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How can we detect alien organisms that don’t look like life on Earth?

Dirk Schulze-Makuch | 
Nearly all previous life detection instruments have looked for volatile organic compounds using a gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer, or GC-MS. The Viking ...
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‘Game-changer’: Europe’s ExoMars rover armed with new life-testing tool

Dirk Schulze-Makuch | 
In a new paper published in the journal Astrobiology, Jacob Heinz, my colleague at the Technical University of Berlin, and I discuss ...
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Have we already discovered life on Mars? And did we accidentally kill it?

Dirk Schulze-Makuch | 
In a recent opinion piece in Scientific American, former Viking Mars investigator Gil Levin fired up anew the argument over whether that ...
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Water world: Does the evolution of intelligent life require land?

Dirk Schulze-Makuch | 
Exoplanets come in a variety of types, and so-called “water worlds”—planets with at least ten percent of their total mass ...
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What are the odds that aliens might actually look similar to us?

Dirk Schulze-Makuch | 
In his new book, Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution, Charles Cockell from the University of Edinburgh makes the argument ...
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Is speculation about alien life legitimate science? Or merely a distraction?

Elizabeth Howell | 
Speculation about extraterrestrials seems to be everywhere these days. [Recently] it was “Tabby’s Star” (more officially known as KIC 8462852), ...