habitable zone. The remote sensing techniques used to characterize such planets for potential habitability and life rely solely on our understanding of life on Earth. The vegetation red edge from terrestrial land plants is often used as a direct signature of life, but it occupies only a small niche in the environmental parameter space that binds life on present-day Earth and has been widespread for only about 460 My. To more fully exploit the diversity of the one example of life known, we measured the spectral characteristics of 137 microorganisms containing a range of pigments, including ones isolated from Earth's most extreme environments. Our database covers the visible and near-infrared to the short-wavelength infrared (0.35-2.5 µm) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and is made freely available from biosignatures.astro.cornell.edu. Our results show how the reflectance properties are dominated by the absorption of light by pigments in the visible portion and by strong absorptions by the cellular water of hydration in the infrared (up to 2.5 µm) portion of the spectrum. Our spectral library provides a broader and more realistic guide based on Earth life for the search for surface features of extraterrestrial life. The library, when used as inputs for modeling disk-integrated spectra of exoplanets, in preparation for the next generation of space- and ground-based instruments, will increase the chances of detecting life.

  5. Inhabited or Uninhabited? Pitfalls in the Interpretation of Possible Chemical Signatures of Extraterrestrial Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Fox

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The “Rare Earth” hypothesis—put forward by Ward and Brownlee in their 2000 book of the same title—states that prokaryote-type organisms may be common in the universe but animals and higher plants are exceedingly rare. If this idea is correct, the search for extraterrestrial life is essentially the search for microorganisms. Various indicators may be used to detect extant or extinct microbial life beyond Earth. Among them are chemical biosignatures, such as biomolecules and stable isotope ratios. The present minireview focuses on the major problems associated with the identification of chemical biosignatures. Two main types of misinterpretation are distinguished, namely false positive and false negative results. The former can be caused by terrestrial biogenic contaminants or by abiotic products. Terrestrial contamination is a common problem in space missions that search for biosignatures on other planets and moons. Abiotic organics can lead to false positive results if erroneously interpreted as biomolecules, but also to false negatives, for example when an abiotic source obscures a less productive biological one. In principle, all types of putative chemical biosignatures are prone to misinterpretation. Some, however, are more reliable (“stronger” than others. These include: (i homochiral polymers of defined length and sequence, comparable to proteins and polynucleotides; (ii enantiopure compounds; (iii the existence of only a subset of molecules when abiotic syntheses would produce a continuous range of molecules; the proteinogenic amino acids constitute such a subset. These considerations are particularly important for life detection missions to solar system bodies such as Mars, Europa, and Enceladus.

  6. Ecological risk assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suter, Glenn W; Barnthouse, L. W. (Lawrence W)

    2007-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment is commonly applied to the regulation of chemicals, the remediation of contaminated sites, the monitoring of importation of exotic organisms, the management of watersheds...

  7. Ecological Exposure Research: Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overview of ecological exposure water research, including invasive species, Functional Process Zones (FPZs), biomarkers, pharmaceuticals in water, headwater streams, DNA barcoding, wetland ecosystem services, and sediment remediation.

  8. Structural Response of the Earth's Crust to an Extra-Terrestrial Source of Stress by Identifying its Characteristic Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, B.

    2016-12-01

    The earth's crust is a geodynamic realm, which is constantly evolving. Due to its dynamic nature, the crust is constantly being subjected to remodelling. The earth's crustal response to stress is a result of isostatic compensation. The crust is also a living proof of yesteryears' dynamics. Extra-terrestrial agents of deformation refers to meteorites, asteroids etc. These are catastrophic events that influence a larger area (considering larger impact bodies). They effect the crust from outside, hence leave behind very specific structural signatures.Consider an extra-terrestrial object impacting the earth's crust. The problem can be broken down into 3 parts: Pre Impact (kinematics of the object and nature of surface of impact); Syn Impact (dissipation of energy and formation of crater); and Post Impact (structural response, geophysical anomalies and effect on biota)Upon impact, the projectile penetrates the earth's crust to a depth of twice its diameter. Shock waves generated due impact propagate in all possible directions. The reflected waves cause complete melting and vaporization of the impact body. At the same time, increased internal energy of the system melts the target rock. Depending on the thickness and density of crustal matter, its' interaction with the mantle is determined. Data collection from such impact sites is the first step towards its theoretical modeling. Integrating geophysical (seismic, magnetic), paleomagnetic, geochemical and geo-chronological data one can determine the kinematic parameters that governed the event. A working model that illustrates the crustal responses to extraterrestrial stress of extreme magnitude cannot be qualitative. Hence the most fundamental thing at this point is quantification of these parameters. The variables form a `mass-energy equation', a simple theorem in Classical Physics. This project is directed to give the equation its shape. The equation will be the foundation on which the simulation model will rest. Mass

  9. The introduction of an additional probability coefficient in evaluating the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent beings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, H.

    An hypothesis is presented concerning the crucial influence of tides on the evolutionary transition from aquatic to land animal forms. The hypothesis suggests that the evolution of higher forms of life on a planet also depends on the existence of a planet-moon system in which the mass ratio of both constituents must be approximately equal to that of the earth-moon system, which is 81:1. The hypothesis is taken into account in the form of the probability factor fb in Drake's formula for estimating the presumed extraterrestrial civilizations in Milky Way which may conceivably make contact.

  10. On the Search for the Amino Acids on the Lunar Surface as it Relates to Other Extraterrestrial Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Kolb, Vera M.

    2009-01-01

    The early search for the amino acids on the lunar surface fines indicated such a low amount of the amino acids that it was deemed insignifi cant. While the later studies seemed to depart in some ways from the earlier results, they were not pursued. In this paper we critically ev aluate the results from the Apollo missions from the new perspective with considerations of the sensitivity of the instrumentation availabl e at the time. We discuss the possible relevance of the lunar results to the findings of the amino acids on the surfaces of other extraterrestrial bodies, such as Mars.

  11. Biosemiotics and ecological monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2001-01-01

    of the qualitative and relational aspects that can only be grasped by considering the semiotic networks operative in complex ecological and cultural systems. In this paper, it is suggested that a biosemiotic approach to ecology may prove useful for the modelling process, which in turn will allow the construction...

  12. Audubon Ecology Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    The materials in the set include a student reader "The Story of Ecology," a leaders' guide, and a large, pictorial wall chart. The student reader is divided into 10 units relating to a definition of ecology, the sun and life, air and the water cycle, major divisions of the earth, plants and food chains, distribution of plants and animals,…

  13. CAREERS IN ECOLOGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many non-scientists treat "ecology" and "environmentalism" as roughly interchangeable words, thus the word "ecologist" commonly has come to signify a particular part of the political spectrum. As used in the scientific community and in this presentation, however, ecology is loos...

  14. Ecology of Bacillaceae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandic-Mulec, Ines; Stefanic, Polonca; Van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Driks, A.; Eichenberger, P.

    2016-01-01

    Members of the family Bacillaceae are among the most robust bacteria on Earth, which is mainly due to their ability to form resistant endospores. This trait is believed to be the key factor determining the ecology of these bacteria. However, they also perform fundamental roles in soil ecology (i.e.,

  15. Terrestrial Ecology Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, James W., Ed.; Hall, James A., Ed.

    This collection of study units focuses on the study of the ecology of land habitats. Considered are such topics as map reading, field techniques, forest ecosystem, birds, insects, small mammals, soils, plant ecology, preparation of terrariums, air pollution, photography, and essentials of an environmental studies program. Each unit contains…

  16. Ecological Soil Screening Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Eco-SSL derivation process is used to derive a set of risk-based ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for many of the soil contaminants that are frequently of ecological concern for plants and animals at hazardous waste sites.

  17. Dynamics in artifact ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Susanne; Klokmose, Clemens Nylandsted

    2012-01-01

    artifacts influence the use of others. Understanding this interplay becomes more and more essential for interaction design as our artifact ecologies grow. This paper continues a recent discourse on artifact ecologies. Through interviews with iPhone users, we demonstrate that relationships between artifacts...

  18. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  19. Teaching Ecology in School.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zverev, I.D.

    1981-01-01

    Presents a translation from a Russian language pamphlet on ecology education in the Soviet Union. Written by the director of the Laboratory for Nature Conservation Education in Moscow, the article discusses the emerging interest in ecology in Soviet schools, the relationship between human society and the environment, and the need to imbue students…

  20. Developments in Numerical Ecology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    methods, fractal theory, path analysis, spatial analysis and a series of ... Indeed, it should be recommended reading for Masters and Doctoral ... technique chosen. In short, this book is truly about the integrated methodology of numerical ecology, and not about the perhaps paradoxical field of theoretical ecology. As the ...

  1. Predictive systems ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Matthew R; Bithell, Mike; Cornell, Stephen J; Dall, Sasha R X; Díaz, Sandra; Emmott, Stephen; Ernande, Bruno; Grimm, Volker; Hodgson, David J; Lewis, Simon L; Mace, Georgina M; Morecroft, Michael; Moustakas, Aristides; Murphy, Eugene; Newbold, Tim; Norris, K J; Petchey, Owen; Smith, Matthew; Travis, Justin M J; Benton, Tim G

    2013-11-22

    Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable to be able to predict their future states. We present a proposal to develop the paradigm of predictive systems ecology, explicitly to understand and predict the properties and behaviour of ecological systems. We discuss the necessary and desirable features of predictive systems ecology models. There are places where predictive systems ecology is already being practised and we summarize a range of terrestrial and marine examples. Significant challenges remain but we suggest that ecology would benefit both as a scientific discipline and increase its impact in society if it were to embrace the need to become more predictive.

  2. When logic fails ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockwood, Dale R

    2008-03-01

    Ecology plays an important role in society, informing policy and management decisions across a variety of issues. As such, regularities in processes would indicate higher levels of predictive outcomes and would reduce the amount of research required for specific issues that policy makers need addressed. Scientific laws are considered the pinnacle of success and usefulness in addressing regularities or universal truths. Ecology studies complex interactions of individuals with unique behaviors, making the identification of laws problematic. Two equations, Malthusian growth and the logistic equation, continue to receive attention and are frequently cited as exemplar laws in ecology. However, an understanding of scientific laws shows that neither are good candidates for law status. In this paper, I will discuss why ecology is not well structured for scientific laws, as they are currently understood. Finally, I will consider alternative proposals for the role of laws in ecology and alternate forms of laws that may be applicable.

  3. Urban Sound Ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, Sanne Krogh; Samson, Kristine

    2013-01-01

    share the characteristics of site specificity. However, this article will consider the artwork in a broader context by re-examining how sound installations relate to the urban environment. For that purpose, this article brings together ecology terms from acoustic ecology of the sound theories...... of the 1970s while developing them into recent definitions of ecology in urban studies. Finally, we unfold our framing of urban sound ecologies with three case analyses: a sound intervention in Berlin, a symphony for wind instruments in Copenhagen and a video walk in a former railway station in Kassel....... The article concludes that the ways in which recent sound installations work with urban ecologies vary. While two of the examples blend into the urban environment, the other transfers the concert format and its mode of listening to urban space. Last, and in accordance with recent soundscape research, we point...

  4. What is dental ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. A Revolutionary Lunar Space Transportation System Architecture Using Extraterrestrial Lox-augmented NTR Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Culver, Donald W.; Bulman, Melvin J.; Mcilwain, Mel C.

    1994-01-01

    The concept of a liquid oxygen (LOX)-augmented nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine is introduced, and its potential for revolutionizing lunar space transportation system (LTS) performance using extraterrestrial 'lunar-derived' liquid oxygen (LUNOX) is outlined. The LOX-augmented NTR (LANTR) represents the marriage of conventional liquid hydrogen (LH2)-cooled NTR and airbreathing engine technologies. The large divergent section of the NTR nozzle functions as an 'afterburner' into which oxygen is injected and supersonically combusted with nuclear preheated hydrogen emerging from the NTR's choked sonic throat: 'scramjet propulsion in reverse.' By varying the oxygen-to-fuel mixture ratio (MR), the LANTR concept can provide variable thrust and specific impulse (Isp) capability with a LH2-cooled NTR operating at relatively constant power output. For example, at a MR = 3, the thrust per engine can be increased by a factor of 2.75 while the Isp decreases by only 30 percent. With this thrust augmentation option, smaller, 'easier to develop' NTR's become more acceptable from a mission performance standpoint (e.g., earth escape gravity losses are reduced and perigee propulsion requirements are eliminated). Hydrogen mass and volume is also reduced resulting in smaller space vehicles. An evolutionary NTR-based lunar architecture requiring only Shuttle C and/or 'in-line' shuttle-derived launch vehicles (SDV's) would operate initially in an 'expandable mode' with NTR lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's) delivering 80 percent more payload on piloted missions than their LOX/LH2 chemical propulsion counterparts. With the establishment of LUNOX production facilities on the lunar surface and 'fuel/oxidizer' depot in low lunar orbit (LLO), monopropellant NTR's would be outfitted with an oxygen propellant module, feed system, and afterburner nozzle for 'bipropellant' operation. The LANTR cislunar LTV now transitions to a reusable mode with smaller vehicle and payload doubling benefits on

  6. Ion exchange substrates for plant cultivation in extraterrestrial stations and space crafts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soldatov, Vladimir

    2012-07-01

    Ion exchange substrates Biona were specially designed at the Belarus Academy of Sciences for plants cultivation in spacecrafts and extraterrestrial stations. The first versions of such substrates have been successfully used in several space experiments and in a long-term experiment in which three soviet test-spacemen spent a full year in hermetic cabin imitating a lunar station cabin (1067-1968). In this experiment the life support system included a section with about one ton of the ion exchange substrate, which was used to grow ten vegetations of different green cultures used in the food of the test persons. Due to failure of a number of Soviet space experiments, decay of the Soviet Union and the following economic crisis the research in this field carried out in Belarus were re-directed to the needs of usual agriculture, such as adaptation of cell cultures, growing seedlings, rootage of cuttings etc. At present ion exchange substrate Biona are produced in limited amounts at the experimental production plant of the Institute of Physical Organic Chemistry and used in a number of agricultural enterprises. New advanced substrates and technologies for their production have been developed during that time. In the presentation scientific principles of preparation and functioning of ion exchange substrates as well as results of their application for cultivation different plants are described. The ion exchange substrate is a mixture of cation and anion exchangers saturated in a certain proportions with all ions of macro and micro elements. These chemically bound ions are not released to water and become available for plants in exchange to their root metabolites. The substrates contain about 5% mass of nutrient elements far exceeding any other nutrient media for plants. They allow generating 3-5 kg of green biomass per kilogram of substrate without adding any fertilizers; they are sterile by the way of production and can be sterilized by usual methods; allow regeneration

  7. Enantioselective separation of amino acids as biomarkers indicating life in extraterrestrial environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrogrande, Maria Chiara

    2013-10-01

    Traces of prebiotic amino acids, i.e., the building blocks of proteins, are excellent biomarkers that could provide evidence of extinct or extant life in extra-terrestrial environments. In particular, characterization of the enantiomeric excess of amino acids gives relevant information about the biotic or abiotic origin of molecules, because it is generally assumed that life elsewhere could be based on either L or D amino acids, but not both. The analytical procedures used in in-situ space missions for chiral discrimination of amino acids must meet severe requirements imposed by flight conditions: short analysis time, low energy consumption, robustness, storage for long periods under extreme conditions, high efficiency and sensitivity, automation, and remote-control operation. Such methods are based on gas chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, and capillary electrophoresis, usually coupled with mass spectrometry; of these, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is the only such combination yet used in space missions. Preliminary in-situ sample derivatization is required before GC-MS analysis to convert amino acids into volatile and thermally stable compounds. The silylation reagent most commonly used, N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide, is unsuitable for detection of homochirality, and alternative derivatization techniques have been developed that preserve the stereochemical configuration of the original compounds and are compatible with spaceflight conditions. These include the reagent N,N-dimethylformamide dimethylacetal, which has already been used in the Rosetta mission, a mixture of alkyl chloroformate, ethanol, and pyridine, a mixture of perfluorinated anhydrides and perfluoro alcohols, and hexafluoroacetone, the first gaseous derivatizing agent. In all the space instruments, solvent extraction of organic matter and chemical derivatization have been combined in a single automatic and remote-controlled procedure in a

  8. An Earth-Based Equivalent Low Stretch Apparatus to Assess Material Flammability for Microgravity & Extraterrestrial Fire-Safety Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, S. L.; Beeson, H.; Haas, J.

    2001-01-01

    One of the performance goals for NASA's enterprise of Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) is to develop methods, data bases, and validating tests for material flammability characterization, hazard reduction, and fire detection/suppression strategies for spacecraft and extraterrestrial habitats. This work addresses these needs by applying the fundamental knowledge gained from low stretch experiments to the development of a normal gravity low stretch material flammability test method. The concept of the apparatus being developed uses the low stretch geometry to simulate the conditions of the extraterrestrial environment through proper scaling of the sample dimensions to reduce the buoyant stretch in normal gravity. The apparatus uses controlled forced-air flow to augment the low stretch to levels which simulate Lunar or Martian gravity levels. In addition, the effect of imposed radiant heat flux on material flammability can be studied with the cone heater. After breadboard testing, the apparatus will be integrated into NASA's White Sands Test Facility's Atmosphere-Controlled Cone Calorimeter for evaluation as a new materials screening test method.

  9. The search for extraterrestrial life: Recent developments; Proceedings of the Symposium, Boston University, MA, June 18-21, 1984

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannis, M. D. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    The conference presents papers on the history of the search for extraterrestrial life, the scientific rationale and methods used in the search for other planetary systems, the detection of distant planets with the Space Telescope, planetary searches using optical astrometric interferometers, and infrared spectral identification of complex organic molecules in interstellar grains. Also considered are universal protein ancestors from hydrogen cyanide and water, astronomical sources of polarized light and their role in determining molecular chirality on earth, the universal diagrams and life in the universe, the precambrian evolution of terrestrial life and a thermodynamic approach to the occurrance and appearance of galactic life forms. Papers are also presented on the Ohio Seti program, lunar reflections of terrestrial radio leakage, the multichannel spectrum analyzer, software implementation of detection algorithms for the MCSA, the Serendip II design, galactic colonization and competition in a young galactic disk, implications of ancient and future migrations, extraterrestrial intelligence, the ineviability and the possible structures of supercivilizations, planetary, interplanetary and interstellar organic matter, and universal aspects of biological evolution.

  10. Trace element analysis of extraterrestrial metal samples by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: the standard solutions and digesting acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guiqin; Wu, Yangsiqian; Lin, Yangting

    2016-02-28

    Nearly 99% of the total content of extraterrestrial metals is composed of Fe and Ni, but with greatly variable trace element contents. The accuracy obtained in the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis of solutions of these samples can be significantly influenced by matrix contents, polyatomic ion interference, and the concentrations of external standard solutions. An ICP-MS instrument (X Series 2) was used to determine 30 standard solutions with different concentrations of trace elements, and different matrix contents. Based on these measurements, the matrix effects were determined. Three iron meteorites were dissolved separately in aqua regia and HNO3. Deviations due to variation of matrix contents in the external standard solutions were evaluated and the analysis results of the two digestion methods for iron meteorites were assessed. Our results show obvious deviations due to unmatched matrix contents in the external standard solutions. Furthermore, discrepancy in the measurement of some elements was found between the sample solutions prepared with aqua regia and HNO3, due to loss of chloride during sample preparation and/or incomplete digestion of highly siderophile elements in iron meteorites. An accurate ICP-MS analysis method for extraterrestrial metal samples has been established using external standard solutions with matched matrix contents and digesting the samples with HNO3 and aqua regia. Using the data from this work, the Mundrabilla iron meteorite previously classified as IAB-ung is reclassified as IAB-MG. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Recent Developments in Ecological Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007......Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007...

  12. [Parasitism and ecological parasitology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, Iu S

    2011-01-01

    Parasitism as one of the life modes is a general biological phenomenon and is a characteristic of all viruses, many taxa of bacteria, fungi, protists, metaphytes, and metazoans. Zooparasitology is focused on studies of parasitic animals, particularly, on their taxonomy, anatomy, life cycles, host-parasite relations, biocoenotic connections, and evolution. Ecological parasitology is a component of ecology, as the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. In the present paper, critical analysis of the problems, main postulates, and terminology of the modern ecological parasitology is given.

  13. Complex adaptive systems ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommerlund, Julie

    2003-01-01

    In the following, I will analyze two articles called Complex Adaptive Systems EcologyI & II (Molin & Molin, 1997 & 2000). The CASE-articles are some of the more quirkyarticles that have come out of the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group - a groupwhere I am currently making observational studies....... They are the result of acooperation between Søren Molin, professor in the group, and his brother, JanMolin, professor at Department of Organization and Industrial Sociology atCopenhagen Business School. The cooperation arises from the recognition that bothmicrobial ecology and sociology/organization theory works...

  14. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement...... and statistical modelling of plant species abundance and the relevant ecological processes that control species abundance. The focus on statistical modelling and likelihood function based methods also means that more algorithm based methods, e.g. ordination techniques and boosted regression tress...

  15. Integrating ecology into biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Katherine D; Martin, Hector Garcia; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2007-06-01

    New high-throughput culture-independent molecular tools are allowing the scientific community to characterize and understand the microbial communities underpinning environmental biotechnology processes in unprecedented ways. By creatively leveraging these new data sources, microbial ecology has the potential to transition from a purely descriptive to a predictive framework, in which ecological principles are integrated and exploited to engineer systems that are biologically optimized for the desired goal. But to achieve this goal, ecology, engineering and microbiology curricula need to be changed from the very root to better promote interdisciplinarity.

  16. Ecologies of Learning, Ecologies of Creativity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Helene

    in the light of the new Danish school reform. How can different learning institutions contribute to a “joint” ecology of learning? What would the benefits be from this in terms of young people’s literacies? On what theoretical basis can such an ecology and co-creation take place? And what kind of didactics...... to be developed, both theoretically and in practical terms. My presentation will take its point of departure in a concrete Danish project titled “Popup Experimentariet – Digital dannelse på skemaet” [The PopUp Experimentarium – Digital Literacy on the Agenda], which is funded by the Danish Cultural Ministry...... are in need of development? It is the aim of the research project to investigate the mentioned questions – and to further qualify the co-creation of literacies by different types of learning institutions....

  17. Ecological Provinces of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the first level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  18. Ecological Subsections of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the third level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  19. Ecological Sections of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the second level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  20. Market Squid Ecology Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset contains ecological information collected on the major adult spawning and juvenile habitats of market squid off California and the US Pacific Northwest....

  1. Revising History with Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Davis D.

    1978-01-01

    Describes a college-level United States history/ecology course which examined American attitudes toward the environment, environmental use and abuse, and the conservation movement. For journal availability, see SO 506 393. (Author/DB)

  2. Green Turtle Trophic Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is currently conducting a study of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) trophic ecology in the eastern Pacific. Tissue samples and stable carbon and stable...

  3. Enhancing knowledge of rangeland ecological processes with benchmark ecological sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    A benchmark ecological site is one that has the greatest potential to yield data and information about ecological functions, processes, and the effects of management or climate changes on a broad area or critical ecological zone. A benchmark ecological site represents other similar sites in a major ...

  4. Marine Ecological Environment Management Based on Ecological Compensation Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qunzhen Qu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological environment management must be done in order to achieve sustainable development of the marine economy. As an environmental economic policy that combines both administrative and market measures, ecological compensation mechanisms have significant advantages in marine ecological environment management. Based on the study of the current development of ecological compensation mechanisms in China, through the analysis of the connotation of marine ecological civilization, existing marine ecological protection practices and marine environmental management methods, this paper posits that the current marine ecological environment management in China should be established on the basis of ecological compensation mechanisms. At present, a lack of laws and regulations for overall marine ecological environment management is the key factor restricting the practice of marine ecological environment management. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current path of marine ecological environment management in China from the perspective of the construction of legal system of ecological compensation law, the establishment of ecological compensation fees, ecological taxes and ecological compensation fund systems, and the clear status for a marine ecological management and supervision body.

  5. Ecological Econophysics for Degrowth

    OpenAIRE

    Salvador Pueyo

    2014-01-01

    This paper outlines a synthesis of ecological economics with econophysics and other complexity approaches to economics. Arguably, the resulting “ecological econophysics” will be scientifically sounder than mainstream economics and much better suited to addressing a major challenge of our times: the development of democratically-based policies to reduce economic throughput to an environmentally sustainable level without triggering economic crises and without excluding part of the world’s popul...

  6. (International meetings on ecology)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Garten, C.T. Jr.; Turner, M.G.

    1990-09-25

    the travelers attended the Fifth International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL) in Yokohama, Japan, and two presented invited papers and chaired symposia. One traveler also attended the OJI International Seminar in Gifu, Japan and the Fukuoka Symposium on Theoretical Ecology in Fukuoka, Japan and presented invited papers. At these scientific gatherings, a large number of symposia and specific presentations were relevant to current research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), especially in the areas of landscape dynamics, plant physiology, and aquatic ecosystems.

  7. ECOLOGICAL WEED MANAGEMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Radicetti, Emanuele

    2012-01-01

    Nowadays there is much concern over environmental and human health impacts on weed management practices which has led agricultural producers and scientists in many countries to seek innovative strategies for weed control. As weed management systems are being developed, ecological knowledge will become more and more important and the complexity of weed management must be considered. Therefore understanding weed-crop ecology will lead to more effective weed prevention, management, and control t...

  8. Ecological thinking: Four qualities

    OpenAIRE

    Kelly, James G.

    2010-01-01

    The article proposes a journey on the ecological premises or attributes of ecological thinking. Identifies its four main qualities and probes to demonstrate how at present there is some empirical evidence upon which such premises may be anchored. The first is focused on the interdependencies of persons and social environments, the second is that research methodologies may be congruent with the culture of place, the third that to the community psychologist is required t...

  9. Translational ecology for hydrogeology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, William H

    2013-01-01

    Translational ecology--a special discipline aimed to improve the accessibility of science to policy makers--will help hydrogeologists contribute to the solution of pressing environmental problems. Patterned after translational medicine, translational ecology is a partnership to ensure that the right science gets done in a timely fashion, so that it can be communicated to those who need it. © 2013, National Ground Water Association.

  10. Ecological Perspectives in HCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blevis, Eli; Bødker, Susanne; Flach, John

    The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss the present and future of ecological perspectives in HCI. The participants will reflect on the current uses and interpretations of “ecology” and related concepts in the field. The workshop will assess...... the potential of ecological perspectives in HCI for supporting rich and meaningful analysis, as well as innovative design, of interactive technologies in real-life contexts...

  11. Morality problems in ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Abakarova

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Having been defined the position of morality in the modern ecological space it was found that ecological crisis increases because of spirit crisis, education crisis and human crisis. Defining the different levels of human spirituality it is revealed that at the highest level the nature is perceived as a human value, a value just as for people living in it.

  12. Predictive ecology: systems approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Matthew R; Norris, Ken J; Benton, Tim G

    2012-01-19

    The world is experiencing significant, largely anthropogenically induced, environmental change. This will impact on the biological world and we need to be able to forecast its effects. In order to produce such forecasts, ecology needs to become more predictive--to develop the ability to understand how ecological systems will behave in future, changed, conditions. Further development of process-based models is required to allow such predictions to be made. Critical to the development of such models will be achieving a balance between the brute-force approach that naively attempts to include everything, and over simplification that throws out important heterogeneities at various levels. Central to this will be the recognition that individuals are the elementary particles of all ecological systems. As such it will be necessary to understand the effect of evolution on ecological systems, particularly when exposed to environmental change. However, insights from evolutionary biology will help the development of models even when data may be sparse. Process-based models are more common, and are used for forecasting, in other disciplines, e.g. climatology and molecular systems biology. Tools and techniques developed in these endeavours can be appropriated into ecological modelling, but it will also be necessary to develop the science of ecoinformatics along with approaches specific to ecological problems. The impetus for this effort should come from the demand coming from society to understand the effects of environmental change on the world and what might be performed to mitigate or adapt to them.

  13. [Ecological footprint and available ecological capacity in Chongqing region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Fan; Mong, Linbing

    2005-07-01

    Based on the statistical data of Chongqing, the ecological footprint of Chongqing was calculated in this paper. The results showed that the per capita ecological footprint was 1.653566 hm2, per capita ecological capacity was 0.280393 hm2, and ecological surplus of deficit was 1.373173 hm2. The per capita ecological footprint was 0.5335 hm2 (47.64%) higher but the per capita ecological capacity was 0.5196 hm2 (64.95%) lower, and the ecological surplus of deficit was about 3.43 times of the average national level. These results showed that the ecological footprint of Chongqing was beyond the available ecological capacity, and its social and economic development was not sustainable. The strategies on reducing ecological deficit in this region, such as reducing ecosystem population, increasing public finance income, and controlling environmental pollution, were also put forward.

  14. A New Method for Producing Nanodiamonds Based on Research Into the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimbel, D.; West, A.; Kennett, J. P.

    2008-12-01

    Research into a proposed extraterrestrial (ET) event 12.9 ka ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas revealed that for impact sediments (the YDB) that were tested across N America and NW Europe, all contain impact- related nanodiamonds ranging in size from 1 to 1700 nm. They appear in bulk sediment, but mostly occur inside carbon spherules and glass-like carbon, which are the charred, melted, amorphous-carbon byproducts of intense, impact-related wildfires. No diamonds were found stratigraphically above or below the impact layers. Selected area electron diffraction (SAED) by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) produced reflections of 2.06, 1.26, 1.07, and 0.89 A, which correspond to the lattice planar d-spacings of cubic diamonds. So-called "forbidden" reflections were also apparent at 1.78, 1.04, and 0.796 A, and these spacings are characteristic of a metastable cubic diamond polymorph called "n-diamond," the dominant form of diamond found in the YDB. N-diamonds have been produced under lab conditions and have been identified in meteorites, but they have never been found associated with mantle-derived diamonds. We have been able to reverse-engineer the process by which the impact-related n-diamonds form. First, various carbon-rich materials (coal, coconut shells, and wood) were charred at about 500°C under low- oxygen conditions. Next, the char was heated to more than 1000°C in a partially sealed vessel, while adding steam or nitrogen at near-atmospheric pressure. As a result, rounded, nanometer-sized domains of graphite formed in the char, to be then transformed into n-diamonds. To prevent combustion of the n- diamonds, the char was quenched under low-oxygen conditions. As it happens, this procedure is identical to the commercial process for producing activated charcoal, and in fact, samples of commercially available activated carbon manufactured by both Calgon Carbon Corporation and Norit Americas, Inc. were found to be enriched with n-diamonds. The process

  15. Compound specific stable isotopes as probes for distinguishing the sources of biomolecules in terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, M. H.; Macko, S. A.

    2003-04-01

    Life on Earth consists of orderly arrangements of several key types of organic compounds (amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, nucleic bases) that are the building blocks of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleotides. Subsequent to death, macromolecules are commonly broken down to their molecular constituents or other similar scale components. Thus, in ancient terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials, it is far more likely to expect the presence of simple compounds such as amino acids rather than the proteins from which they were possibly derived. Given that amino acids, for example, are common components of all extinct and extant organisms, the challenge has been to develop methods for distinguishing their sources. Stable isotopes are powerful probes for determining the origins of organic matter. Amino acid constituents of all organisms on Earth exhibit characteristic stable isotope compositions owing to fractionations associated with their biosynthesis. These fractionations are distinct from those observed for amino acids formed by abiotic processes. Thus it should be possible to use isotopes as probes for determining whether amino acids in ancient rocks on Earth are biotic or abiotic, based on their relative isotopic compositions. Also, owing to differences in the isotope compositions of precursors, amino acids in extraterrestrial materials such as carbonaceous meteorites are moderately to substantially enriched in the heavy isotopes of C, N and H relative to terrestrial amino acids. Assuming that the isotope compositions of the gaseous components of, for example, the Martian atmosphere were distinct from Earth at such time when organic molecules may have formed, it should be possible to distinguish these components from terrestrial contaminants by determining their isotope compositions and/or those of their respective enantiomers. Also, if life as we know it existed on another planet such as Mars, fractionations characteristic of biosynthesis should be

  16. Evaluating the flux of extraterrestrial osmium at the onset of Younger Dryas in the GRIP ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, J. H.; Han, C.; Hong, S.; Steffensen, J. P.; Sharma, M.

    2016-12-01

    The Younger Dryas (YD: 12.9-11.6 ka) was an abrupt cooling event during the last deglaciation. The mechanism behind the cooling is suggested to be a temporary slowdown of North Atlantic thermohaline circulation due to catastrophic release of meltwater from proglacial Lake Agassiz during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet [1]. An alternative hypothesis states that the cooling was directly/indirectly triggered by one or more cosmic airbursts/impacts [2]. While several papers have documented evidence for a YD extraterrestrial impact including microspherules, nanodiamonds, magnetic grains, and glass-like carbon [4-7], this hypothesis remains controversial [8-10]. In a recent study by Petaev et al. [11], an unusually high Pt/Ir ratio of 1200 was discovered in the GISP-2 ice core at the onset of YD, indicating a large Pt enriched iron meteorite impact. Such a high Pt/Ir in extraterrestrial materials has not been documented [12]. Thus, Petaev et al. [11] acknowledge that the interpretation of the Pt anomaly is based on circumstantial evidence. The distinct Os isotopic composition (187Os/188Os ratio) of the terrestrial (=1.26) and extraterrestrial (= 0.13) sources should allow us to evaluate if there was a meteorite impact at the YD boundary. These analyses are technically challenging owing to rather low concentration of Os in ice-melts ( 1x10-15g/g). Here, we will present Os isotope data from the GRIP ice core spanning the time period through YD to shed light on the meteorite/comet impact hypothesis. [1] Broecker et al. (1989) Nature 341, 318-321; [2] Firestone et al. (2007) PNAS. 104, 16016-16021; [3] Bunch et al. (2012) PNAS. 109, 1903-1912; [4] LeCompte et al. (2012) PNAS. 109, 2960-2969; [5] Wittke et al. (2013) PNAS 110, 2088-2097; [6] Wu et al. (2013) PNAS. 110, 3557-3566; [7] Kennett et al. (2015) PNAS 112, E4344-E4353; [8] Pinter et al. (2011) Earth Sci. Rev., 106, 247-264; [9] Holliday et al. (2014) J. Quat. Sci. 29, 515-530; [10] Meltzer et al. (2014) PNAS

  17. The extreme environments and their microbes as models for extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seckbach, J.; Oren, A.; Chela-Flores, J.

    2008-09-01

    Bacteria such as the aerobic Salinibacter ruber and the anaerobic members of the Halanaerobiales) use KCl to provide the necessary osmotic balance. Some of these extreme halophiles possess light-driven proton pumps (bacteriorhodopsin, xanthorhodopsin) and chloride pumps (halorhodopsin) that enable them to use photons to drive energetically expensive reactions (Oren, 2002; Oren, 2008). Extremophiles can serve as models for extraterrestrial microbes that may live in celestial bodies. The most promising among these to contain habitable areas are Mars (where the Phoenix Lander recently discovered water) and the Jovian satellite Europa; also Titan (the moon of Saturn) has some features that resemble those that may have existed on Earth during its earliest stages. From the characteristics of extremophilic microorganisms found on the present-day Earth, we can derive some insights on the question of habitability of other planets, and learn about possible bioindicators that may be suitable when searching for extraterrestrial life (Seckbach and Chela-Flores, 2007). Compounds such as methane on Mars or traces of sulfur on Jupiter's moon Europa may have been of biogenic origin and may possibly have been endogenic (Chela-Flores, 2006; Chela-Flores and Kumar, 2008). Biogeochemical tests have been proposed for missions that are in the planning stages, such as LAPLACE (Blanc et al., 2008), a mission to Europa and the Jupiter system by ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme. The finding of elemental sulfur on Europa may be of special interest. One possibility is that such traces of sulfur might have originated from the metabolism of extremophilic sulfurreducing microorganisms. Radiation may damage traces of biogenic sulfur deposited on the surface. The stopping depth for ionic radiation in the Jovian magnetosphere is expected not to exceed 1 cm (Greenberg, 2005; Dudeja et al., 2008). Thus, organic molecules would not be destroyed below such a thin layer. Based on to the preliminary results of the

  18. [Engineering issues of microbial ecology in space agriculture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Ishikawa, Yoji; Oshima, Tairo

    2005-03-01

    how to conduct preventive maintenance for keeping cultivating soil healthy and productive. 3) Does microbial ecology contribute to building sustainable and expandable human habitation by utilizing the on site extraterrestrial resources? We are assessing technical feasibility of converting regolith to farming soil and structural materials for space agriculture. In the case of Mars habitation, carbon dioxide and a trace amount of nitrogen in atmosphere, and potassium and phosphor in minerals are the sources we consider. Excess oxygen can be accumulated by woods cultivation and their use for lumber. 4) Is the operation of space agriculture robust and safe, if it adopts hyper-thermophilic aerobic microbial ecology? Any ecological system is complex and non-linear, and shows latency and memory effects in its response. It is highly important to understand those features to design and operate space agriculture without falling into the fatal failure. Assessment should be made on the microbial safety and preparation of the preventive measures to eliminate negative elements that would either retard agricultural production or harm the healthy environment. It is worth to mention that such space agriculture would be an effective engineering testbed to solve the global problem on energy and environment. Mars and Moon exploration itself is a good advocate of healthy curiosity expressed by the sustainable civilization of our humankind. We propose to work together towards Mars and Moon with microbial ecology to assure pleasant habitation there.

  19. TiO2-catalyzed synthesis of sugars from formaldehyde in extraterrestrial impacts on the early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Szabla, Rafał; Szyja, Bartłomiej M; Smykowski, Daniel; Ivanek, Ondřej; Knížek, Antonín; Kubelík, Petr; Šponer, Jiří; Ferus, Martin; Šponer, Judit E

    2016-03-16

    Recent synthetic efforts aimed at reconstructing the beginning of life on our planet point at the plausibility of scenarios fueled by extraterrestrial energy sources. In the current work we show that beyond nucleobases the sugar components of the first informational polymers can be synthesized in this way. We demonstrate that a laser-induced high-energy chemistry combined with TiO2 catalysis readily produces a mixture of pentoses, among them ribose, arabinose and xylose. This chemistry might be highly relevant to the Late Heavy Bombardment period of Earth's history about 4-3.85 billion years ago. In addition, we present an in-depth theoretical analysis of the most challenging step of the reaction pathway, i.e., the TiO2-catalyzed dimerization of formaldehyde leading to glycolaldehyde.

  20. Whole Microorganisms Studied by Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry: Significance for Extraterrestrial Life Detection Experiments 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmonds, Peter G.

    1970-01-01

    Pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometric studies of two microorganisms, Micrococcus luteus and Bacillus subtilis var. niger, indicate that the majority of thermal fragments originate from the principal classes of bio-organic matter found in living systems such as protein and carbohydrate. Furthermore, there is a close qualitative similarity between the type of pyrolysis products found in microorganisms and the pyrolysates of other biological materials. Conversely, there is very little correlation between microbial pyrolysates and comparable pyrolysis studies of meteoritic and fossil organic matter. These observations will aid in the interpretation of a soil organic analysis experiment to be performed on the surface of Mars in 1975. The science payload of this landed mission will include a combined pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument as well as several “direct biology experiments” which are designed to search for extraterrestrial life. PMID:16349890

  1. Making ecological models adequate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getz, Wayne M.; Marshall, Charles R.; Carlson, Colin J.; Giuggioli, Luca; Ryan, Sadie J.; Romañach, Stephanie; Boettiger, Carl; Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Larsen, Laurel; D'Odorico, Paolo; O'Sullivan, David

    2018-01-01

    Critical evaluation of the adequacy of ecological models is urgently needed to enhance their utility in developing theory and enabling environmental managers and policymakers to make informed decisions. Poorly supported management can have detrimental, costly or irreversible impacts on the environment and society. Here, we examine common issues in ecological modelling and suggest criteria for improving modelling frameworks. An appropriate level of process description is crucial to constructing the best possible model, given the available data and understanding of ecological structures. Model details unsupported by data typically lead to over parameterisation and poor model performance. Conversely, a lack of mechanistic details may limit a model's ability to predict ecological systems’ responses to management. Ecological studies that employ models should follow a set of model adequacy assessment protocols that include: asking a series of critical questions regarding state and control variable selection, the determinacy of data, and the sensitivity and validity of analyses. We also need to improve model elaboration, refinement and coarse graining procedures to better understand the relevancy and adequacy of our models and the role they play in advancing theory, improving hind and forecasting, and enabling problem solving and management.

  2. Marx, Engels and Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Löwy

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This is a brief survey of Marx and Engels’ views on ecology, from the viewpoint of their relevance for 21th Century ecosocialism. While there are some serious limitations in the way both consider the “development of productive forces”, there are powerfull insights in their discussion of the destructive consequences of capitalist expansion for the environment - an expansion that generates a disastrous metabolic rift in the exchanges between human societies and nature. Some ecological Marxists distinguish between “first stage ecosocialists” - who believe that Marx analyses on ecological issues are too incomplete and dated to be of real relevance today - and “second stage ecosocialists” that emphasize the contemporary methodological significance of Marx’s ecological critique of capitalism. This paper tries to argue for a third position (which probably could be accepted by several people of the two groups above: Marx and Engels discussion on ecological issues is incomplete and dated, but inspite these shortcomings, it has real relevance and methodological significance today.

  3. Ecology of Bacillaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandic-Mulec, Ines; Stefanic, Polonca; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2015-04-01

    Members of the family Bacillaceae are among the most robust bacteria on Earth, which is mainly due to their ability to form resistant endospores. This trait is believed to be the key factor determining the ecology of these bacteria. However, they also perform fundamental roles in soil ecology (i.e., the cycling of organic matter) and in plant health and growth stimulation (e.g., via suppression of plant pathogens and phosphate solubilization). In this review, we describe the high functional and genetic diversity that is found within the Bacillaceae (a family of low-G+C% Gram-positive spore-forming bacteria), their roles in ecology and in applied sciences related to agriculture. We then pose questions with respect to their ecological behavior, zooming in on the intricate social behavior that is becoming increasingly well characterized for some members of Bacillaceae. Such social behavior, which includes cell-to-cell signaling via quorum sensing or other mechanisms (e.g., the production of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, toxins, antibiotics and/or surfactants) is a key determinant of their lifestyle and is also believed to drive diversification processes. It is only with a deeper understanding of cell-to-cell interactions that we will be able to understand the ecological and diversification processes of natural populations within the family Bacillaceae. Ultimately, the resulting improvements in understanding will benefit practical efforts to apply representatives of these bacteria in promoting plant growth as well as biological control of plant pathogens.

  4. Geochemical evidence of an extraterrestrial component in impact melt breccia from the Paleoproterozoic Dhala impact structure, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pati, Jayanta Kumar; Qu, Wen Jun; Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Chakarvorty, Munmun; Schmitt, Ralf Thomas

    2017-04-01

    The Paleoproterozoic Dhala structure with an estimated diameter of 11 km is a confirmed complex impact structure located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in predominantly granitic basement (2.65 Ga), in the northwestern part of the Archean Bundelkhand craton. The target lithology is granitic in composition but includes a variety of meta-supracrustal rock types. The impactites and target rocks are overlain by 1.7 Ga sediments of the Dhala Group and the Vindhyan Supergroup. The area was cored in more than 70 locations and the subsurface lithology shows pseudotachylitic breccia, impact melt breccia, suevite, lithic breccias, and postimpact sediments. Despite extensive erosion, the Dhala structure is well preserved and displays nearly all the diagnostic microscopic shock metamorphic features. This study is aimed at identifying the presence of an impactor component in impact melt rock by analyzing the siderophile element concentrations and rhenium-osmium isotopic compositions of four samples of impactites (three melt breccias and one lithic breccia) and two samples of target rock (a biotite granite and a mafic intrusive rock). The impact melt breccias are of granitic composition. In some samples, the siderophile elements and HREE enrichment observed are comparable to the target rock abundances. The Cr versus Ir concentrations indicate the probable admixture of approximately 0.3 wt.% of an extraterrestrial component to the impact melt breccia. The Re and Os abundances and the 187Os/188Os ratio of 0.133 of one melt breccia specimen confirm the presence of an extraterrestrial component, although the impactor type characterization still remains inconclusive.

  5. Survival of akinetes (resting-state cells of cyanobacteria) in low earth orbit and simulated extraterrestrial conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson-Francis, Karen; de la Torre, Rosa; Towner, Martin C; Cockell, Charles S

    2009-12-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic organisms that have been considered for space applications, such as oxygen production in bioregenerative life support systems, and can be used as a model organism for understanding microbial survival in space. Akinetes are resting-state cells of cyanobacteria that are produced by certain genera of heterocystous cyanobacteria to survive extreme environmental conditions. Although they are similar in nature to endospores, there have been no investigations into the survival of akinetes in extraterrestrial environments. The aim of this work was to examine the survival of akinetes from Anabaena cylindrica in simulated extraterrestrial conditions and in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Akinetes were dried onto limestone rocks and sent into LEO for 10 days on the ESA Biopan VI. In ground-based experiments, the rocks were exposed to periods of desiccation, vacuum (0.7×10(-3) kPa), temperature extremes (-80 to 80°C), Mars conditions (-27°C, 0.8 kPa, CO(2)) and UV radiation (325-400 nm). A proportion of the akinete population was able to survive a period of 10 days in LEO and 28 days in Mars simulated conditions, when the rocks were not subjected to UV radiation. Furthermore, the akinetes were able to survive 28 days of exposure to desiccation and low temperature with high viability remaining. Yet long periods of vacuum and high temperature were lethal to the akinetes. This work shows that akinetes are extreme-tolerating states of cyanobacteria that have a practical use in space applications and yield new insight into the survival of microbial resting-state cells in space conditions.

  6. Glycine on silica: a model system for the study of adsorption and reactivity of aminoacids on extraterrestrial particulate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, J. F.; Stievano, L.; Costa, D.; Meng, M.; Lomenech, C.

    It is well known that a wide variety of organic compounds have been detected in extraterrestrial environments. Among them, simple aminoacids were often found in meteorites, comets and extraterrestrial particulates. Such materials, which are supposed to be formed and evolved in interstellar space, have therefore become of interest as possible sources for the development of Earth's first biosphere. In order to understand how organic matter can develop in such systems, and, in particular, how oligopeptides can be formed on the surface of such solids starting from simpler molecules, we decided to undertake a study of the adsorption and reactivity of simple aminoacids on finely divided oxide surfaces. Here we report, both from the theoretical and experimental point of view, on the mechanisms of formation of polypeptides starting from glycine, the simplest aminoacid, on the surface of silicon oxide. Glycine was adsorbed on the surface of well-characterised silica both from aqueous solutions under controlled pH and concentration, and from the gas phase. The adsorbed molecules were characterised using middle IR and UV-vis-NIR spectroscopies. The different preparation conditions resulted in different adsorption mechanisms at specific adsorption sites and different states of the adsorbed glycine in agreement with the DFT simulation data. The thermal reactivity of adsorbed/deposited glycine was then investigated by thermogravimetric analysis, in-situ diffuse reflectance IR spectroscopy, and thermoprogrammed desorption coupled with mass spectrometry. Adsorbed glycine molecules react to form peptide bonds at a temperature considerably lower than bulk crystalline α -glycine, mainly producing the cyclic dimer diketopiperazine. These findings are of relevance for the evaluation of prebiotic peptide synthesis scenarii.

  7. Ecological city planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Rueda

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A territory, a city, a neighbourhood are all ecosystems; a mixture of chemico-physical and organic elements related to each other. That which defines an ecological system is the set of rules and characteristics which condition its relationships, and its duration in time is guaranteed by its efficiency and internal organization which applied to the city is translated in the reduction of the use of natural resources and in the increase of social organization. To increase the efficiency of the urban systems is the necessary condition for the formulation of ecological city planning favouring the maximum liveability of sites. Liveability is directly correlated to the optimization of numerous elements (public space, equipment, services, building techniques, innovative technology, social cohesion, biodiversity. To carry out such objectives, ecological city planning proposes a new model of town planning on three levels (subsoil, ground level, and upper level.

  8. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...... contains papers which cover other themes thus continuing with the spirit of the meetings in the Nordic Benthological Society (NORBS) by being an open forum for exchanging knowledge on all aspects of benthic ecology. Overall, we feel the proceeding contains a wide selection of very interesting papers...... representing the state-of-the-art of benthic ecology research within, and to a lesser degree, outside the Nordic countries. We wish to thank all the authors for their inspirational contributions to the proceeding, but we feel that a special thanks is due to the invited speakers for their readiness to produce...

  9. Ecological Communities by Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fredrickson, James K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-06-26

    In synthetic ecology, a nascent offshoot of synthetic biology, scientists aim to design and construct microbial communities with desirable properties. Such mixed populations of microorganisms can simultaneously perform otherwise incompatible functions. Compared with individual organisms, they can also better resist losses in function as a result of environmental perturbation or invasion by other species. Synthetic ecology may thus be a promising approach for developing robust, stable biotechnological processes, such as the conversion of cellulosic biomass to biofuels. However, achieving this will require detailed knowledge of the principles that guide the structure and function of microbial communities.

  10. Art, Ecology and Institutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Witzke, Anne Sophie

    2013-01-01

    The discourse of ecology and sustainability has gained critical traction in recent years. But how are these concepts framed within the space, language and idea of the exhibition? This panel discussion, moderated by Steven Lam and conducted by email in July 2012, sought to unpack the claims...... and limits of the ecological, looking specifically at various international case studies, within the practice of curatorial and exhibition studies. The discussion begins with a reflection on ‘DON'T/PANIC’ in Durban and ‘Rethink – Contemporary Art and Climate Change’ in Copenhagen, exhibitions that were...

  11. Ecological recovery in ERA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Scientific Committee (Scientific Committee); Topping, Christopher John

    2016-01-01

    EFSA performs environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for single potential stressors such as plant protection products, genetically modified organisms and feed additives and for invasive alien species that are harmful for plant health. In this risk assessment domain, the EFSA Scientific Committee...... ecological recovery for any assessed products, and invasive alien species that are harmful for plant health. This framework proposes an integrative approach based on well-defined specific protection goals, scientific knowledge derived by means of experimentation, modelling and monitoring, and the selection...... of focal taxa, communities, processes and landscapes to develop environmental scenarios to allow the assessment of recovery of organisms and ecological processes at relevant spatial and temporal scales....

  12. Beyond positivist ecology: toward an integrated ecological ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Bryan G

    2008-12-01

    A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.

  13. Energy of Extra-Terrestrial Civilizations according to Evo-SETI Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2018-03-01

    Consider two great scientists of the past: Kepler (1571-1630) and Newton (1642-1727). Kepler discovered his three laws of planetary motion by observing Mars: he knew experimentally that his three laws were correct, but he didn't even suspect that all three mathematical laws could be derived as purely mathematical consequences by a "superior" mathematical law. The latter was the Law of Gravitation that Newton gave the world together with his supreme mathematical discovery of the Calculus, necessary for that mathematical derivation. We think we did the same for the "molecular clock", the experimental law of genetics discovered in 1962 by Émile Zuckerkandl (1922-2013) and Linus Pauling (1901-1994) and derived by us as a purely mathematical consequence of our mathematical Evo-SETI Theory. Let us now summarize how this mathematical derivation was achieved. Darwinian evolution over the last 3.5 billion years was an increase in the number of living species from one (RNA ?) to the current (say) 50 million. This increasing trend in time looks like being exponential, but one may not assume an exact exponential curve since many species went extinct in the past, especially in the five, big mass extinctions. Thus, the simple exponential curve must be replaced by a stochastic process having an exponential mean value. Borrowing from financial mathematics (the "Black-Sholes models"), this "exponential" stochastic process is called Geometric Brownian Motion (GBM). Its probability density function (pdf) is a lognormal (and not a Gaussian) (Proof: see Ref. [3], Chapter 30, and Ref. [4], and, more in general, refs. [2] and [5]). Lognormal also is the pdf of the statistical number of communicating ExtraTerrestrial (ET) civilizations in the Galaxy at a certain fixed time, like a snapshot: this result was obtained in 2008 by this author as his solution to the Statistical Drake Equation of SETI (Proof: see Ref. [1]). Thus, the GBM of Darwinian evolution may also be regarded as the

  14. THE AUTOIMMUNE ECOLOGY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan-Manuel eAnaya

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Autoimmune diseases (ADs represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology, which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation. As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology. In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status, gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied.

  15. Metabolomics in chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlisch, Constanze; Pohnert, Georg

    2015-07-01

    Chemical ecology elucidates the nature and role of natural products as mediators of organismal interactions. The emerging techniques that can be summarized under the concept of metabolomics provide new opportunities to study such environmentally relevant signaling molecules. Especially comparative tools in metabolomics enable the identification of compounds that are regulated during interaction situations and that might play a role as e.g. pheromones, allelochemicals or in induced and activated defenses. This approach helps overcoming limitations of traditional bioassay-guided structure elucidation approaches. But the power of metabolomics is not limited to the comparison of metabolic profiles of interacting partners. Especially the link to other -omics techniques helps to unravel not only the compounds in question but the entire biosynthetic and genetic re-wiring, required for an ecological response. This review comprehensively highlights successful applications of metabolomics in chemical ecology and discusses existing limitations of these novel techniques. It focuses on recent developments in comparative metabolomics and discusses the use of metabolomics in the systems biology of organismal interactions. It also outlines the potential of large metabolomics initiatives for model organisms in the field of chemical ecology.

  16. Southwestern Grassland Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Deborah U. Potter; Rosemary Pendleton; Burton Pendleton; Wayne A. Robbie; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    This chapter provides a brief overview, and selected in-depth coverage, of the factors and processes that have formed, and continue to shape, our Southwestern grasslands. In general, this chapter looks at how distributions of grasslands are regulated by soils and climate, and modified by disturbance (natural and/or anthropogenic). The attendant ecological components of...

  17. Ecology and Sustainable Development

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 7; Issue 11. Ecology and Sustainable Development. M D Subash Chandran. Book Review Volume 7 Issue 11 November 2002 pp 80-81. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/007/11/0080-0081 ...

  18. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  19. Towards ecological autarky

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dr. Michel van Dartel; dr. Anne Nigten

    2014-01-01

    While the notion of autarky is often contested in terms of feasibility and desirability, art and design projects that deal with autarky seem to moreover suggest positive socio-cultural and ecological effects of autarkic living. A social network model of autarky is introduced to unify these seemingly

  20. Breeding Ecology of Birds

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/008/07/0022-0032. Keywords. Birds. nesting. territory; coloniality; heronries. ecology; nesting strategies. Author Affiliations. Abdul Jamil Urfi1. Department of Environmental Biology, School of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007. Resonance – Journal of Science ...

  1. History and Ecological Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherif, Abour H.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the main objectives of ecohistory and sources of information for this study. Details five themes that are important for students to know about the history of ecology including the history of Earth, fauna and flora, the human species, human civilization, and changes in the human environment. (CW)

  2. Urban Sound Ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, Sanne Krogh; Samson, Kristine

    2013-01-01

    . The article concludes that the ways in which recent sound installations work with urban ecologies vary. While two of the examples blend into the urban environment, the other transfers the concert format and its mode of listening to urban space. Last, and in accordance with recent soundscape research, we point...

  3. Our Ecological Footprint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wackernagel, Mathis; Rees, William

    1996-01-01

    Defines an ecological footprint as the land that would be required on this planet to support a certain group's current lifestyle forever. Shows that the United States and southern Canada consume far more energy, materials, foods, and services per capita than the rest of the world population. Suggests numerous activities to raise awareness of the…

  4. Evolving digital ecological networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A Fortuna

    Full Text Available "It is hard to realize that the living world as we know it is just one among many possibilities" [1]. Evolving digital ecological networks are webs of interacting, self-replicating, and evolving computer programs (i.e., digital organisms that experience the same major ecological interactions as biological organisms (e.g., competition, predation, parasitism, and mutualism. Despite being computational, these programs evolve quickly in an open-ended way, and starting from only one or two ancestral organisms, the formation of ecological networks can be observed in real-time by tracking interactions between the constantly evolving organism phenotypes. These phenotypes may be defined by combinations of logical computations (hereafter tasks that digital organisms perform and by expressed behaviors that have evolved. The types and outcomes of interactions between phenotypes are determined by task overlap for logic-defined phenotypes and by responses to encounters in the case of behavioral phenotypes. Biologists use these evolving networks to study active and fundamental topics within evolutionary ecology (e.g., the extent to which the architecture of multispecies networks shape coevolutionary outcomes, and the processes involved.

  5. Outdoor Ecology School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Anna Gahl

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the author describes how her high school environmental science students led third graders on a dynamic learning adventure as part of their first annual Outdoor Ecology School. At the water-monitoring site in a nearby national forest, the elementary students conducted field research and scavenger hunts, discovered animal habitats,…

  6. Activity Book: Ocean Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Learning, 1992

    1992-01-01

    Presents a collection of activities to help elementary students study ocean ecology. The activities have students investigate ocean inhabitants, analyze animal adaptations, examine how temperature and saltiness affect ocean creatures, and learn about safeguarding the sea. Student pages offer reproducible learning sheets. (SM)

  7. Ecology under lake ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hampton, Stephanie E.; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Powers, Stephen M.; Ozersky, Ted; Woo, Kara H.; Batt, Ryan D.; Labou, Stephanie G.; O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Sharma, Sapna; Lottig, Noah R.; Stanley, Emily H.; North, Rebecca L.; Stockwell, Jason D.; Adrian, Rita; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Arvola, Lauri; Baulch, Helen M.; Bertani, Isabella; Bowman, Larry L., Jr.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Catalan, Jordi; Colom-Montero, William; Domine, Leah M.; Felip, Marisol; Granados, Ignacio; Gries, Corinna; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Haberman, Juta; Haldna, Marina; Hayden, Brian; Higgins, Scott N.; Jolley, Jeff C.; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Kaup, Enn; Kehoe, Michael J.; MacIntyre, Sally; Mackay, Anson W.; Mariash, Heather L.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/41327697X; Mckay, Robert M.; Nixdorf, Brigitte; Noges, Peeter; Noges, Tiina; Palmer, Michelle; Pierson, Don C.; Post, David M.; Pruett, Matthew J.; Rautio, Milla; Read, Jordan S.; Roberts, Sarah L.; Ruecker, Jacqueline; Sadro, Steven; Silow, Eugene A.; Smith, Derek E.; Sterner, Robert W.; Swann, George E. A.; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Toro, Manuel; Twiss, Michael R.; Vogt, Richard J.; Watson, Susan B.; Whiteford, Erika J.; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A.

    Winter conditions are rapidly changing in temperate ecosystems, particularly for those that experi-ence periods of snow and ice cover. Relatively little is known of winter ecology in these systems,due to a historical research focus on summer ‘growing seasons’. We executed the first global

  8. A global rain of micrometeorites following breakup of the L‐chondrite parent body—Evidence from solar wind‐implanted Ne in fossil extraterrestrial chromite grains from China

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    ALWMARK, C; SCHMITZ, B; MEIER, M. M. M; BAUR, H; WIELER, R

    2012-01-01

    Abstract– Previous studies of limestone beds of mid‐Ordovician age from both Sweden and China show that the Earth saw an at least two orders of magnitude increase in the influx of extraterrestrial material approximately 470...

  9. Molecular ecological network analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ye

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Results Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs through Random Matrix Theory (RMT-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological

  10. Valuation of ecological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, M.J.; Bilyard, G.R.; Link, S.O.; Ricci, P.F.; Seely, H.E.; Ulibarri, C.A.; Westerdahl, H.E.

    1995-04-01

    Ecological resources are resources that have functional value to ecosystems. Frequently, these functions are overlooked in terms of the value they provide to humans. Environmental economics is in search of an appropriate analysis framework for such resources. In such a framework, it is essential to distinguish between two related subsets of information: (1) ecological processes that have intrinsic value to natural ecosystems; and (2) ecological functions that are values by humans. The present study addresses these concerns by identifying a habitat that is being displaced by development, and by measuring the human and ecological values associated with the ecological resources in that habitat. It is also essential to determine which functions are mutually exclusive and which are, in effect, complementary or products of joint production. The authors apply several resource valuation tools, including contingent valuation methodology (CVM), travel cost methodology (TCM), and hedonic damage-pricing (HDP). One way to derive upper-limit values for more difficult-to-value functions is through the use of human analogs, because human-engineered systems are relatively inefficient at supplying the desired services when compared with natural systems. Where data on the relative efficiencies of natural systems and human analogs exist, it is possible to adjust the costs of providing the human analog by the relative efficiency of the natural system to obtain a more realistic value of the function under consideration. The authors demonstrate this approach in an environmental economic case study of the environmental services rendered by shrub-steppe habitats of Benton County, Washington State.

  11. The redoubtable ecological periodic table

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological periodic tables are repositories of reliable information on quantitative, predictably recurring (periodic) habitat–community patterns and their uncertainty, scaling and transferability. Their reliability derives from their grounding in sound ecological principle...

  12. Ecological zones of California deserts

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset delineates ecological zones within California deserts. We derived ecological zones by reclassifying LANDFIRE vegetation biophysical setting types, plus...

  13. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA.

  14. If the Universe is teeming with aliens... where is everybody? seventy-five solutions to the Fermi paradox and the problem of extraterrestrial life

    CERN Document Server

    Webb, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 billion stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 billion galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14-billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. The sheer enormity of the numbers almost demands that we accept the truth of this hypothesis. Why, then, have we encountered no evidence, no messages, no artifacts of these extraterrestrials? In this second, significantly revised and expanded edition of his widely popular book, Webb discusses in detail the (for now!) 75 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox: If the numbers strongly point to the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, why have we found no evidence of them?

  15. If the universe is teeming with aliens where is everybody? fifty solutions to the Fermi paradox and the problem of extraterrestrial life

    CERN Document Server

    Webb, Stephen

    2002-01-01

    Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14-billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. The sheer enormities of the numbers almost demand that we accept the truth of this hypothesis. Why, then, have we encountered no evidence, no messages, no artifacts of these extraterrestrials? Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox: If the numbers strongly point to the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, why have we found no evidence of them?

  16. Hanford Site Ecological Quality Profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bilyard, Gordon R.; Sackschewsky, Michael R.; Tzemos, Spyridon

    2002-02-17

    This report reviews the ecological quality profile methodology and results for the Hanford Site. It covers critical ecological assets and terrestrial resources, those in Columbia River corridor and those threatened and engdangered, as well as hazards and risks to terrestrial resources. The features of a base habitat value profile are explained, as are hazard and ecological quality profiles.

  17. The Social-Ecological Ideal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidamak, A.; Tiittanen, T.

    1992-01-01

    Argues that it is essential for preschool education to explore environmental and ecological values. Discusses cognitive development of socio-ecological knowledge at three age levels. Asserts that folk tales provide good examples of ecological values because beauty usually triumphs over ugliness and good over evil. (CFR)

  18. In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) derived extra-terrestrial construction processes using sintering-based additive manufacturing techniques – focusing on a lunar surface environment

    OpenAIRE

    Lim, Sungwoo; Anand, Mahesh

    2015-01-01

    Space Architecture is the theory and practice of designing and building an extraterrestrial environment for human habitation. It combines engineering and aesthetics, requiring knowledge of space environments, space systems engineering, and the psychology of isolated and confined environments. Over the last decade, Space Architecture has become an emerging issue for future space exploration, and is increasingly seen as a fundamental requirement for supporting long-term space exploration and se...

  19. Challenges of ecological restoration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halme, Panu; Allen, Katherine A.; Aunins, Ainars

    2013-01-01

    The alarming rate of ecosystem degradation has raised the need for ecological restoration throughout different biomes and continents. North European forests may appear as one of the least vulnerable ecosystems from a global perspective, since forest cover is not rapidly decreasing and many...... ecosystem services remain at high level. However, extensive areas of northern forests are heavily exploited and have lost a major part of their biodiversity value. There is a strong requirement to restore these areas towards a more natural condition in order to meet the targets of the Convention...... on Biological Diversity. Several northern countries are now taking up this challenge by restoring forest biodiversity with increasing intensity. The ecology and biodiversity of boreal forests are relatively well understood making them a good model for restoration activities in many other forest ecosystems. Here...

  20. Fundamental ecology is fundamental.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchamp, Franck; Dunne, Jennifer A; Le Maho, Yvon; May, Robert M; Thébaud, Christophe; Hochberg, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    The primary reasons for conducting fundamental research are satisfying curiosity, acquiring knowledge, and achieving understanding. Here we develop why we believe it is essential to promote basic ecological research, despite increased impetus for ecologists to conduct and present their research in the light of potential applications. This includes the understanding of our environment, for intellectual, economical, social, and political reasons, and as a major source of innovation. We contend that we should focus less on short-term, objective-driven research and more on creativity and exploratory analyses, quantitatively estimate the benefits of fundamental research for society, and better explain the nature and importance of fundamental ecology to students, politicians, decision makers, and the general public. Our perspective and underlying arguments should also apply to evolutionary biology and to many of the other biological and physical sciences. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Chasing Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain. Here, I address the challenges in studying the functional aspects of species interactions and how basic research is helping us address the fast-paced extinction of species due to human activities.

  2. Socio-Ecological Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edgeman, Rick; Eskildsen, Jacob Kjær

    is part of the enterprise cultural fabric, is foundational to enterprise strategy, and contributes to the financial security of the enterprise. Innovation for Sustainability is innovation that is specifically targeted to address ecological and / or societal considerations. That is, Innovation......Socio‐Ecological Innovation or SEI is innovation resulting from strategic integration of sustainable innovation and innovation for sustainability. In particular SEI is regarded as critical to organizations intent on progressing toward Sustainable Enterprise Excellence (SEE) and, indeed, progressing...... toward the asymptotic goal of becoming a continuously relevant and responsible organization (CR2O). Sustainable Innovation is something that is attained only when innovation in an enterprise is regular, systematic, and systemic to the endeavors of the enterprise itself – that is – Sustainable Innovation...

  3. Mechanismic explanation in ecology

    OpenAIRE

    González del Solar, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    La ecología es una ciencia importante, tanto desde el punto de vista práctico como desde el teórico, que recientemente ha comenzado a atraer la atención de los filósofos profesionales. Con todo, la investigación sobre los fundamentos filosóficos de la ecología, en particular sobre sus prácticas explicativas, está aún poco desarrollada; y ello pese a que los propios ecólogos perciben que el debate sobre la explicación ecológica es importante. En esta tesis doctoral comparo las principales tesi...

  4. Crinoid Ecological Morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2008-05-01

    Recent studies of crinoids reveal that their connective tissue, known to be mutable, is also contractile, and that certain stalked taxa are capable of crawling and subject to predation by cidaroid sea urchin. Aspects of crinoid functional morphology, ecology, and paleobiology are reviewed in the context of these findings. Mutability and contractility of ligament are important to autotomy, posture maintenance, and motility, and those, in turn, are shown to play a role in how crinoids acquire nutrients, select habitats and respond to predation pressure. A review of predation on crinoids supports the view that it is ecologically significant. Motility, a trait critical for handling predation pressure by stalkless crinoids, is shown to play an analogous role in stalked crinoids. The distribution of traits required for motility among extant and fossil crinoids reveals that their frequency increased dramatically following the Permo-Triassic extinction, with low values characterizing the Paleozoic and high values characterizing the post-Paleozoic.

  5. Utilizing an Extraterrestrial Analogue to Predict Sediment Migration on Frenchman Flat due to Convective Vortex (Dust Devil) Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, B. W.

    2006-12-01

    A synthesis of terrestrial and Martian data suggests that a convective vortex, or "dust devil," is a significant, non-random terrestrial eolian sediment transport phenomenon, which has implications for sediment-based migration of radionuclides on Frenchman Flat playa, a 20 square-mile mountain-bounded dry lake bed approximately centered in Frenchman Flat on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Planetary scientists are often forced to rely on terrestrial analogues to begin characterizing extraterrestrial processes. However, as the planetary database matures, an increasing number of well-characterized extraterrestrial analogues for terrestrial processes will become available. Such analogues may provide a convenient means to investigate poorly understood or otherwise inaccessible terrestrial phenomena. Historical atmospheric nuclear experiments conducted from 1951 to 1962 deposited radionuclides into surface sediments across parts of Frenchman Flat playa, where dust devils are known to commonly occur, especially during the summer months. Recent information from both terrestrial and Martian studies yields that dust devils can be significant contributors to both the local eolian sediment transport regime and the regional climate system. Additionally, the use of terrestrial desert environments as Martian analogues, as well as the recent, unique discovery of Mars-like dust devil tracks in Africa, has established a working correlation between Earth, Mars, and the dust devil phenomenon. However, while the difficulty in tracking dust devil paths on Earth has hindered the determination of any net sediment transport due to dust devils, the dramatic albedo contrast in disturbed sediment on Mars lends to the formation of persistent, curvilinear dust devil tracks. These tracks illustrate that in zones of preferential formation, dust devils possess non-random orientations over seasonal timescales with respect to prevailing wind. By calibrating these Martian orientations with meteorological

  6. Editorial: Pedagogical Media Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee M. Meister

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available From educational gaming through portable e-readers to cell phones, media are interpenetrating educational spaces and activities. Accordingly, understanding media in environmental or ecological terms has become increasingly important for education internationally. In North America, for example, the centenary of McLuhan’s birth has focused attention on approaches to media – whether oral, textual, electronic or digital– as a kind of environment in which education takes place. In parts of Europe, the so-called mediatic turn – following on the linguistic and iconic turns – has similarly emphasized the role of media as a condition for the possibility of educational activities and programs. With a few exceptions1 the papers in this special issue were first presented at the conference «Educational Media Ecologies: International Perspectives» which took place at the University of Paderborn, Germany, on March 27–28, 2012.2 The event was an interdisciplinary and transatlantic endeavor to bring together a wide range of perspectives on various issues relevant to educational media ecologies,3 and on related debates on mediation, medialization, mediatization, and mediality.4 The purpose of this volume, like the conference, is to foster and deepen international dialogue in the area of educational media. Areas of research and scholarship relevant to this dialogue include educational media, media literacy, educational philosophy, and media and cultural studies. The contributions, described below, put conceptual issues as well as social practices and applications at the center of the debate. Klaus Rummler opens the issue by clarifying the concept of ecology itself. Referencing a range of work over the past 50 years, Rummler describes how ecological models have been cast in sociological, semiotic, cultural, mediatic and other terms, and he explains the implications of these various perspectives for the study of educational contexts. Rummler also

  7. Ecology of prokaryotic viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinbauer, Markus G

    2004-05-01

    The finding that total viral abundance is higher than total prokaryotic abundance and that a significant fraction of the prokaryotic community is infected with phages in aquatic systems has stimulated research on the ecology of prokaryotic viruses and their role in ecosystems. This review treats the ecology of prokaryotic viruses ('phages') in marine, freshwater and soil systems from a 'virus point of view'. The abundance of viruses varies strongly in different environments and is related to bacterial abundance or activity suggesting that the majority of the viruses found in the environment are typically phages. Data on phage diversity are sparse but indicate that phages are extremely diverse in natural systems. Lytic phages are predators of prokaryotes, whereas lysogenic and chronic infections represent a parasitic interaction. Some forms of lysogeny might be described best as mutualism. The little existing ecological data on phage populations indicate a large variety of environmental niches and survival strategies. The host cell is the main resource for phages and the resource quality, i.e., the metabolic state of the host cell, is a critical factor in all steps of the phage life cycle. Virus-induced mortality of prokaryotes varies strongly on a temporal and spatial scale and shows that phages can be important predators of bacterioplankton. This mortality and the release of cell lysis products into the environment can strongly influence microbial food web processes and biogeochemical cycles. Phages can also affect host diversity, e.g., by 'killing the winner' and keeping in check competitively dominant species or populations. Moreover, they mediate gene transfer between prokaryotes, but this remains largely unknown in the environment. Genomics or proteomics are providing us now with powerful tools in phage ecology, but final testing will have to be performed in the environment.

  8. Groundwater ecology literature review

    OpenAIRE

    Maurice, L.

    2009-01-01

    Groundwater ecology is the study of ecosystems that occur in the subsurface within groundwater. Groundwater often contains a diverse range of organisms, and those that live in groundwater and generally do not live above the ground surface are called Stygobites. Stygobites species come from several different taxonomic groups of animals. Many animals found in groundwater are Crustaceans (Copepoda, Ostracoda, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Syncarida, Cladocera) but species of Oligocheata and...

  9. Building doctoral ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsen, Søren Smedegaard

    2018-01-01

    During the recent years doctoral education has ultimately left its seclusion within the disciplines and become part of national and global policy agendas, claimed to ensure societal welfare and financial growth. As a consequence more resources have been allocated to the formalization and professi......, and discusses how institutions and doctoral programmes could use such sprawling spaces for learning to build doctoral ecologies and to strengthening existentially based pedagogies within doctoral education....

  10. Study of extraterrestrial disposal of radioactive wastes. Part 2: Preliminary feasibility screening study of extraterrestrial disposal of radioactive wastes in concentrations, matrix materials, and containers designed for storage on earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyland, R. E.; Wohl, M. L.; Thompson, R. L.; Finnegan, P. M.

    1972-01-01

    The results are reported of a preliminary feasibility screening study for providing long-term solutions to the problems of handling and managing radioactive wastes by extraterrestrial transportation of the wastes. Matrix materials and containers are discussed along with payloads, costs, and destinations for candidate space vehicles. The conclusions reached are: (1) Matrix material such as spray melt can be used without exceeding temperature limits of the matrix. (2) The cost in mills per kw hr electric, of space disposal of fission products is 4, 5, and 28 mills per kw hr for earth escape, solar orbit, and solar escape, respectively. (3) A major factor effecting cost is the earth storage time. Based on a normal operating condition design for solar escape, a storage time of more than sixty years is required to make the space disposal charge less than 10% of the bus-bar electric cost. (4) Based on a 10 year earth storage without further processing, the number of shuttle launches required would exceed one per day.

  11. Ecological Econophysics for Degrowth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Pueyo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines a synthesis of ecological economics with econophysics and other complexity approaches to economics. Arguably, the resulting “ecological econophysics” will be scientifically sounder than mainstream economics and much better suited to addressing a major challenge of our times: the development of democratically-based policies to reduce economic throughput to an environmentally sustainable level without triggering economic crises and without excluding part of the world’s population, i.e., to implement degrowth. Degrowth will need major structural changes, which leads us to question whether there are limits to the malleability of the economic system’s architecture. A fundamental limit will be encountered if, as suggested by the physics of complexity, long-lasting complex systems always occur midway between an ordered and a disordered state. There is much evidence that this hypothesis holds and that the current economic system satisfies this condition. However, this does not mean that the problems posed by this system should be unavoidable. Ecological econophysics gives clues to identifying alternative economic systems that would also function between order and chaos, but which would have radically different implications for environmental sustainability and social justice.

  12. Resilience Through Ecological Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazia Brunetta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper explores the strategic role that urban biodiversity and ecosystem services management, natural infrastructure and adaptive governance approaches can play in making our economies and societies more resilient and in linking human societies and the natural environment. Resilience – a concept that entered the debate on urban governance – means the ability of urban systems, considered as linear-systems, to react to external disturbances by returning to some socio-ecological equilibrium steady-state by overcoming a crisis period (Gunderson & al. 2010, Newman & al. 2009. In this view, green infrastructures can assume a strategic role in restoring and enhancing the ecological and environmental livability in urban areas. Starting from the International and European context, the paper discusses innovative programs and interdisciplinary projects and practices (some cases in Turin Metropolitan Area to demonstrate how green infrastructures can increase the adaptive capacity of urban systems in term of resilience. They can contribute to increase the ability of European cities to adapt to climate change and to reduce their ecological footprints, to enhance security and life quality.

  13. Behavioural ecology's ethological roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, Jean-Sébastien

    2012-09-01

    Since Krebs and Davies's (1978) landmark publication, it is acknowledged that behavioural ecology owes much to the ethological tradition in the study of animal behaviour. Although this assumption seems to be right-many of the first behavioural ecologists were trained in departments where ethology developed and matured-it still to be properly assessed. In this paper, I undertake to identify the approaches used by ethologists that contributed to behavioural ecology's constitution as a field of inquiry. It is my contention that the current practices in behavioural biology owe ethology something much subtler than the simple transposition of Tinbergen's Four Problems for heuristic purposes. Demonstrating what ethology inherited from the long naturalist tradition shows the tensions that strained the field and that later led to the loss of both its unity and its specificity. It also allows for a precise delineating of what behavioural ecology picked up from the ethological practice, and it helps to cast some light on the introduction of economical thinking in behavioural sciences. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ecology and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monge, C

    1978-01-01

    Health is commonly conceived as having fixed and universal aims, while conditions interposed by environmental and cultural conditions are often ignored or at least shunted to one side. Rejecting this point of view, the author asserts that health in any society should be defined in terms of ecological reality--that is, in terms of the cultural and environmental variables affecting the population. He also notes that acceptance of this concept does not imply perpetuation of a natural but static situation. Rather, it implies searching for ways to improve the situation without necessarily striving for international goals that may be unsuitable or impossible to achieve. The concept also implies that we should ask how to define a satisfactory health level for a given set of conditions--and then consider how to achieve that level. The search for answers to these questions and subsequent programs based on the results will require a multidisciplinary approach. Within this context two PAHO facilities, the Pan American Center for Human Ecology and Health (ECO) and the Pan American Center and Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS), can provide strong support for activities in the Americas. Specifically, ECO is in a good position to collaborate on ecological planning, model-building, and research evaluation, while CEPIS is geared to provide advice and assistance in the key field of environmental sanitation.

  15. New frontiers in nematode ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, H

    1993-09-01

    Future areas of emphasis for research and scholarship in nematode ecology are indicated by pressing agricultural and environmental issues, by new directions in applied nematology, and by current technological advances. Studies in nematode ecology must extend beyond observation, counting, and simple statistical analysis. Experimentation and the testing of hypotheses are needed for understanding the biological mechanisms of ecological systems. Opportunities for fruitful experimentation in nematode ecology are emerging at the ecosystem, community, population, and individual levels. Nematode ecologists will best promote their field of study by closely monitoring and participating in the advances, initiatives, developments, and directions in the larger field of ecology.

  16. Ecology for a changing earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.H. (New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, NM (United States)); Roughgarden, J. (Stanford Univ., CA (United States))

    1990-02-06

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal.

  17. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been...... renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  18. International aspect of ecological innovations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shkola Viktoriya Yurіyivna

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the international aspect of ecological innovations. Today one of the most significant factors to achieve sustainable development in Ukraine is to activate the ecologically oriented innovative activity. This requires new approaches creation for the innovative processes management system at different economic levels. Ecological or “green” start-ups consist in realization of ideas by non-typical way, how it is possible to save ecology and to gain material benefits. All win in business-model of the similar projects: governments save on waste disposal, citizens are awarded for ecological way of life, and sponsors realize social responsibility.

  19. Statistical ecology comes of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T; Morgan, Byron J T; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-12-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data.

  20. [Regional ecological construction and mission of landscape ecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Duning; Xie, Fuju; Wei, Jianbing

    2004-10-01

    The eco-construction on regional and landscape scale is the one which can be used to specific landscape and intercrossing ecosystem in specific region including performing scientific administration of ecosystem and optimizing environmental function. Recently, the government has taken a series of significant projects into action, such as national forest protection item, partly forest restoration, and adjustment of water, etc. Enforcing regional eco-construction and maintaining the ecology security of the nation have become the strategic requisition. In various regions, different eco-construction should be applied, for example, performing ecological safeguard measure in ecological sensitive zone, accommodating the ecological load in ecological fragile zone, etc., which can control the activities of human being, so that, sustainable development can be reached. Facing opportunity and challenge in the development of landscape ecology, we have some key topics: landscape pattern of ecological security, land use and ecological process, landscape changes under human activity stress, quantitative evaluation of the influence on human being activities, evaluation of zonal ecological security and advance warning of ecological risk, and planning and optimizing of model in landscape eco-construction.

  1. A tale of two analogues: learning at a distance from the ancient greeks and maya and the problem of deciphering extraterrestrial radio transmissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finney, Ben; Bentley, Jerry

    The transmission of ancient Greek learning and science to medieval western Europe via the translation of Greek and Arab texts is often cited as a terrestrial example of "learning at a distance" that could occur by means of the decipherment of radio messages from advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. However, the translation between such closely related languages as Greek, Latin and Arabic and the decipherment of radio messages from an extraterrestrial civilization to the point where humans could understand them are only nominally analogous tasks. A terrestrial example of such "learning at a distance" from an ancient civilization that perhaps better prepares us for thinking about the immense task inherent in any interstellar knowledge transmission is provided by the lengthy and troubled efforts of western scholars to decipher the inscriptions left by the ancient Maya and to learn from them about this ancient civilization. Only recently, with the rejection of the ideographic fallacy that Maya glyphs symbolized ideas directly without the mediation of language and with the application of linguistic knowledge of Maya languages has it been possible to decipher the Maya inscriptions and learn from them about their science and culture. This experience suggests that without any knowledge of languages in which extraterrestrial messages might be composed, their decipherment could be most problematic. The Maya case is also relevant to the common suggestion that advanced extraterrestrials would deliberately compose messages not in their own natural languages but in artificial ones using logic, numbers, and scientific constants presumably shared among all intelligent civilizations, or at least those in their radio-communicative phases. Numbers and calendrical dating system were the first parts of the Mayan inscriptions to be translated, albeit with the aid of partial "Rosetta stones" left by the Spanish conquerors. This success served, however, to reinforce the ideographic

  2. Impact-shocked rocks--insights into Archean and extraterrestrial microbial habitats (and sites for prebiotic chemistry?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, C. S.

    2004-01-01

    Impact-shocked gneiss shocked to greater than 10 GPa in the Haughton impact structure in the Canadian High Arctic has an approximately 25-times greater pore surface area than unshocked rocks. These pore spaces provide microhabitats for a diversity of heterotrophic microorganisms and in the near-surface environment of the rocks, where light levels are sufficient, cyanobacteria. Shocked rocks provide a moisture retaining, UV protected microenvironment. During the Archean, when impact fluxes were more than two orders of magnitude higher than today, the shocked-rock habitat was one of the most common terrestrial habitats and might have provided a UV-shielded refugium for primitive life. These potential habitats are in high abundance on Mars where impact crater habitats could have existed over geologic time periods of billions of years, suggesting that impact-shocked rocks are important sites to search for biomolecules in extraterrestrial life detection strategies. In addition to being favourable sites for life, during the prebiotic period of planetary history impact-shocked rocks might have acted as a site for the concentration of reactants for prebiotic syntheses. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. In Situ Search for Extraterrestrial Life: A Microbial Fuel Cell-Based Sensor for the Detection of Photosynthetic Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueredo, Federico; Cortón, Eduardo; Abrevaya, Ximena C

    2015-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bioelectrochemical systems (BES) capable of harvesting electrons from redox reactions involved in metabolism. In a previous work, we used chemoorganoheterotrophic microorganisms from the three domains of life-Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya-to demonstrate that these BES could be applied to the in situ detection of extraterrestrial life. Since metabolism can be considered a common signature of life "as we know it," we extended in this study the ability to use MFCs as sensors for photolithoautotrophic metabolisms. To achieve this goal, two different photosynthetic microorganisms were used: the microalgae Parachlorella kessleri and the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. MFCs were loaded with nonsterilized samples, sterilized samples, or sterilized culture medium of both microorganisms. Electric potential measurements were recorded for each group in single experiments or in continuum during light-dark cycles, and power and current densities were calculated. Our results indicate that the highest power and current density values were achieved when metabolically active microorganisms were present in the anode of the MFC. Moreover, when continuous measurements were performed during light-dark cycles, it was possible to see a positive response to light. Therefore, these BES could be used not only to detect chemoorganoheterotrophic metabolisms but also photolithoautotrophic metabolisms, in particular those involving oxygenic photosynthesis. Additionally, the positive response to light when using these BES could be employed to distinguish photosynthetic from nonphotosynthetic microorganisms in a sample.

  4. Chance and necessity in biochemistry: implications for the search for extraterrestrial biomarkers in Earth-like environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davila, Alfonso F; McKay, Christopher P

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, we examine a restricted subset of the question of possible alien biochemistries. That is, we look into how different life might be if it emerged in environments similar to that required for life on Earth. We advocate a principle of chance and necessity in biochemistry. According to this principle, biochemistry is in some fundamental way the sum of two processes: there is an aspect of biochemistry that is an endowment from prebiotic processes, which represents the necessity, plus an aspect that is invented by the process of evolution, which represents the chance. As a result, we predict that life originating in extraterrestrial Earth-like environments will share biochemical motifs that can be traced back to the prebiotic world but will also have intrinsic biochemical traits that are unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere as they are combinatorially path-dependent. Effective and objective strategies to search for biomarkers, and evidence for a second genesis, on planets with Earth-like environments can be built based on this principle.

  5. Searching for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in a Contaminated Meteorite: Amino Acid Analyses of the Canakkale L6 Chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, A. S.; Elsila, J. E.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Ornek, C. Y.; Esenoglu, H. H.; Unsalan, O.; Ozturk, B.

    2016-01-01

    Amino acids can serve as important markers of cosmochemistry, as their abundances and isomeric and isotopic compositions have been found to vary predictably with changes in parent body chemistry and alteration processes. Amino acids are also of astrobiological interest because they are essential for life on Earth. Analyses of a range of meteorites, including all groups of carbonaceous chondrites, along with H, R, and LL chondrites, ureilites, and a martian shergottite, have revealed that amino acids of plausible extraterrestrial origin can be formed in and persist after a wide range of parent body conditions. However, amino acid analyses of L6 chondrites to date have not provided evidence for indigenous amino acids. In the present study, we performed amino acid analysis on larger samples of a different L6 chondite, Canakkale, to determine whether or not trace levels of indigenous amino acids could be found. The Canakkale meteor was an observed fall in late July, 1964, near Canakkale, Turkey. The meteorite samples (1.36 and 1.09 g) analyzed in this study were allocated by C. Y. Ornek, along with a soil sample (1.5 g) collected near the Canakkale recovery site.

  6. Formation of Methylamine and Ethylamine in Extraterrestrial Ices and Their Role as Fundamental Building Blocks of Proteinogenic α -amino Acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Förstel, Marko; Bergantini, Alexandre; Maksyutenko, Pavlo; Góbi, Sándor; Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu [W. M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, HI, 96822 (United States)

    2017-08-10

    The –CH–NH{sub 2} moiety represents the fundamental building block of all proteinogenic amino acids, with the cyclic amino acid proline being a special case (–CH–NH– in proline). Exploiting a chemical retrosynthesis, we reveal that methylamine (CH{sub 3}NH{sub 2}) and/or ethylamine (CH{sub 3}CH{sub 2}NH{sub 2}) are essential precursors in the formation of each proteinogenic amino acid. In the present study we elucidate the abiotic formation of methylamine and ethylamine from ammonia (NH{sub 3}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) ices exposed to secondary electrons generated by energetic cosmic radiation in cometary and interstellar model ices. Our experiments show that methylamine and ethylamine are crucial reaction products in irradiated ices composed of ammonia and methane. Using isotopic substitution studies we further obtain valuable information on the specific reaction pathways toward methylamine. The very recent identification of methylamine and ethylamine together with glycine in the coma of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko underlines their potential to the extraterrestrial formation of amino acids.

  7. Initiatives of Ecological Responsibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Sergeevich Volodin

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Preservation of environment is one of the global problems for the mankind. The concept of sustainable development presented at the governmental level in 1987 urged to fix at the interstate level the basic principles of development of humanity in harmony with the nature. The Charter signed in 1991 “Business and sustainable development” proclaimed a new stage of development of world entrepreneurship – business had to become ecologicallyoriented and to form the ecologically-oriented demand. In recent years it is possible to state the huge growth of technologies of effective environmental management, energy saving and energy efficiency. The leading world corporations include reduction of the ecological aspects in priority strategic objectives, as much as possible promoting transition to the use of green technologies. “Green” experience of the Western companies showed that reduction of influence on environment is not only the task of the state, but also the effective instrument to increase competitiveness of the organization. Besides the growth of favorable perception of the company by consumers, it receives considerable decrease in prime cost of the made production or the rendered services due to effective and economical use of natural resources. Russia is among the first countries who accepted the concept of sustainable development at the legislative level, nevertheless, only recently we can note that technologies of rational environmental management, energy saving and energy efficiency became one of priority problems of its development. In the present article the advanced methods of the state and private initiatives in the field of ecological responsibility are considered, and the methods of overcoming the new challenges are offered.

  8. Ecology Beyond Building

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Terri

    2011-01-01

    As the designers of the WWf building in Zeist, The Netherslands a CO2-neutral, self-sufficient office complex, RAU has set the bar for sustainable research and design. Guesteditor Terri Peters visited the firm's studio in Amsterdam to talk to principal Thomas Rau. As Peters relates, Rau prefers t...... to put on the dwindling supply of raw materials rather than the immidiate problems of energy consumption for which there are solutions within reach. With the emphasis on a more far-reaching approach, he places buildings in a wider context of ecological thinking and systems....

  9. Ecological model of extinctions

    CERN Document Server

    Abramson, G

    1997-01-01

    We present numerical results based on a simplified ecological system in evolution, showing features of extinction similar to that claimed for the biosystem on Earth. In the model each species consists of a population in interaction with the others, that reproduces and evolves in time. Each species is simultaneously a predator and a prey in a food chain. Mutations that change the interactions are supposed to occur randomly at a low rate. Extinctions of populations result naturally from the predator-prey dynamics. The model is not pinned in a fitness variable, and natural selection arises from the dynamics.

  10. Ecological Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1992-01-01

    A theoretical framework for designing interfaces for complex human-machine systems is proposed. The framework, called ecological interface design (EID), is based on the skills, rules, knowledge taxonomy of cognitive control. The basic goal of EID is twofold: first, not to force processing...... of other approaches to interface design indicates that EID has a unique and significant contribution to make. Third, the results of an initial empirical evaluation also provide some preliminary support for the EID framework. Some issues for future research are outlined....

  11. [Ecological memory and its potential applications in ecology: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhong-yu; Ren, Hai

    2011-03-01

    Ecological memory (EM) is defined as the capability of the past states or experiences of a community to influence the present or future ecological responses of the community. As a relatively new concept, EM has received considerable attention in the study of ecosystem structure and function, such as community succession, ecological restoration, biological invasion, and natural resource management. This review summarized the definition, components, and categories of EM, and discussed the possible mechanisms and affecting factors of EM. Also, the potential applications of EM were proposed, in order to further understand the mechanisms of community succession and to guide ecological restoration.

  12. Ecological and general systems an introduction to systems ecology

    CERN Document Server

    Odum, Howard T.

    1994-01-01

    Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles. First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided. Innovative presentations are given on earth homeostasis (Gaia); the inadequacy of presenting equations without network relationships and energy constraints; the alternative interpretation of high entropy complexity as adaptive structure; basic equations of ecological economics; and the energy basis of scientific hierarchy.

  13. Nutrition, ecology and nutritional ecology: towardan integrated framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Steven J.; Mayntz, David

    2009-01-01

    1. The science of nutritional ecology spans a wide range of fields, including ecology, nutrition, behaviour, morphology, physiology, life history and evolutionary biology. But does nutritional ecology have a unique theoretical framework and research program and thus qualify as a field of research...... in its own right? 2. We suggest that the distinctive feature of nutritional ecology is its integrative nature, and that the field would benefit from more attention to formalizing a theoretical and quantitative framework for developing this. 3. Such a framework, we propose, should satisfy three minimal...

  14. LANGUAGE ECOLOGY AS LINGUISTIC THEORY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Garner

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available language ecology was proposed by Einar Haugen in 1972 as the study of the interaction of any given language and its environment. Despite some use of the term in the literature, sociolinguistics have failed to develop the potenstial that Haugen saw in an ecological approach. Recent developments in ecological thought, however; when applied to language, raise questions about many basic assumptions of conventional linguistics. For example, from an ecological perspective, language is not a rule-governed system, but a form of patterned behaviour arising from the needs of human socialtity: communication, culture, and community. As Haugen foresaw, language ecology offers an exciting alternative approach to linguistic theory. Key words: language ecology, patterned behaviour, holistic, dynamic, and interactive

  15. ECOLOGICAL GROWTH BOUNDARIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna BLUSZCZ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The trends of the society for the continuous growth, combined with the demographic changes, today have led to the important ecological problems on a global scale, which include, among others: the increased use of non-renewable natu-ral resources, an increase of the greenhouse gas emissions, contamination of soil, water, air and the progressive degra-dation of ecosystems. In the face of such serious threats the global initiatives of all countries are important to limit the results of the excessive consumption. The aim of the article is to present the methods of measurement of the consump-tion level of natural resources by the societies and the examination of relationships between the level of development of the societies and the use of resources. The popular measure – the ecological footprint – was used as a measurement method for the consumption of the today’s generations in relation to the regenerative possibilities of the natural envi-ronment. On the other hand, as the assessment method for the level of development of societies – the Human Develop-ment Index (HDI, including three basic areas: the life expectancy, GDP level per capita and education was used. The results of the research indicate that the current trend of the unlimited consumption of the highly developed countries takes place at the expense of the future generations.

  16. Ecological Growth Boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluszcz, Anna

    2017-03-01

    The trends of the society for the continuous growth, combined with the demographic changes, today have led to the important ecological problems on a global scale, which include, among others: the increased use of non-renewable natural resources, an increase of the greenhouse gas emissions, contamination of soil, water, air and the progressive degradation of ecosystems. In the face of such serious threats the global initiatives of all countries are important to limit the results of the excessive consumption. The aim of the article is to present the methods of measurement of the consumption level of natural resources by the societies and the examination of relationships between the level of development of the societies and the use of resources. The popular measure - the ecological footprint - was used as a measurement method for the consumption of the today's generations in relation to the regenerative possibilities of the natural environment. On the other hand, as the assessment method for the level of development of societies - the Human Development Index (HDI), including three basic areas: the life expectancy, GDP level per capita and education was used. The results of the research indicate that the current trend of the unlimited consumption of the highly developed countries takes place at the expense of the future generations.

  17. Ecologically Enhancing Coastal Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac Arthur, Mairi; Naylor, Larissa; Hansom, Jim; Burrows, Mike; Boyd, Ian

    2017-04-01

    Hard engineering structures continue to proliferate in the coastal zone globally in response to increasing pressures associated with rising sea levels, coastal flooding and erosion. These structures are typically plain-cast by design and function as poor ecological surrogates for natural rocky shores which are highly topographically complex and host a range of available microhabitats for intertidal species. Ecological enhancement mitigates some of these negative impacts by integrating components of nature into the construction and design of these structures to improve their sustainability, resilience and multifunctionality. In the largest UK ecological enhancement trial to date, 184 tiles (15x15cm) of up to nine potential designs were deployed on vertical concrete coastal infrastructure in 2016 at three sites across the UK (Saltcoats, Blackness and Isle of Wight). The surface texture and complexity of the tiles were varied to test the effect of settlement surface texture at the mm-cm scale of enhancement on the success of colonisation and biodiversity in the mid-upper intertidal zone in order to answer the following experimental hypotheses: • Tiles with mm-scale geomorphic complexity will have greater barnacle abundances • Tiles with cm-scale geomorphic complexity will have greater species richness than mm-scale tiles. A range of methods were used in creating the tile designs including terrestrial laser scanning of creviced rock surfaces to mimic natural rocky shore complexity as well as artificially generated complexity using computer software. The designs replicated the topographic features of high ecological importance found on natural rocky shores and promoted species recruitment and community composition on artificial surfaces; thus enabling us to evaluate biological responses to geomorphic complexity in a controlled field trial. At two of the sites, the roughest tile designs (cm scale) did not have the highest levels of barnacle recruits which were

  18. The practice of ecological art

    OpenAIRE

    Kagan, Sacha

    2014-01-01

    The genre of “ecological art”, as originally conceived in the 1990's on the basis of practices that emerged from the late 1960's onwards, covers a variety of artistic practices which are nonetheless united, as social-ecological modes of engagement, by shared principles and characteristics such as: connectivity, reconstruction, ecological ethical responsibility, stewardship of inter-relationships and of commons, non-linear (re)generativity, navigation and dynamic balancing across multiple scal...

  19. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-01-01

    Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in ni...

  20. Industrial ecology: a new paradigm?

    OpenAIRE

    Eik, Arne

    1999-01-01

    The aim of industrial ecology is to design and re-design industrial systems, by using nature as a metaphor and model. In this way far less non-renewable resources will be used and far less emissions and wastes will be released to the natural environment than up to now. Many approaches to industrial ecology are attempted, varying from those looking upon industrial ecology as a method for waste recycling to those who see industrial ecology as a new paradigm in a wider social perspective . By go...

  1. The dimensionality of ecological networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eklöf, Anna; Jacob, Ute; Kopp, Jason

    2013-01-01

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks...... the most to explaining network structure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structure of ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and bill gape, are the most successful combinations. These results link...... ecologically important species attributes to large-scale community structure....

  2. New directions in ecological physiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Feder, M.E; Bennett, A.F; Burggren, W.W; Huey, R.B

    1987-01-01

    .... Twenty leading ecological physiologists and evolutionary biologists have contributed critical evaluations of developments in their respective areas, highlighting major conceptual advances as well...

  3. Ecological footprint of Shandong, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yu-jing; Luc, Hens; Zhu, Yong-guan; Zhao, Jing-zhu

    2004-01-01

    Ecological footprint has been given much attention and widely praised as an effective heuristic and pedagogic device for presenting current total human resource use in a way that communicates easily to almost everyone since 1996 when Wackernagel and Rees proposed it as a sustainable development indicator. Ecological footprint has been improving on its calculation and still can be a benchmark to measure sustainable development although there are still ongoing debates about specific methods for calculating the ecological footprint. This paper calculates the ecological footprint of Shandong Province, China with the methodology developed by Wackernagel and analyzes the current situation of sustainable development in Shandong.

  4. Using antibodies against ATPase and microarray immunoassays for the search for potential extraterrestrial life in saline environments on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigl, Andreas; Gruber, Claudia; Blanco-López, Yolanda; Rivas, Luis A.; Parro, Victor; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2010-05-01

    For the search for extraterrestrial life it is proposed to use receptors such as labelled antibodies for the detection of organic biomarkers. One of these organic molecules to be tested is the universal enzyme ATP synthase which is present in highly conserved forms in all organisms on earth. Therefore it is necessary to evaluate antibodies against ATPase respectively ATP synthase and their subunits. As it is known, that there are halite deposits on Mars the experiments in this study have been carried out with regard to halophile microorganisms and saline environments. Standard F1F0 ATPase from Escherichia coli LE 392 and Bacillus megaterium as well as haloarchaeal A-ATPase from Halorubrum saccharovorum and Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 were used. The cultivated cells, except Bacillus, were broken by passage through a French Pressure Cell. Separation of enzyme subunits was performed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Western Blotting with antisera produced in rabbit against A-ATPase subunits A (85 kD) and subunits B (60 kD) from Halorubrrum saccharovorum (1) showed positive reactions with the membrane fraction, which should be enriched with ATPase from Halorubrum saccharovorum, Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 and Escherichia coli LE 392. Particular attention was given to the question if ATPase subunits can be detected in whole cells. Therefore whole cell preparations of all cells and spore suspensions from Geobacillus stearothermophilus were tested against the antiserum as well as against protein-A-purified antibody against A-ATPase subunit A from Halorubrum saccharovorum. A positive immuno reaction of all cell preparations with the antiserum as well as with the purified antibody was detected. The spores of Geobacillus stearothermophilus reacted positively with the antiserum against subunit A of the A-ATPase from Hrr. saccharovorum. A commercial antibody Rabbit Anti-V-ATPase subunit A polyclonal antibody from the GenScript Corporation reacted positively with

  5. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  6. Ecological Research Division Theoretical Ecology Program. [Contains abstracts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-10-01

    This report presents the goals of the Theoretical Ecology Program and abstracts of research in progress. Abstracts cover both theoretical research that began as part of the terrestrial ecology core program and new projects funded by the theoretical program begun in 1988. Projects have been clustered into four major categories: Ecosystem dynamics; landscape/scaling dynamics; population dynamics; and experiment/sample design.

  7. The ecology of an ecology project and some suggested adaptations ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mere dissemination of ecology teaching materials is likely to be ineffective in making the classroom teaching of ecology more meaningful. It may be necessary to take a more comprehensive view of the processes by which teachers change their practices. The article addresses both private sector and education department ...

  8. Sustainable ecological systems: Implementing an ecological approach to land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Wallace Covington; Leonard F. DeBano

    1994-01-01

    This conference brought together scientiests and managers from federal, state, and local agencies, along with private-sector interests, to examine key concepts involving sustainable ecological systems, and ways in which to apply these concepts to ecosystem management. Session topics were: ecological consequenses of land and water use changes, biology of rare and...

  9. FORT Molecular Ecology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Stevens, P.D.

    2011-01-01

    The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Fort Collins Science Center Molecular Ecology Laboratory is to use the tools and concepts of molecular genetics to address a variety of complex management questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species. Information from these studies is used to support wildlife-management planning and conservation actions. Current and past studies have provided information to assess taxonomic boundaries, inform listing decisions made under the Endangered Species Act, identify unique or genetically depauperate populations, estimate population size or survival rates, develop management or recovery plans, breed wildlife in captivity, relocate wildlife from one location to another, and assess the effects of environmental change.

  10. Between Design and Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørn, Mona Chor

    Urban green space offers more than recreation – it is a resource and a habitat for flora and wildlife. Since 2000 numerous articles have documented an increased public awareness of urban nature and biodiversity. As a result there has been increased interest in new vegetation types in urban...... and suburban environments. Colourful species-rich forb vegetation may be one possible way to link recreational values, aesthetical preferences and herbaceous vegetation with habitat requirements for diverse flora and fauna in urban and suburban environments. The overall aim of this thesis is to improve our...... such vegetation, based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology. If these communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation. Results from a large field experiment show that, after three...

  11. Enantiomeric Excesses Induced in Amino Acids by Ultraviolet Circularly Polarized Light Irradiation of Extraterrestrial Ice Analogs: A Possible Source of Asymmetry for Prebiotic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modica, Paola; Meinert, Cornelia; de Marcellus, Pierre; Nahon, Laurent; Meierhenrich, Uwe J.; Le Sergeant d'Hendecourt, Louis

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of meteoritic amino acids with enantiomeric excesses of the L-form (ee L) has suggested that extraterrestrial organic materials may have contributed to prebiotic chemistry and directed the initial occurrence of the ee L that further led to homochirality of amino acids on Earth. A proposed mechanism for the origin of ee L in meteorites involves an asymmetric photochemistry of extraterrestrial ices by UV circularly polarized light (CPL). We have performed the asymmetric synthesis of amino acids on achiral extraterrestrial ice analogs by VUV CPL, investigating the chiral asymmetry transfer at two different evolutionary stages at which the analogs were irradiated (regular ices and/or organic residues) and at two different photon energies (6.6 and 10.2 eV). We identify 16 distinct amino acids and precisely measure the L-enantiomeric excesses using the enantioselective GC × GC-TOFMS technique in five of them: α-alanine, 2,3-diaminopropionic acid, 2-aminobutyric acid, valine, and norvaline, with values ranging from ee L = -0.20% ± 0.14% to ee L = -2.54% ± 0.28%. The sign of the induced ee L depends on the helicity and the energy of CPL, but not on the evolutionary stage of the samples, and is the same for all five considered amino acids. Our results support an astrophysical scenario in which the solar system was formed in a high-mass star-forming region where icy grains were irradiated during the protoplanetary phase by an external source of CPL of a given helicity and a dominant energy, inducing a stereo-specific photochemistry.

  12. Enantiomeric excesses induced in amino acids by ultraviolet circularly polarized light irradiation of extraterrestrial ice analogs: A possible source of asymmetry for prebiotic chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Modica, Paola; De Marcellus, Pierre; D' Hendecourt, Louis Le Sergeant [Univ. Paris-Sud, Institut d' Astrophysique Spatiale, UMR 8617, F-91405 Orsay (France); Meinert, Cornelia; Meierhenrich, Uwe J. [Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis, Institut de Chimie de Nice, UMR 7272 CNRS, F-06108 Nice (France); Nahon, Laurent, E-mail: laurent.nahon@synchrotron-soleil.fr, E-mail: ldh@ias.u-psud.fr [Synchrotron SOLEIL, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    2014-06-10

    The discovery of meteoritic amino acids with enantiomeric excesses of the L-form (ee {sub L}) has suggested that extraterrestrial organic materials may have contributed to prebiotic chemistry and directed the initial occurrence of the ee {sub L} that further led to homochirality of amino acids on Earth. A proposed mechanism for the origin of ee {sub L} in meteorites involves an asymmetric photochemistry of extraterrestrial ices by UV circularly polarized light (CPL). We have performed the asymmetric synthesis of amino acids on achiral extraterrestrial ice analogs by VUV CPL, investigating the chiral asymmetry transfer at two different evolutionary stages at which the analogs were irradiated (regular ices and/or organic residues) and at two different photon energies (6.6 and 10.2 eV). We identify 16 distinct amino acids and precisely measure the L-enantiomeric excesses using the enantioselective GC × GC-TOFMS technique in five of them: α-alanine, 2,3-diaminopropionic acid, 2-aminobutyric acid, valine, and norvaline, with values ranging from ee {sub L} = –0.20% ± 0.14% to ee {sub L} = –2.54% ± 0.28%. The sign of the induced ee {sub L} depends on the helicity and the energy of CPL, but not on the evolutionary stage of the samples, and is the same for all five considered amino acids. Our results support an astrophysical scenario in which the solar system was formed in a high-mass star-forming region where icy grains were irradiated during the protoplanetary phase by an external source of CPL of a given helicity and a dominant energy, inducing a stereo-specific photochemistry.

  13. SRS ecology: Environmental information document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L.D.; Shipley, R.W.; Bowers, J.A. [and others

    1993-09-01

    The purpose of this Document is to provide a source of ecological information based on the exiting knowledge gained from research conducted at the Savannah River Site. This document provides a summary and synthesis of ecological research in the three main ecosystem types found at SRS and information on the threatened and endangered species residing there.

  14. Ecological networks in urban landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cook, E.A.

    2000-01-01

    This research focuses on the topic of ecological networks in urban landscapes. Analysis and planning of ecological networks is a relatively new phenomenon and is a response to fragmentation and deterioration of quality of natural systems. In agricultural areas and with existing nature

  15. The task of landscape ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barendregt, A.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Smidt, de J.; Wassen, M.

    2007-01-01

    This final chapter is a personal reflection of the authors on this book. To find an answer to the question what the task is of landscape ecology, we split the question in two parts. The first past of the question is about science for society: what is the task of landscape ecology in a changing

  16. Ecology: From Individuals to Collectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 19; Issue 4. Ecology: From Individuals to Collectives: A Physicist's Perspective on Ecology. Vishwesha Guttal. Series Article Volume 19 Issue 4 April 2014 pp 368-375. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  17. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  18. Information Retrieval for Ecological Syntheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Helen R.; Beyer, Fiona R.

    2015-01-01

    Research syntheses are increasingly being conducted within the fields of ecology and environmental management. Information retrieval is crucial in any synthesis in identifying data for inclusion whilst potentially reducing biases in the dataset gathered, yet the nature of ecological information provides several challenges when compared with…

  19. Adolescent Suicide: An Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyash-Abdo, Huda

    2002-01-01

    Proposes an ecological approach to enhance our understanding of how personal, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors contribute to the increased risk for suicide among adolescents. The ecological approach allows exploration of how adolescent suicide is determined by multiple factors related to the adolescent's personal history or ontogenic…

  20. Measuring Your School's Ecological Footprint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawchuk Julie; Cameron Tim

    2000-01-01

    Explaining ecological footprint analyses, this activity consists of a survey as a preliminary activity. Presents the survey questions and a chart of required calculations for ecological footprint activity. Lists the chart in five categories: waste management, energy, water, transportation, green space, and food. Provides information for follow-up…

  1. The Future of Urban Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elle, Morten

    1998-01-01

    This article is discusing the basic conditions for a positive development of urban ecology in Denmark. A number of battles has to be won.......This article is discusing the basic conditions for a positive development of urban ecology in Denmark. A number of battles has to be won....

  2. Social-Ecological Guilds: Putting People into Marine Historical Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janna M. Shackeroff

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine historical ecology provides historic insights into past ocean ecosystems that are crucial to effectively confronting the declining health and resilience in marine ecosystems. A more 'peopled' approach to marine historical ecology is necessary, given the heightened emphasis on human dimensions in marine management. This study examined the historical ecology of Hawaiian coral reef ecosystems through oral histories of diverse ocean experts, representing six traditional, local, and scientific knowledge systems. Based on 61 in-depth interviews with these ocean experts, historical trends, abundance, and distribution over 80 years and a 50-mile region for 271 species emerged. Analyzing trends by ecological guild, e.g., herbivores, proved inappropriate to these data; rather, based on qualitative analyses, five distinct trends encompassing nearly all species emerged in what we term "social-ecological guilds." Ocean expert's observations of change were surprisingly consistent, regardless of their knowledge system, whereas perceptions of change varied widely. The historical picture was far broader and richer when the contributions of six knowledge systems were incorporated, compared to that of any one alone. Social-ecological guilds also matter critically from a management perspective, because understanding how experts from a multiplicity of perspectives observe, interpret, and respond to ecological change can help managers anticipate responses to management activities and perhaps to design better management strategies.

  3. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Keelah E G; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L

    2016-01-12

    Why do race stereotypes take the forms they do? Life history theory posits that features of the ecology shape individuals' behavior. Harsh and unpredictable ("desperate") ecologies induce fast strategy behaviors such as impulsivity, whereas resource-sufficient and predictable ("hopeful") ecologies induce slow strategy behaviors such as future focus. We suggest that individuals possess a lay understanding of ecology's influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Importantly, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, we propose that Americans' stereotypes about racial groups actually reflect stereotypes about these groups' presumed home ecologies. Study 1 demonstrates that individuals hold ecology stereotypes, stereotyping people from desperate ecologies as possessing faster life history strategies than people from hopeful ecologies. Studies 2-4 rule out alternative explanations for those findings. Study 5, which independently manipulates race and ecology information, demonstrates that when provided with information about a person's race (but not ecology), individuals' inferences about blacks track stereotypes of people from desperate ecologies, and individuals' inferences about whites track stereotypes of people from hopeful ecologies. However, when provided with information about both the race and ecology of others, individuals' inferences reflect the targets' ecology rather than their race: black and white targets from desperate ecologies are stereotyped as equally fast life history strategists, whereas black and white targets from hopeful ecologies are stereotyped as equally slow life history strategists. These findings suggest that the content of several predominant race stereotypes may not reflect race, per se, but rather inferences about how one's ecology influences behavior.

  4. Astroecology, cosmo-ecology, and the future of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N. Mautner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Astroecology concerns the relations between life and space resources, and cosmo-ecology extrapolates these relations to cosmological scales. Experimental astroecology can quantify the amounts of life that can be derived from space resources. For this purpose, soluble carbon and electrolyte nutrients were measured in asteroid/meteorite materials. Microorganisms and plant cultures were observed to grow on these materials, whose fertilities are similar to productive agricultural soils. Based on measured nutrient contents, the 1022 kg carbonaceous asteroids can yield 1018 kg biomass with N and P as limiting nutrients (compared with the estimated 1015 kg biomass on Earth. These data quantify the amounts of life that can be derived from asteroids in terms of time-integrated biomass [BIOTAint = biomass (kg × lifetime (years], as 1027 kg-years during the next billion years of the Solar System (a thousand times the 1024 kg-years to date. The 1026 kg cometary materials can yield biota 10 000 times still larger. In the galaxy, potential future life can be estimated based on stellar luminosities. For example, the Sun will develop into a white dwarf star whose 1015 W luminosity can sustain a BIOTAint of 1034 kg-years over 1020 years. The 1012 main sequence and white and red dwarf stars can sustain 1046 kg-years of BIOTAint in the galaxy and 1057 kg-years in the universe. Life has great potentials in space, but the probability of present extraterrestrial life may be incomputable because of biological and ecological complexities. However, we can establish and expand life in space with present technology, by seeding new young solar systems. Microbial representatives of our life-form can be launched by solar sails to new planetary systems, including extremophiles suited to diverse new environments, autotrophs and heterotrophs to continually form and recycle biomolecules, and simple multicellulars to jump-start higher evolution. These programs can be motivated

  5. Temporal ecology in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, E M; Cook, B I; McLauchlan, K K; Davies, T J

    2014-11-01

    Two fundamental axes - space and time - shape ecological systems. Over the last 30 years spatial ecology has developed as an integrative, multidisciplinary science that has improved our understanding of the ecological consequences of habitat fragmentation and loss. We argue that accelerating climate change - the effective manipulation of time by humans - has generated a current need to build an equivalent framework for temporal ecology. Climate change has at once pressed ecologists to understand and predict ecological dynamics in non-stationary environments, while also challenged fundamental assumptions of many concepts, models and approaches. However, similarities between space and time, especially related issues of scaling, provide an outline for improving ecological models and forecasting of temporal dynamics, while the unique attributes of time, particularly its emphasis on events and its singular direction, highlight where new approaches are needed. We emphasise how a renewed, interdisciplinary focus on time would coalesce related concepts, help develop new theories and methods and guide further data collection. The next challenge will be to unite predictive frameworks from spatial and temporal ecology to build robust forecasts of when and where environmental change will pose the largest threats to species and ecosystems, as well as identifying the best opportunities for conservation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Emergence Unites Ecology and Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald L. Trosper

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effort to combine analysis of ecosystems and social systems requires a firm theoretical basis. When humans are present in an ecosystem, their actions affect emergent structures; this paper examines forms of emergence that account for the presence of humans. Humans monitor and regulate ecosystems based on their cultural systems. Cultural systems consist of concepts linked in complicated ways that can form consistent world views, can contain inconsistencies, and may or may not accurately model the properties of a social-ecological system. Consequently, human monitoring and regulating processes will differ, depending on cultural systems. Humans, as agents, change or maintain pre-existing material and cultural emergent structures. The presentation is illustrated with a case study of fire-prone forests. The paper shows that explicit attention to emergence serves very well in unifying the following requirements for social-ecological analysis: coherent and observable definitions of sustainability; ways to link ecological and social phenomena; ways to understand cultural reasons for stability and instability in dynamic social-ecological systems; and ways to include human self-evaluation and culture within dynamic models of social-ecological systems. Analysis of cultural emergent structures clarifies many differences in assumptions among the fields of economics, sociology, political science, ecology, and ecological economics. Because it can be readily applied to empirical questions, the framework provides a good way to organize policy analysis that is not dominated by one or another discipline.

  7. Ecology and bioprospecting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Andrew J; Hay, Mark; Magnusson, Bill; de Nys, Rocky; Smeathers, James; Vincent, Julian F V

    2011-05-01

    Bioprospecting is the exploration of biodiversity for new resources of social and commercial value. It is carried out by a wide range of established industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agriculture as well as a wide range of comparatively new ones such as aquaculture, bioremediation, biomining, biomimetic engineering and nanotechnology. The benefits of bioprospecting have emerged from such a wide range of organisms and environments worldwide that it is not possible to predict what species or habitats will be critical to society, or industry, in the future. The benefits include an unexpected variety of products that include chemicals, genes, metabolic pathways, structures, materials and behaviours. These may provide physical blueprints or inspiration for new designs. Criticism aimed at bioprospecting has been addressed, in part, by international treaties and legal agreements aimed at stopping biopiracy and many activities are now funded by agencies that require capacity-building and economic benefits in host countries. Thus, much contemporary bioprospecting has multiple goals, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable management of natural resources and economic development. Ecologists are involved in three vital ways: first, applying ecological principles to the discovery of new resources. In this context, natural history becomes a vast economic database. Second, carrying out field studies, most of them demographic, to help regulate the harvest of wild species. Third, emphasizing the profound importance of millions of mostly microscopic species to the global economy.

  8. Desertification: Global ecological problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlovskiy, N. S.

    1986-09-01

    It is suggested that western practices and analyses of desertification fail to take social factors into account, and do not promote progressive technology that would preserve the environment while bringing progress. It is claimed that Soviet practices have minimized ecological damage by use of a different socioeconomic structure and by planning. In Central Asia, efforts since the 1930's have focused on controlling shifting sands with both dry grass and brush, as well as physicochemical means. In Turkmenistan sand dune damage to irrigated fields is completely controlled, although some local areas of desertification have been noted near well sites and in industrialized desert areas. Prevention of land damage in irrigated areas has required careful drainage system construction to avoid mineral deposits while making maximum use of ground water reserves. Technological backwardness is noted in some irrigated areas of Central Asia, and the extent of saline soils of various types is of concern. Disposal of irrigation water after its use is another problem still being resolved in Central Asia. Irrigation and water disposal in the basins of Syrdarya, Amudarya and Ili Rivers have caused a decline in the level of the Aral Sea. In addition, lands in the deltas of the Syrdarya and Amudarya have suffered desertification.

  9. Ecological tax reform

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-12-31

    An environmental tax reform is seen by many as a possible solution to some crucial problems of modern society - pollution, excessive resource consumption and unemployment. Changes in the system of taxation are here seen as a long term process, one that must cheapen the costs of labour and make the costs of resource use more expensive - a process which can also create major changes in our society as to conceptions of quality, work, consumption etc. The conference presented proposals for an ecological tax and duty system that would contribute to: Changing technology so that it becomes more resource and energy effective. Changing the economic mechanisms so that resource consumption and pollution become more expensive while human resources become cheaper. Changing personal life styles and values so that material consumption becomes less decisive for our choices and priorities. An environmental tax reform is neither without problems nor painless. An economy and an industrial sector based on increasing consumption of energy and raw materials will, in the long run, lead to drawbacks that far outweigh those that are connected with an economic re-orientation whose driving force is another conception of nature. (EG)

  10. Ecological periodic tables: Killer apps for translational ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    The chemical periodic table, the Linnaean system of classification and the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram are information organizing structures that have transformed chemistry, biology and astronomy, respectively. Ecological periodic tables are information organizing structures wit...

  11. Chemical ecology of marine plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Emily R; Poulin, Remington X; Mojib, Nazia; Kubanek, Julia

    2016-07-28

    Covering: January 2013 to online publication December 2014This review summarizes recent research in the chemical ecology of marine pelagic ecosystems, and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field in the time period covered. In order to highlight the role of chemical cues and toxins in plankton ecology this review has been organized by ecological interaction types starting with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including facilitation and mutualism, host-parasite, allelopathy, and predator-prey), and finally community and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  12. A classification of ecological boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strayer, D.L.; Power, M.E.; Fagan, W.F.; Pickett, S.T.A.; Belnap, J.

    2003-01-01

    Ecologists use the term boundary to refer to a wide range of real and conceptual structures. Because imprecise terminology may impede the search for general patterns and theories about ecological boundaries, we present a classification of the attributes of ecological boundaries to aid in communication and theory development. Ecological boundaries may differ in their origin and maintenance, their spatial structure, their function, and their temporal dynamics. A classification system based on these attributes should help ecologists determine whether boundaries are truly comparable. This system can be applied when comparing empirical studies, comparing theories, and testing theoretical predictions against empirical results.

  13. A New Method and Mass-Spectrometric Instrument for Extraterrestrial Microbial Life Detection Using the Elemental Composition Analyses of Martian Regolith and Permafrost/Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Managadze, G. G.; Safronova, A. A.; Luchnikov, K. A.; Vorobyova, E. A.; Duxbury, N. S.; Wurz, P.; Managadze, N. G.; Chumikov, A. E.; Khamizov, R. Kh.

    2017-05-01

    We propose a new technique for the detection of microorganisms by elemental composition analyses of a sample extracted from regolith, permafrost, and ice of extraterrestrial bodies. We also describe the design of the ABIMAS instrument, which consists of the onboard time-of-flight laser mass-reflectron (TOF LMR) and the sample preparation unit (SPU) for biomass extraction. This instrument was initially approved to fly on board the ExoMars 2020 lander mission. The instrument can be used to analyze the elemental composition of possible extraterrestrial microbial communities and compare it to that of terrestrial microorganisms. We have conducted numerous laboratory studies to confirm the possibility of biomass identification via the following biomarkers: P/S and Ca/K ratios, and C and N abundances. We underline that only the combination of these factors will allow one to discriminate microbial samples from geological ones. Our technique has been tested experimentally in numerous laboratory trials on cultures of microorganisms and polar permafrost samples as terrestrial analogues for martian polar soils. We discuss various methods of extracting microorganisms and sample preparation. The developed technique can be used to search for and identify microorganisms in different martian samples and in the subsurface of other planets, satellites, comets, and asteroids—in particular, Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus.

  14. A New Method and Mass-Spectrometric Instrument for Extraterrestrial Microbial Life Detection Using the Elemental Composition Analyses of Martian Regolith and Permafrost/Ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Managadze, G G; Safronova, A A; Luchnikov, K A; Vorobyova, E A; Duxbury, N S; Wurz, P; Managadze, N G; Chumikov, A E; Khamizov, R Kh

    2017-05-01

    We propose a new technique for the detection of microorganisms by elemental composition analyses of a sample extracted from regolith, permafrost, and ice of extraterrestrial bodies. We also describe the design of the ABIMAS instrument, which consists of the onboard time-of-flight laser mass-reflectron (TOF LMR) and the sample preparation unit (SPU) for biomass extraction. This instrument was initially approved to fly on board the ExoMars 2020 lander mission. The instrument can be used to analyze the elemental composition of possible extraterrestrial microbial communities and compare it to that of terrestrial microorganisms. We have conducted numerous laboratory studies to confirm the possibility of biomass identification via the following biomarkers: P/S and Ca/K ratios, and C and N abundances. We underline that only the combination of these factors will allow one to discriminate microbial samples from geological ones. Our technique has been tested experimentally in numerous laboratory trials on cultures of microorganisms and polar permafrost samples as terrestrial analogues for martian polar soils. We discuss various methods of extracting microorganisms and sample preparation. The developed technique can be used to search for and identify microorganisms in different martian samples and in the subsurface of other planets, satellites, comets, and asteroids-in particular, Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus. Key Words: Mass spectrometry-Life-detection instruments-Biomarkers-Earth Mars-Biomass spectra. Astrobiology 17, 448-458.

  15. Carbon and hydrogen isotopic composition of methane and C2+ alkanes in electrical spark discharge: implications for identifying sources of hydrocarbons in terrestrial and extraterrestrial settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telling, Jon; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Sherwood Lollar, Barbara

    2013-05-01

    The low-molecular-weight alkanes--methane, ethane, propane, and butane--are found in a wide range of terrestrial and extraterrestrial settings. The development of robust criteria for distinguishing abiogenic from biogenic alkanes is essential for current investigations of Mars' atmosphere and for future exobiology missions to other planets and moons. Here, we show that alkanes synthesized during gas-phase radical recombination reactions in electrical discharge experiments have values of δ(2)H(methane)>δ(2)H(ethane)>δ(2)H(propane), similar to those of the carbon isotopes. The distribution of hydrogen isotopes in gas-phase radical reactions is likely due to kinetic fractionations either (i) from the preferential incorporation of (1)H into longer-chain alkanes due to the more rapid rate of collisions of the smaller (1)H-containing molecules or (ii) by secondary ion effects. Similar δ(13)C(C1-C2+) and δ(2)H(C1-C2+) patterns may be expected in a range of extraterrestrial environments where gas-phase radical reactions dominate, including interstellar space, the atmosphere and liquid hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's moon Titan, and the outer atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. Radical recombination reactions at high temperatures and pressures may provide an explanation for the combined reversed δ(13)C(C1-C2+) and δ(2)H(C1-C2+) patterns of terrestrial alkanes documented at a number of high-temperature/pressure crustal sites.

  16. Materials Testing - Digital Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth Wiley

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Access to credible building product performance information throughout the design and construction process is critical to enable project development, vet product selections, ensure as-built quality, and successfully complete construction. This is common knowledge and part of common practice for nearly all parties involved in design and construction. The sources of such information can range from vernacular to formal – from common practice to special reference. The focus of this paper is one of the more formal or specialized information sources, performance testing, as well as how such performance testing information can be better used. This paper’s goals are to familiarize the reader with performance testing and to depict a new kind of valuable informational tool (digital ecology. Reference to pertinent nomenclature, description of a real world example, and detailed description of such an informational tool’s values will be provided.The major content of this paper was developed during project-based work and firm-funded internal research at point b design, ltd. over approximately the previous 4 years. The phrase ‘digital ecology’ as herein used is a new concept proposed by the author. The analysis contained in this paper could be applied to the field of operations and maintenance as it is herein applied to design and construction; however, operations and maintenance is beyond the scope of this paper and may be addressed in future papers. It is my hope that this paper will contribute to tangible and real improvements of the built environment via continued, positive development within academic and professional practice.

  17. Teaching Ecology in Urban Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fail, Joseph, Jr.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses the teaching of ecology and environmental education in urban environments by using field trips to city parks, airports, nuclear power plants, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, incinerators, foundries, and forests. (MKR)

  18. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-17

    In contrast to the spectacular advances in the first half of the twentieth century with micronutrient-related diseases, human nutrition science has failed to stem the more recent rise of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (OACD). This failure has triggered debate on the problems and limitations of the field and what change is needed to address these. We briefly review the two broad historical phases of human nutrition science and then provide an overview of the main problems that have been implicated in the poor progress of the field with solving OACD. We next introduce the field of nutritional ecology and show how its ecological-evolutionary foundations can enrich human nutrition science by providing the theory to help address its limitations. We end by introducing a modeling approach from nutritional ecology, termed nutritional geometry, and demonstrate how it can help to implement ecological and evolutionary theory in human nutrition to provide new direction and to better understand and manage OACD.

  19. Wetland plants: biology and ecology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cronk, Julie K; Fennessy, M. Siobhan

    2001-01-01

    Providing a detailed account of the biology and ecology of wetland plants as well as applications of wetland plant science, this book presents a synthesis of studies and reviews from biology, plant...

  20. Global Ecological Land Units (ELUs)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — In response to the need and an intergovernmental commission for a high resolution and data-derived global ecosystem map, land surface elements of global ecological...

  1. Great Lakes management: Ecological factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonzogni, W. C.; Robertson, A.; Beeton, A. M.

    1983-11-01

    Although attempts to improve the quality of the Great Lakes generally focus on chemical pollution, other factors are important and should be considered Ecological factors, such as invasion of the lakes by foreign species, habitat changes, overfishing, and random variations in organism populations, are especially influential. Lack of appreciation of the significance of ecological factors stems partly from the inappropriate application of the concept of eutrophication to the Great Lakes. Emphasis on ecological factors is not intended to diminish the seriousness of pollution, but rather to point out that more cost-effective management, as well as more realistic expectations of management efforts by the public, should result from an ecosystem management approach in which ecological factors are carefully considered.

  2. An Ecological Diagnostic Classification Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, James C.; McKinley, Donna L.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the value of diagnostic classification systems to counseling professionals. Describes the Ecological Diagnostic Classification Plan, an approach to diagnosis that includes the environment as a possible cause of pathology and target of intervention. (Author/KS)

  3. Online ecological and environmental data

    CERN Document Server

    Baldwin, Virginia Ann

    2014-01-01

    Discover important Internet resources for research data made public individually and collectively by researchers from a variety of entities in the fields of environmental studies and ecology Online Ecological and Environmental Data explores innovative projects from a diverse array of institutions that have made environmental and ecological research information freely available online. You will find a wealth of Web site listings with URLs and complete descriptions, data field descriptions, controlled vocabulary examples, and Web screen shots that demonstrate how to use a specific site. The book will help you locate the data, procedures, instruments, notes, and other descriptive information that scientists and engineers need for replicating and building on the research of others. With Online Ecological and Environmental Data, you''ll gain a better understanding of: * the cooperative design, development, and management of interdisciplinary data * cataloging multidisciplinary environmental data * data netw...

  4. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism

  5. Industrial Design and Ecological Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan-Horia Chinda

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This work presents the direct link between the Industrial Production process of prodfucts ad the Ecological disaster we are witnessing today. The main contribution is the definition of the industrial designer's role in this process and the multiple ways the designer can influence and avoid the ecological imbalance. From the design concept to materials and processing, from packing and recycling to transportation, the author clearly defines the designer's complex involvement and offers solutions.

  6. Ecological effects of environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, Gloria M; Hochberg, Michael E; Holyoak, Marcel; Hossaert, Martine; Gaill, Françoise; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-05-01

    This Special Issue of Ecology Letters presents contributions from an international meeting organised by Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Ecology Letters on the broad theme of ecological effects of global environmental change. The objectives of these articles are to synthesise, hypothesise and illustrate the ecological effects of environmental change drivers and their interactions, including habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, invasive species and climate change. A range of disciplines is represented, including stoichiometry, cell biology, genetics, evolution and biodiversity conservation. The authors emphasise the need to account for several key ecological factors and different spatial and temporal scales in global change research. They also stress the importance of ecosystem complexity through approaches such as functional group and network analyses, and of mechanisms and predictive models with respect to environmental responses to global change across an ecological continuum: population, communities and ecosystems. Lastly, these articles provide important insights and recommendations for environmental conservation and management, as well as highlighting future research priorities. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  7. The National Ecological Observatory Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michener, W. K.

    2006-05-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a research platform designed to advance understanding of how ecosystems and organisms respond to variations in climate and changes in land use. NEON is the first long-term ecological observatory conceived as a continental-scale network; equipped with standardized sensors, cyberinfrastructure, and data-collection protocols across the network; and designed to simultaneously address a common set of research questions and support investigator-driven ecological research in all regions of the United States. The Observatory focuses on variations in climate and land use because they are primary drivers of the Nation's environmental challenges, as identified by the National Research Council--i.e., biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, hydroecology, infectious disease, invasive species, and land use. At the broadest scale, NEON links the complexity of climate variation to the behavior of ecological systems, a core aspect of ecological complexity. At the same time, because of the complexity of the interactions among humans and ecosystems, the network design includes NEON sites in wild, managed and urban systems within climate domains. Observatory data will also be part of a national education program designed to advance ecological science literacy through new programs and activities that develop and promote scientific ways of thinking.

  8. Searching for extraterrestrial artifacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, R. A.

    The Fermi Paradox, attributed to a famous question from physicist Enrico Fermi in 1943, asks: if there are intelligent beings elsewhere then, in time, they must achieve the technology of nuclear power and space flight and would explore and colonize the Galaxy. Thus, they should have been able to travel to Earth, but we see no evidence of such visitations. Ergo, they cannot exist. The author, of the Xenology Research Institute in California, discusses this viewpoint and suggests how and where we might be able to detect an alien presence in the Solar System.

  9. Terrestrial and extraterrestrial fullerenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heymann, D.; Jenneskens, L.W.; Jehlicka, J; Koper, C.; Vlietstra, E. [Rice Univ, Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Earth Science

    2003-07-01

    This paper reviews reports of occurrences of fullerenes in circumstellar media, interstellar media, meteorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), lunar rocks, hard terrestrial rocks from Shunga (Russia), Sudbury (Canada) and Mitov (Czech Republic), coal, terrestrial sediments from the Cretaceous-Tertiary-Boundary and Pennian-Triassic-Boundary, fulgurite, ink sticks, dinosaur eggs, and a tree char. The occurrences are discussed in the context of known and postulated processes of fullerene formation, including the suggestion that some natural fullerenes might have formed from biological (algal) remains.

  10. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  11. 36 CFR 219.20 - Ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Ecological sustainability... Sustainability § 219.20 Ecological sustainability. To achieve ecological sustainability, the responsible official... diversity and species diversity are components of ecological sustainability. The planning process must...

  12. Ecological release in White Sands lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-12-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems.

  13. Ecological release in White Sands lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-01-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems. PMID:22393523

  14. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

  15. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  16. Interdisciplinary Adventures in Perceptual Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocast, Christopher S.

    A portfolio dissertation that began as acoustic ecology and matured into perceptual ecology, centered on ecomusicology, bioacoustics, and translational audio-based media works with environmental perspectives. The place of music in Western eco-cosmology through time provides a basis for structuring an environmental history of human sound perception. That history suggests that music may stabilize human mental activity, and that an increased musical practice may be essential for the human project. An overview of recent antecedents preceding the emergence of acoustic ecology reveals structural foundations from 20th century culture that underpin modern sound studies. The contextual role that Aldo Leopold, Jacob von Uexkull, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and others played in anticipating the development of acoustic ecology as an interdiscipline is detailed. This interdisciplinary aspect of acoustic ecology is defined and defended, while new developments like soundscape ecology are addressed, though ultimately sound studies will need to embrace a broader concept of full-spectrum "sensory" or "perceptual" ecology. The bioacoustic fieldwork done on spawning sturgeon emphasized this necessity. That study yielded scientific recordings and spectrographic analyses of spawning sounds produced by lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, during reproduction in natural habitats in the Lake Winnebago watershed in Wisconsin. Recordings were made on the Wolf and Embarrass River during the 2011-2013 spawning seasons. Several specimens were dissected to investigate possible sound production mechanisms; no sonic musculature was found. Drumming sounds, ranging from 5 to 7 Hz fundamental frequency, verified the infrasonic nature of previously undocumented "sturgeon thunder". Other characteristic noises of sturgeon spawning including low-frequency rumbles and hydrodynamic sounds were identified. Intriguingly, high-frequency signals resembling electric organ discharges were discovered. These

  17. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrón, Humberto G; Botella, Héctor

    2017-01-01

    Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated with open water

  18. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto G Ferrón

    Full Text Available Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated

  19. [Evolvement of ecological footprint model representing ecological carrying capacity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shu-yan; Xie, Gao-di

    2007-06-01

    Ecological footprint (EF) is an important index of ecological carrying capacity. The original EF model is excellent in simplicity, aggregation, comparability, and lifelikeness in presenting results, but short in predictability, configuration, and applicability. To overcome these shortcomings, many researches were conducted to modify and promote the EF model, and developed it from static with single time scale to diversified ones, which included: 1) time series EF model, 2) input-output analysis based EF model, 3) integrated assessment incorporated EF model, 4) land disturbance degree based EF model, and 5) life cycle analysis based EF model, or component EF model. The function of EF as a measurement of ecological carrying capacity was significantly improved, but its accuracy and integrality still need to be advanced.

  20. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological features shape people’s goals, strategies, and behaviors. Our research suggests that social perceivers possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Moreover, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups may actually reflect their stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. In a series of studies, we demonstrate that (i) individuals possess ecology-dri...