Very interesting stuff!
Great boffinry all round! Really curious to see if the JAXA mission can shed more light on the origins of Phobos and Deimos.
In a double dose of Martian research, scientists believe that the planet once had the right environmental conditions to support life underground and its moons may have been born from an ancient collision. Deep life NASA boffins are increasingly convinced that the best chances for finding microbial life on Mars is under the …
But with events, anyone interested can get on with what they are doing, as they know they will get notified when the collision happens.
Everyone else spends far too much of their time running around with hands in the air asking "Did something just happen?!", instead of getting on with things.
I do hope that, if microbial life is indeed found on Mars, or even our own moon, that they don't try and bring it right back to Earth...I don't really fancy being exterminated by an unrelenting bacterial infection that, being from a completely different ecosystem, is totally invulnerable to all forms of anti-biotic, and that the human immune system is incapable to fighting off.
Now, where's my oxygen tent...
" if microbial life is indeed found on Mars, or even our own moon, that they don't try and bring it right back to Earth...I don't really fancy being exterminated by an unrelenting bacterial infection... "
The reason that certain types of bacteria 'infect' humans (and other animals) is that they have co-developed over millions of years. Bacteria (and viruses) that cause human illnesses are highly evolved to take advantage of specific characteristics of human physiology. It is extremely unlikely that any alien bacteria would cause widespread and fatal epidemics except by pure chance. (not that we should be betting the survival of the species on chance, however small)
Sorry HG Wells, your plot twist wouldn't work in real life :)
The idea that earth life forms need not worry about off earth life forms because life here has co-developed is flawed, so much so that I think most can see why if they thought about it.
We have only one example of life and can only take educated guesses at what other life forms there could be. Having only one example when there may be many other examples should not inspire confidence that all are similar.
Even if one considers that life forms of similar kind would be contained by distances between systems we should be cautious based on the characteristics of life here on earth, in our own system.
When life here experiences a major disruption it tends to oscillate between extremes, with one life form dominating, then collapsing as another grows to dominate and so on. It takes some time, some long time, before a homeostasis, or equilibrium develops making the system more stable for all remaining life.
Any new life form could cause a major disruption. Our current success as a life form is dependent on earths ecosystem. That is changing and hopefully it will not be too long before we are not so dependent but until we invent free energy of energy "too cheep to meter" we are very dependent on earths ecosystem.
A quick thought of the risk analysis shows that the negative outcome of not controlling the introduction of foreign life forms, at least when we can, is so great that it must be addressed.
At least more so than a confident "Sorry it wouldn't happen".
Although in my experience most people prefer such false confidence and will promote the confident fool offering empty assurances (not that jmch is a fool I thinking of you Bob). Further promotions follow when catastrophe strikes and the same fool (you again Bob) jumps up to claim no one saw it coming and then uses the procedure developed by the person who not only saw it coming, spoke up at cost, and then developed a response just in case. But I digress.
We can't know, the consequences are high, caution is warranted.
My concern is that when 'energy to cheap to meter' does finally become a thing, those who are in control of it will find a very efficient way to meter it, and make themselves (as near to) 100% profit (as makes no difference), and we plebs will be no better off for it.
Given that the 'overpriced but too cheap to meter' would augment existing production, it couldn't charge more than current costs.
And thanks to having a market economy and patents being time limited, some crafty bugger engorged with the prospect of filthy lucre will generate the free electricity and make themselves 50% profit rather than 100%, leading to either the original company dropping prices or going bust.
Over a relatively short period of time profits would be driven down to the cost of capital.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams "The Martians lived happily under the surface of Mars oblivious of there being anything else in existence ... until one day some scientists from a small blue planet in the vicinity called Earth drilled down through the Martian surface and found them. The Martians climbed up through the hole to the surface, saw the vast universe around them and said: "it will have to go".
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