Planet of the Apes: Curiosity about the definition of life

After a triumphant landing, the Curiosity rover is ready to search Mars for signs of past life or suitability for life. Several readers have raised concerns that NASA scientists might fail to recognize life if it isn't ...

On the origin of music by means of natural selection

Do away with the DJ and scrap the composer. A computer program powered by Darwinian natural selection and the musical tastes of 7,000 website users may be on the way to creating a perfect pop tune, according to new research ...

Is a new form of life really so alien?

The idea of discovering a new form of life has not only excited astronomers and astrobiologists for decades, but also the wider public. The notion that we are the only example of a successful life form in the galaxy has, ...

Writing a new code for life?

On "Star Trek, the aliens often look so human that crew members fall in love with them. But in real life, scientists in the field known as astrobiology can't be sure alien life would even be carbon-based like us, or use DNA ...

What is life? New answers to an age-old question in astrobiology

Biologists have been unable to agree on a definition of the complex phenomenon known as "life." In a special collection of essays in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., leaders in the fields ...

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