Dust ‘comes alive’ in outer space. What the fuck?

martianvirus

READY THE ANALPROBES!!!!!!!!
Nov 20, 2005
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#1
From: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2241753.ece
SCIENTISTS have discovered that inorganic material can take on the characteristics of living organisms in space, a development that could transform views of alien life.
An international panel from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck institute in Germany and the University of Sydney found that galactic dust could form spontaneously into helixes and double helixes and that the inorganic creations had memory and the power to reproduce themselves.
A similar rethinking of prospective alien life is being undertaken by the National Research Council, an advisory body to the US government. It says Nasa should start a search for what it describes as “weird life” - organisms that lack DNA or other molecules found in life on Earth.
The new research, to be published this week in the New Journal of Physics, found nonorganic dust, when held in the form of plasma in zero gravity, formed the helical structures found in DNA. The particles are held together by electromagnetic forces that the scientists say could contain a code comparable to the genetic information held in organic matter. It appeared that this code could be transferred to the next generation.
Professor Greg Morfill, of the Max Planck institute of extra-terrestrial physics, said: “Going by our current narrow definitions of what life is, it qualifies.
“The question now is to see if it can evolve to become intelligent. It’s a little bit like science fiction at the moment. The potential level of complexity we are looking at is of an amoeba or a plant.
“I do not believe that the systems we are talking about are life as we know it. We need to define the criteria for what we think of as life much more clearly.”
It may be that science is starting to study territory already explored by science fiction. The television series The X-Files, for example, has featured life in the form of a silicon-based parasitic spore.
The Max Planck experiments were conducted in zero gravity conditions in Germany and on the International Space Station 200 miles above earth.
The findings have provoked speculation that the helix could be a common structure that underpins all life, organic and nonorganic.
 

Beeman99

Registered User
Mar 14, 2005
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#2
this explains half the people on WB
 

KingTheoden84

Registered User
Jun 9, 2007
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#5
The scientists were a bit coy in their discussion of the reproduction aspect of this dust. It sounds like there is something of interest here, but until we read the actual findings, we are simply taking these claims on faith. Ironic, isn't it?

I love astronomy - but I am also a realist. Sometimes researchers embellish findings, particularly in fields that research life beyond Earth, to secure more funds. So, until their work is public, I remain skeptical.
 

Plunkies

Registered User
Jun 28, 2006
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#6
Huh? No one is taking anything on faith, it hasn't even been published yet.
 
Jul 13, 2006
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#9
there may be life somewhere else in another galaxy but we won't ever meet it. I think it's kind of stupid for people to think we have UFOs flying around and they little green men are real.

We are too far away from any galaxy to travel. Since nothing can travel faster than light (besides the vacuum of a black hole theorists say) then there is nothing within a reasonable distance to make that journey even AT light speed if it's possible with space craft.

Most of those planet systems are further away in light years than humans have been here on Earth in existance. It's just not possible to go find something else.
 
Dec 18, 2004
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#17
There's a fucking galaxy under my bed...............ba dump bump.
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
Oct 10, 2004
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#18
Notice the article just says it's possible to form reproducing code akin to dna, not that it ever happened or even had a 1 / 1x10^10000 chance of happening. Researchers are always desperate to blow their research way out of proportion.
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
3,871
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California
#19
"It may be that science is starting to study territory already explored by science fiction. The television series The X-Files, for example, has featured life in the form of a silicon-based parasitic spore."

- Some dummy

Well, if some writer from X-files put it down on paper then it must be logical! Lame...

Someone in another country is simply looking for a grant. Non-organic substances reacting differently (i.e., resembling life-like characteristics) in *zero gravity than they do here on Earth hardly qualifies as a rationale for redefining life. Lots of non-living things resemble life from time to time for varying reasons. But if both metabolism and reproduction is not involved in the chemical process of the entity, it is not alive. This is not theory or conjecture, this is a scientific fact that has been proven over and over again by being both reliable and valid. There is a reason why NASA (an agency by the way that loves to spend money) does not was its time with this type of bullshit.

On a side note, it may be interesting to study this event to see if it has some usefulness in practical terms other than giving someone the opportunity to redefine life by any means necessary, science be damned.

* By the way, the fact that this only occurs in zero gravity alone is strong evidence that it is likely the lack of gravity that is acting upon the substance and not that it is “alive”.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,289
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#20
ive had plenty of non organic substances fuck me, so they must be intelligent
 

martianvirus

READY THE ANALPROBES!!!!!!!!
Nov 20, 2005
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#23
there may be life somewhere else in another galaxy but we won't ever meet it. I think it's kind of stupid for people to think we have UFOs flying around and they little green men are real.

We are too far away from any galaxy to travel. Since nothing can travel faster than light (besides the vacuum of a black hole theorists say) then there is nothing within a reasonable distance to make that journey even AT light speed if it's possible with space craft.

Most of those planet systems are further away in light years than humans have been here on Earth in existance. It's just not possible to go find something else.
They are not green. They are grey.

Things can travel faster then the speed of light. If you really think that there is a speed limit, you are wrong.

And if there was, the nearest solar system is only about 39 light years away. It's called Zeta Reticuli, and is a binary star. Both of them are very similar to our sun. If aliens live there, it is possible that they came here. 39 years isn't much for an advanced race. If they found a way to extend their life, they could live for thousands of years. A 39 year trip isn't long in that case.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,168
27,223
898
Seattle
#24
there may be life somewhere else in another galaxy but we won't ever meet it. I think it's kind of stupid for people to think we have UFOs flying around and they little green men are real.

We are too far away from any galaxy to travel. Since nothing can travel faster than light (besides the vacuum of a black hole theorists say) then there is nothing within a reasonable distance to make that journey even AT light speed if it's possible with space craft.

Most of those planet systems are further away in light years than humans have been here on Earth in existance. It's just not possible to go find something else.
Wow, is this completely untrue.

Just off of the top of my head, I can think of three theories scientists have for faster than light travel.

The first is the space fold theory. You fold space time and punch a wormhole through. This would make for near-instantanious space travel and would make distance almost irrelevant.

The second is similar to the first but boggles my mind far more, the bent space theory (not sure if that's the real name). Scientists say gravity is like a blanket and objects placed on the blanket create dimples. The more mass an object has the deeper the dimple and therefore objects "roll" toward the object from further away. Now the theory is if you can find or create a gravity well that creates a deep enough dimple, such as a black hole, space become much shorter between two points at the edge of the dimple. This would not be instantanious travel like the folded space theory, but would be more like a shortcut.

The third is the slipstream theory. A bubble of real-space is created around the vessel and then the vessel is slipped out of normal space time. This would negate almost all the laws of physics including the light barrier and the inertia that would turn our bodies into a puddle.

The problem with all three theories is, well, we don't know how to do it yet. But the theoretical problem is the vast amount of power needed for any of these. But scientists think they know how to deal with this as well.

A scientist (sorry, can't remember his name offhand) was studying the rotation of galaxies when he realized there wasn't enough mass in those galaxies to maintain that rate of spin. His calculations showed that the visible ojects in our universe (meaning planets, stars, asteroids, comets, gasses and everything else they tell you about in school) only made up about 22% (I believe this is the number, it's no more than 25%) of the galaxy's mass. The rest of the mass out there, that we still havn't been able to identify beyond theory, is called dark matter.

Many laymen know about dark matter, but alot don't know that the 22% number also applies to energy. The "dark energy" that fill up the remaining 78%, in theory, is massively powerful. So powerful that if you compared a flow of dark energy to a fusion reaction it would be like comparing a fusion reaction to a watch battery. Of course, we have no way of identifying the energy, only it's effect, let alone know how to harness it. But if we could, it would solve all of our space travel energy needs.

To think that there would be alien races, possibly a million years more advance than us, and they havn't figured out how to use one of these methods of space travel, let alone ways we havn't even figured out yet, seems completely illogical. And who knows what poperties dark matter will turn out to have that can make space travel easier.

Finally, it's extremely arrogant to think that space travel isn't possible just because we don't know how to do it. The human race is marked far more by what we don't know than what we do.

/space rant over

Sorry, I love this topic.
 

martianvirus

READY THE ANALPROBES!!!!!!!!
Nov 20, 2005
19,062
134
268
Las Vegas, NV
#25
I was going to give some theory's in my above post, but I didn't want to damage the brains of my fellow wackbaggers. You know they can't really handle that info.