Talk:Astrobiology

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Former good article nominee Astrobiology was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
April 3, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed

Forward contamination[edit]

Hello Drbogdan. Yes, I have been thinking of adding a section on forward contamination & back contamination as you mention above, but the information is so scant we may have to do with a few paragraphs only. For certain, there are protocols in place for inter-planetary spacecraft sterility, and regarding back-contamination, what is there besides Moon samples and Apollo astronaut quarantine? Share your thoughts and lets see how this develops. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:45, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments - I've been somewhat side-tracked recently w/ some more pressing issues (this may occur from time to time due to my present circumstances) - but yes, I agree - doesn't seem to be much responsible literature on forward-contamination - at least after a casual search so far - just wondering - if microbes are mutiplying in fact inside some of the objects (and inside human astronauts?) that we've launched into space (I think this possibility likely at the moment), would the newly created microbe progeny be considered extraterrestrial? - after all, the newly created microbes would *not* have been produced on earth - and also - the newer microbe populations created *beyond* earth may actually differ (subtly or dramatically perhaps) from similar terrestrially-derived microbes - due to the "un-earthly" conditions of outer space - and in spite of any attempts to provide terrestrial-like conditions on-board the launched space objects. Further, and as noted in an earlier post, is there any real, and complete, assurance that there is not a single (at least potentially viable) microbe inside the Voyager spacecrafts being hurtled *out* of the solar system at this very moment? The related possible implications may be interesting to consider - in any case - Thanks again for your comments - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 04:24, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Hello. In the past I have also worked on the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment article. I believe that if launched and retrieved, it will finally yield evidence-based hypotheses regarding forward contamination. Untill then, there is not much solid data. I will search some more for quality references. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:21, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the wikilink re the 'LIFE' Experiment - I've heard of this way back when but lost track of it for some reason - the results, when/if carried out, may be *very* interesting - and should provide at least some worthy notion of possibilities I would think - somewhat related to all this - tardigrades and other xerophiles can live without nearly any water at all and can survive, apparently, quite well in outer space) - (Also, if interested, see my related published comments) - in any case - Thanks again - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:23, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Interesting links. Admittedly humans have likely contaminated Mars and the Moon, but there is no evidence yet that the hitchhiking bacteria are successfully colonizing areas, so it will be challenging to create a related section here. I have seen papers expressing "concern", though. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:35, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
You're Welcome re Links - I Agree w/ you - developing a section covering some of this thinking and material might be challenging - but, if at all possible, worthy I would think - at least at the moment - suggested wording and all welcome of course - in the meanwhile, I've added several related wikilinks (Forward-contamination, Back-contamination, Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) to the "See Also" Section in the main article - ok w/ me to change this of course - in any case - Enjoy! ;) Drbogdan (talk) 20:04, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

IMPORTANT FOLLOWUP - By Coincidence - Seems Some Of The Material We Were Seeking Was Already Written-Up As A Wikipedia Article - But "Deleted" In February, 2011 (?) (Also See -> Related Link) - Fortunately, The Article Has Survived And Can Be Viewed As Directed Panspermia (draft) - My Own Preliminary Comments On This Material Were Posted As Follows:

Copied From

Talk:Panspermia#Separate_Article_on_Directed_Panspermia

FWIW - At First Glance, And At The Moment, The Material In The Proposed Article On "Directed Panspermia" Seems To Be A *Really, Really* Excellent Academic Effort - A Worthy Contribution To Wikipedia - And - Sufficiently Substantial To Be A *Separate* Article From The Main Article On Panspermia - After All, The Present Panspermia Article Seems To Be More About "In-Coming" [to planet Earth] Whereas "Directed Panspermia" Seems To Be More About "Out-Going" [from planet Earth] Instead - A *Very* Important (seemingly neglected?) Consideration In My Opinion At The Moment - Also, The Minimal Mention Of "Panspermia#Directed_panspermia" In The Present Main Panspermia Article Does *Not* Seem Sufficient For This Very Important Topic In My Opinion - That Said - In Some Ways, The Material In The Newly Proposed

"Directed Panspermia" Article Seems Similar In Basic Notions (in a much more extensive way of course) To The (less extensive?) Material In The Present Forward-contamination Article - Perhaps The Two Articles Could Be Combined In Some Way? - Perhaps The " Directed Panspermia" Article Could Be Edited Into The Present Forward-contamination Article - Or - The Material In The Forward-contamination Article Could Be Merged Into A Newly Created "Directed Panspermia" (or related title) Article - In Any Case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan(talk) 18:20, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Any Comments On This Material, And The Way This Material Can Be Best Incorporated Into Wikipedia, Would Be Greatly Appreciated - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:19, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

SETI ?? Article makes a giant leap from microbes to intelligent civilisations ...[edit]

This concept of this article is ok in my opinion HOWEVER the issue I have with it is that it makes a giant conceptual leap. On one hand it is talking about the scientific study of the basic ingredients for life and the next it is talking about attempts to communicate with intelligent civilizations. There is absolutely no link in between. Is SETI really astrobiology ? Evolvability of extraterrestrial life is not only assumed in this section, but stretched to its limits all the way to non-human intelligence which is not very encyclopedic and far too Earth-centric for my liking. --EvenGreenerFish (talk) 05:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

SETI is astrobiology, because it does involve the search for life in the Universe. If these beings are intelligent they may be able to communicate something about their biology to us. And while it is based on assumptions, estimates for the presence of intelligent life in a biosphere are typically 1%. Certainly not an anthropic bias. Although I do agree that there is no coverage of how extraterrestrial microbes would evolve into complex life before becoming intelligent. Perhaps that's why it didn't become a good article. Wer900 talkessay on the definition of consensus 02:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
AGREED. There should certainly be a link, but such discussion is tantamount to making an appointment with your family doctor and talking about his TV reception.
-- Kortoso (talk) 21:07, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Carbohydrates found in space[edit]

Not sure if this discovery can be used here: [1] -BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:51, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Did anything ever become of this discovery? --Thorwald (talk) 09:55, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
The finding of glycolaldehyde sugar was entered in the Abiogenesis article. I understand the research is correct and was peer-reviewed and duplicated. Now, hypotheses are being formulated. This is one example (NASA) [2]: "Because sugars are associated with both metabolism and the genetic code, two of the most basic aspects of life, Hollis rationalized the discovery of any sugar in space would increase the likelihood that life may exist elsewhere in our galaxy." BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Portal[edit]

The Astrobiology Portal is now under construction and will need continued user support and contributions. Please help out! You can either edit the portal directly (see link at bottom of article) or improving upon pages in the scope of astrobiology (such as this one) that will later be featured on the portal. Thank you!--Jacob.husted (talk) 18:15, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Life originating 10 B years ago[edit]

Here is a candid critique to that paper, [3] specially charging that the authors cherry-picked their data to reach the desired conclusion (life is older than Earth → validating panspermia.) I agree that the paper premise (hypothesis) is fringe and perhaps not worth of such exposure -at least not in the introduction of this article. What say you? CHeers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 22:33, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Flexible w/ this at the moment - maybe a mention in the article but not necessarily in the lede? - looking forward to a more serious (peer-reviewed?) critical assessment of course - seems new ideas need time (apparently there was quite a go-round of sorts when "continental drift" was first announced - maybe to this day w/ some?) - if interested, some of my present thinking may be found => HERE - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:01, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

UPDATE: Moved old text from the lede and added newer text/refs (including updated arXiv ref) to Astrobiology#Biology section instead as follows:

Astrobiology#Biology section addition:

...NIH scientists reported studies that life began 9.7±2.5 billion years ago, billions of years before the Earth was formed, based on "extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times".< ref name="arXiv-20130328">Sharov, Alexei A.; Gordon, Richard (28 March 2013). "Life Before Earth" (PDF). arXiv. arXiv:1304.3381v1Freely accessible. Retrieved 16 April 2013. </ref>< ref name="NIH-20060612">Sharov, Alexei A. (12 June 2006). "Genome increase as a clock for the origin and evolution of life". Biology Direct. 1: 1–17. doi:10.1186/1745-6150-1-17. PMC 1526419Freely accessible. </ref> (also see Abiogenesis#Coenzyme world)

should now be ok but *entirely* ok to rv/mv/ce of course - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 03:04, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I think that is better. Thank you. BatteryIncluded (talk) 11:51, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Xenobiology[edit]

Xenobiology redirects here on the assumption that it refers to its older meaning that is roughly synonymous with "astrobiology". However, there has arisen a new meaning of the term "xenobiology" that refers to the creation of synthetic life analogues like Xeno Nucleic Acid that seems like it would warrant an article independent of astrobiology. I'm not sure the best way to solve this, but it seems to me like it would include making xenobiology a disambiguation page. Thoughts? Gordon P. Hemsley 16:14, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Hello. If you were create a disambiguation page for xenobiology, what would the names of the articles listed? I think a xenobiology (molecular biology) article would need to be created, and would need to to rename (e.g. move) the existing articles involved. Updating 'redirects' would be easy. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, the naming of the new article is part of the quandary. (Well, really, it's the whole quandary.) I was anticipating that the disambig page would simply link to astrobiology rather than an additional third page for the old meaning. I don't know how I feel about a xenobiology (molecular biology), because of the seeming redundancy in the name, but that is indeed something along the lines of what I was thinking. I don't imagine there would be too many existing articles that would need to be moved/renamed. And probably just a handful of redirects to update. Gordon P. Hemsley 17:10, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I didn't realize synthetic biology already existed; I've turned xenobiology into a disambig page that links to it. (I also see that /Archive 1 has a lot of past discussion about the relationship between "xenobiology" and "astrobiology".) Gordon P. Hemsley 13:45, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

Biology and chemistry, as opposed to physics, do not admit ideological contexts: either the biological phenomena are real, or they are abstract.[dubious – discuss] Biologists cannot say that a process or phenomenon, by being mathematically possible, have to exist forcibly in the real nature. For biologists, the ground of speculations is well noticeable, and biologists specify what is speculative and what is not.

This is the introductory paragraph of the Biology section. It has numerous problems:

  • It is vague, self-contradictory (first sentence seems to set biological knowledge as a model of true nature, while the second seems to refute this), and--dare I say--ideologically loaded in and of itself.
  • It doesn't seem to add anything to the subsequent discussion.
  • It is plagiarism due to unacknowledged near-verbatim copying from the source (which in turn is written in less-than-fluent English)

I'm deleting it. Moxfyre (ǝɹʎℲxoɯ | contrib) 05:52, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

The attribution is your only valid issue, the statement is very clear and correct. I want to remark that your label of "dubious and vague" is a recurring reaction from a physicist editing a biology article, and who by training, is unaware that biology cannot state "that a process or phenomenon, by being mathematically possible, have to exist forcibly in nature." Although mathematical models and extrapolations are valid and generally correct in physics, life does not always conform to mathematical speculations; see entropy and life. Unlike physicists, biologists don't deal exclusively with the atomic forces and electric fields. Life, although real, is unlikely and seems rare in the cosmos. The origin of life is an exception to entropy, involving chemical evolution and a myriad of variables and environments, so biologists MUST highlight (against the comprehension of physicists) when a biological process in an extraterrestrial environment is real or speculated. CHeers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:11, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

NASA-TV (07/14/2014@2pm/et/usa) - Search for Life Beyond Earth.[edit]

NASA-TV (07/14/2014@2:00-3:30pm/et/usa) - Panel of leading experts to discuss plans leading to the "discovery of potentially habitable worlds among the stars"[1] - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

FOLLOWUP - NASA VIDEO REPLAY - Space Experts Discuss the "Search for Life in the Universe" (86:49) at => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNjuz6MO0eU - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

NASA-TV (08/20/2014@5:30-6:30pm/et/usa) - Habitable Exoplanets.[edit]

FWIW - NASA-TV (08/20/2014@5:30-6:30pm/et/usa) - Panel of experts discuss ancient Earth and Habitable Exoplanets[1] - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:05, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Brown, Dwayne (August 19, 2014). "MEDIA ADVISORY M14-137 - NASA to Air Panel Discussion about Ancient Earth and Habitable Planets". NASA. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
FOLLOWUP - NASA VIDEO REPLAY - Excellent imo - Space Experts Discuss "Ancient Earth, Alien Earths" (59:38) at => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwvj9SUUVlo - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:47, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Life in Space[edit]

Of possible interest --

In any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:09, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

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Methane as a carbon source/waste product? Radiation-resistant microbes?[edit]

I'm not sure how hot a topic this is among microbiologists/biochemists, but I was wondering how plausible is it that there are Methane producing microbes on Titan? We know that there are lakes of Methane on Titan, but do we know of any mechanisms through which it can be metabolized by any microorganisms? It's a high fuel hydrocarbon that provides energy upon combustion, so could there be microorganisms that can use it as a carbon source or as a fuel source? There are theories of how the building blocks of life's origins could have been jettisoned from Mars when an asteroid hit it some 10 billions of years ago, so life could have very well began outside of earth. There are microorganisms already that have been shown to be able to survive space's intense radiation, so could these species have come from another place other than earth that intense raditation is so common that it allowed for radiation-resistant organisms to evolve? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leerich3 (talkcontribs) 02:49, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Microbes derive energy not from combustion but through metabolism, which has to do with electro-chemical gradients (electron transfer) within compartments (organelles or cell membranes). Yes, such Terran metabolic pathways are known. Methanogens ("methane-generators") use CO2 and H2 as their sole energy source, with methane being a waste (biproduct) of their metabolism. Regarding the lakes and clouds on Titan, because of their large volume, it is not likely the methane/ethane oceans were produced in such biological manner -no controversy there - but there are hypotheses that contemplate this organic-rich soup supplying the chemical elements to kick-start abiogenesis, if the physical environmentsl requirements are also met. 98.100.145.6 (talk) 16:53, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

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