Detection devices are in the works for rooting out extraterrestrial life

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Detection devices are in the works for rooting out extraterrestrial life

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In the mid-1960s, the United States Army Corps of Engineers carved a giant cave deep into permafrost in an Alaskan hillside so that scientists could do experiments inside ground that had been frozen for millennia. Entering the 110- meter Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory Permafrost Tunnel, as the facility is now known, is like "stepping right back into the Pleistocene," says astrobiologist Richard Hoover. Frozen, long-dead tree roots and grasses dangle from the ceiling, and the bones of an extinct species of buffalo poke out of the walls.

But Hoover doesn't visit the tunnel to scope out the remains of such flora and fauna. He's there to search for living aliens—not extraterrestrials per se, but creatures so unusual that they can survive the tunnel's harsh cold and dry environment. Similar conditions could exist on other planets, so finding living things soldiering on deep inside the permafrost could be a sign that life exists beyond Earth, says Hoover, who's based at NASA's National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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So heres a new device that can search for life on other planets. I can't wait to see some of the results.
By YCON: posted on 26-1-2006








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