New CRISPR technology could revolutionise gene therapy, offering new hope to people with genetic diseases
As the Perseverance rover lands on Mars, there's a lot we already know about Mars from meteorites found on Earth
Aliens: NASA updates alien-hunters on how to estimate probability of finding life outside Earth
For a long time, both space agencies and amateur astronomers have been looking to answer the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe. NASA has now updated budding alien hunters with a way to calculate the odds of finding life in the universe.
The agency, along with other institutions like the California Institute of Technology and Santiago High School California, has now presented alien hunters with an update on how to estimate the probability of finding alien life. For a long time, astronomers have relied on the Drake equation to estimate the number of alien civilizations in the universe. This equation factored in the formation rate of stars in the development of life per Solar System.
The updated version that was recently unveiled added more factors in determining the probability of finding alien life in the universe beyond our home planet. One factor involved how alien species can have a way of killing themselves off. Another factor is the rate of abiogenesis throughout the universe or the creation of organic molecules that came to be because of other forces aside from living organisms.
“In the field of astrobiology, the precise location, prevalence, and age of potential extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) have not been explicitly explored,” said the researchers in their study that was published in the online journal arXiv. “We examine three major parameters: 1.) The likelihood rate of abiogenesis 2.) Evolutionary timescales (Tevo), and 3.) Probability of self-annihilation of complex life.”
According to the astronomers, the fact that there has yet to be evidence of alien life forms in the universe is paradoxical and may be because of the Fermi Paradox.
In other news, a nuclear fusion device or colloquially known as an artificial sun in South Korea set a new world record in its runtime. The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research or KSTAR made more progress in developing a nuclear fusion reactor. Back on November 24, the KSTAR was able to maintain a constant stream of plasma for 20 seconds as it reached an ion temperature of 100 million celsius. This has beaten its previous record of eight seconds back in 2019.