Some of the new biological findings on Earth can inform our search for life elsewhere. Stem cells are a case in point. Even fat may contain stem cells that can be injected into the bloodstream—i.e. set loose to find and repair inflammation in the human body. Knee repair is now done with one’s own stem cells, harvested from healthy bone.

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Other advances have been made in the realm of mini-RNA, gene regulation, and the voltage in cell membranes that can determine how large frog brains will grow.

Organisms have been found that tap into the chemical environments of water-rock boundaries as a source of energy. (sciencenews.org April 18, 2015) Add that to the sun, methane and hydrogen sulfide for other sources of energy, and it’s a wonder that life isn’t budding out all over the cosmos.

But that’s old news. You might want to keep a watch on news coming from studies of mole rats. They live to be thirty years old, which is ancient for small rodents, but they remain able to produce offspring. They get along on low levels of oxygen and water (only from tubers and roots they eat) and don’t get cancer. Though they show brain plaques like Alzheimer patients, they don’t suffer cognitive defects and don’t have cardiovascular diseases. Lots to be learned here, perhaps.

New findings also keep coming out of dinosaur finds. Lately, paleontologists found huge then huger sauropods and alligators that walked on two feet. Feathers have verified the dinosaur ancestry of birds, and now Yo Qi has been found—a dinosaur with wings made of skin, like bats.

The point? Life on Earth has been extremely creative, devising ways to survive that are beyond our imagination. Add to our down home observations, the most recent pictures from the ESA comet landing and the Pluto flyby, and we have even more possibilities—remarkably varied environments for life to hunker in and survive.

RELATED ARTICLE:   Your Need to Upgrade Connected Devices Makes Astronomy Difficult

cassini

There’s also more heat out there than we might expect. The Cassini spacecraft has found silicon dioxide grains that had been heated to 90 degree Celsius in the Enceladus subice sea before being sprayed into space through southern cracks in the ice. Time and timing apparently did the trick. But, as these examples make clear, we still have a lot to learn about life here on Earth and potential environments for life on planets and moons elsewhere.

Author of The Archives of Varok

   The View Beyond Earth (Book 1. Rewrite of A Place Beyond Man 1975)

   The Webs of Varok (Book 2.)

      Nautilus silver award 2013 YA

      ForeWord finalist 2012 adult SF

   The Alien Effect (Book 3.)

   An Alien’s Quest–Reconciliation and Hope (Book 4. coming in 2015)

Excerpts, Synopses, Reviews, On Writing, Characters and More-

   http://ArchivesofVarok.com

Other Book Reviews-  http://www.goodreads.com/Cary_Neeper

How the Hen House Turns-  http://www.ladailypost.com

Complexity, Bio, Bibliography and Links- http://caryneeper.com

Astrobiologyhttp://astronaut.wpengine.com  search:Who’s Out There

About The Author

Cary Neeper is an avid student of complexity theory, sustainability, steady-state economics, and the impact of cosmology on issues of science and religion. She grew up in the foothills of Hayward, California, where she helped rack dried fruit on her father’s 40-acre apricot ranch. After studying zoology/chemistry and religion at Pomona College and medical microbiology at the University of Wisconsin, she moved with her husband to northern New Mexico, where they raised their family. The Neepers still live in the Southwest with a friendly menagerie of dogs, fish, chickens, geese, ducks and a turkey called Little Bear. Cary plays string bass with local folk, symphony and jazz groups and tennis with local retired physicists. She paints landscapes in acrylics, including the cover art for her first Penscript title, The Webs of Varok. Cary's first novel and Webs of Varok prequel A Place Beyond Man was originally published in 1975 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, Dell, and Millington, London. Cary re-released A Place Beyond Man as an Author’s Guild Backinprint edition, now available from online booksellers. Its themes of sustainability and interspecies cooperation have now grown into new adventures for its human, elll and varok family as they travel the alternate 21st century Solar System in the five-volume Archives of Varok, coming from Penscript Publishing House in 2012–2014. Cary’s other works include two musical science fiction comedies “U.F.F.D.A.!” and “Petra and the Jay,” as well as newspaper and magazine articles, essays, short stories, and book reviews for The Christian Science Monitor.