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A new discovery that may lead to a lot of life in the universe!

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posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:28 PM
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When discussing life outside of Earth we have little to go on. Too many times do we tend to base our predictions solely on the events that took place here that lead to life on Earth, and what life here needs to survive and flourish without considering alternatives that could lead organisms to survive without the need of the resources we have here.

We constantly find new organisms that feed off things (such as acid or radiation) and live in environments that we previously considered impossible, or at the very least, unlikely.

Now a new theory suggests that cosmic rays could power subsurface life in the universe. Here's the direct paper if you're interested. Paper.





Dimitra Atri, from the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, just dropped a curious paper into the official Arxiv bin of open knowledge. In it, he discusses the possibility that life in subsurface environments — places where photosynthesis is a non-starter — could eke out a living by feeding upon cosmic rays. Rather than consuming them directly, as they are much too potent for that, life would extract their secondary energy via a mechanism known as radiolysis.

We need look no further than hot springs or seafloor hydrothermal vent systems to find subsurface life capable of sustaining minimal metabolisms from purely geothermal or geochemical sources. Perhaps more surprisingly, bacteria found deep in the mines of South Africa have been found to subsist via radiolysis. Specifically, they consume hydrogen formed through the emissions of radioactive U, Th, and K in the surrounding rock.

There is another source of radiation available in subsurface environments, and that’s the one Atri has zeroed in on. Galactic cosmic rays produce a small but steady stream of secondary particles known as muons. Muon-induced radiolysis can generate H2, which can be harnessed by methanogens for abiotic (inorganic) hydrocarbon synthesis. Methanogens are not bacteria per se, but are generally classified as members of kingdom ‘Archaea.’ Methanogens, which you can find more about here, produce methane as a metabolic product in anoxic conditions.


To me, this is great news! The fact is, we have no idea what other life would be like. Even if conditions need to be like Earth we have already discovered so many other planets that meet our requirements.

It would not surprise me at all if we learned that life is abundant throughout the universe.
edit on 5/6/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I like the sound of that.

All the more, muons are available all throughout the Galaxy - which means that the planet upon which life would exist would not need a Sun. So actually this kind of life could exist on planets very far from their stars, or even on orphan planets!

Very thought-provoking indeed.




posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: swanne

Absolutely! In fact, it wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that even non celestial bodies contained organisms that fed on muons.

I'm thinking Asteroids.

Would be a great way to kickstart life on a planet if small, primitive single celled organisms were populating an asteroid that then collided with a planet.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

The fact we have ever thought that only Earth like planets could sustain life is extremely arrogant and short sighted on our part. Of course other life exist elsewhere and nowhere does it say that Earth is the blueprint. Any atmosphere could sustain life. What we see as life here is usually relegated to a human form, but just because we have this body does not mean that other forms of life do not survive atmospheres we would not.

We are all powered by the same energy in the entirety of the Universe, we just inhabit different forms. To quote a movie I watched recently, "We never truly die, we are just re-purposed". It happens to be the only line this actor spoke that I remember and I truly agree with.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:51 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Now we just need to find some!

There has to be life out in the universe, most probably not compatible with earthbound life, but ,life none the less.

So far everything has seemed pretty barren.

I'm glad people are thinking out of the box to find life elsewhere.

s&f



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: Darkblade71

I'm not so sure about that. I think it only appears barren because we really haven't gone anywhere. We've been to the moon, and we have a few bots on various celestial bodies, but only within our solar system. We have very few things that are actually on the surface of a celestial body and taking direct samples.

I think it's just that our hand hasn't reached far enough to really get a good glimpse at things that is the issue



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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originally posted by: searcherfortruth
a reply to: Ghost147

The fact we have ever thought that only Earth like planets could sustain life is extremely arrogant and short sighted on our part. Of course other life exist elsewhere and nowhere does it say that Earth is the blueprint...


There are very few, if any, mainstream astrobiologists who feel that only the only blueprint for life is Earth-type life. The articles I read from astobiologists often discuss the possibilities of life on places such as Titan, whose life would be very different than Earth life, and may consume hydrogen and hydrocarbons the way earth live uses oxygen and water.

HOWEVER, when it comes to actually searching for life elsewhere, those astrobiologists have no experience actually being able to even recognize "life as we DON'T know it", so that's why they usually look for "Life as we know it".

We would need to be able to devise tests to be able to detect life elsewhere, but if that life has metabolic processes that are not known to the researchers, then it is very difficult for those researchers to devise ways to detect that life.

So that's why, at least for now, the emphasis for finding life elsewhere is concentrating on finding Earth-type planets, where there is liquid water. One test for detecting life processes of life-as-we-know-it in far-away exoplanets would be to look for an abundance of free oxygen in their atmospheres (by reading the spectrum of light from those atmospheres). An abundance of free oxygen has no other known method of existing in an atmosphere, other than life-as-we-know-it.


edit on 6/5/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

This has only been in recent years. I would suggest what would be more important would be to concentrate our money and resources on life right here. I live on Earth and I really think we have no business concerning ourselves with what sustains life on other planets when we can not even take care of the one we have.
edit on 5-6-2015 by searcherfortruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: searcherfortruth
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

This has only been in recent years. I would suggest what would be more important would be to concentrate our money and resources on life right here. I live on Earth and I really think we have no business concerning ourselves with what sustains life on other planets when we can not even take care of the one we have.


We can multitask.

There is more money being spent on trying to solve Earth's societal ills than there is being spent looking for life elsewhere.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

A discovery?

Would it not be a theory until they have found any



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: Spacespider

The discovery is that muons can be a source of energy for slow metabolizing organisms



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Could very well be. We are very limited as of yet when it comes to space exploration.
It is my hope that we find the universe filled with life.

At least we can look out and see what is there.
Kind of like quantum physics,
You need an observer in order to have reality.
There is an entire universe out there,
and just by a little creative and logical thinking, and understanding that things change when observed,
perhaps the universe has already been observed, and we are seeing what others have already seen and brought into being just through awareness of them/ourselves...

I hope that made sense, as it is something I have been pondering the last few weeks.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 05:22 PM
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Ahh. .. humans thinking outside the bubble ..


Many have said the solar energy is 'spraying' the programs for realities. Meaning, the stars are spraying the micro-information and giving the formula for life to create.

If we didn't have stars, we would have zero life. No warmth, no light, no life. Stars are obviously the parents to planets, planets are parents to their organisms, like humans. Galaxies are parents to stars...

Microcosm to the macrocosm, everything is connected, and the biggest celestial bodies, to the smaller bipedal, are created by the infinitely small particles and trons, including Photons which apparently, are just light.

Makes sense the solar energy is spraying information to these particles and trons that go ahead and take on the program, to build, form, create.

Back into the bubble I go, Ahh. ..



Thanks for sharing, science will slowly but surely get to answers of our origins. But in the meantime, our minds can exercise?



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Ah yes, but what gave life consciousness? Not cosmic rays.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 07:42 PM
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There is black mould in the Chernobyl reactor remains, that feeds off the radiation. So it's entirely possible. The only cruciual factor which we deem necessary for life, is liquid water, or at least enough pressure to allow a living cell to contain water.

However, in the most general terms, life is a phenomenon whereby a system is able to decrease its internal entropy (in other words, resist the universal growth of decay and disorder) at the cost of external resources, which it then discards in a degraded form.



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 07:48 PM
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originally posted by: FlySolo
a reply to: Ghost147

Ah yes, but what gave life consciousness? Not cosmic rays.


Correct. What gave some lifeforms consciousness is specific Evolutionary traits found in the brain.
edit on 5/6/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

unproven you might want to add



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 08:14 PM
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a reply to: wildespace

Or microbes living on sulfur that don't even care about the water. Purple Sulfur bacteria



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 10:27 PM
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originally posted by: FlySolo
a reply to: Ghost147

unproven you might want to add


No, it is proven that the brain is the source of consciousness. We just don't know exactly what part of it causes it's activation.




Recently, researchers discovered a brain area that acts as a kind of on-off switch for the brain. When they electrically stimulated this region, called the claustrum, the patient became unconscious instantly. In fact, Koch and Francis Crick, the molecular biologist who famously helped discover the double-helix structure of DNA, had previously hypothesized that this region might integrate information across different parts of the brain, like the conductor of a symphony.

Source




This example works as a simple analogy of how the brain processes information, but doesn’t explain the heightened consciousness of a human in comparison to say a mouse. Some people believe that brain size is linked with consciousness. A human brain contains roughly 86 billion neurons whereas a mouse brain contains only 75 million (over a thousand times less). A person might then argue that it is because our brains are bigger and contain more nerve cells that we can form more complex thoughts. While this may hold to a certain extent, it still doesn’t really explain how consciousness arises.

To explain why brain size isn’t the only thing that matters, we need to consider our brain in terms of the different structures/areas it consists of and not just as a single entity. The human cerebellum at the base of the brain contains roughly 70 billion neurons, whereas the cerebral cortex at the top of the brain contains roughly 16 billion. If you cut off a bit of your cerebellum (don’t try this at home) then you may walk a bit lopsided, but you would still be able to form conscious thoughts. If however, you decided to cut off a bit of your cortex, the outer-most folds of the brain, your conscious thought would be severely diminished and your life drastically impacted.

Source

If we were to meddle with the brain and consciousness were not to be effected, then that would be proof that consciousness does not derive from the brain.

Ergo, evolutionary traits bring upon consciousness.
edit on 5/6/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

No, it hasn't been proven. I think you better take a closer look at your source. They're all still theories.

And that "on/off switch"


Abstract
The neural mechanisms that underlie consciousness are not fully understood. We describe a region in the human brain where electrical stimulation reproducibly disrupted consciousness. A 54-year-old woman with intractable epilepsy underwent depth electrode implantation and electrical stimulation mapping. The electrode whose stimulation disrupted consciousness was between the left claustrum and anterior-dorsal insula. Stimulation of electrodes within 5 mm did not affect consciousness. We studied the interdependencies among depth recording signals as a function of time by nonlinear regression analysis (h2 coefficient) during stimulations that altered consciousness and stimulations of the same electrode at lower current intensities that were asymptomatic. Stimulation of the claustral electrode reproducibly resulted in a complete arrest of volitional behavior, unresponsiveness, and amnesia without negative motor symptoms or mere aphasia. The disruption of consciousness did not outlast the stimulation and occurred without any epileptiform discharges. We found a significant increase in correlation for interactions affecting medial parietal and posterior frontal channels during stimulations that disrupted consciousness compared with those that did not. Our findings suggest that the left claustrum/anterior insula is an important part of a network that subserves consciousness and that disruption of consciousness is related to increased EEG signal synchrony within frontal–parietal networks.


Proves nothing of the sort that this particular area is the sole cause for consciousness. It says in the very first sentence of this abstract that the neural mechanisms are not understood. Quite a leap from that to proven. The find is very interesting we have an on/off switch. Like a droid.

It's my contention that this on/off switch is merely a valve because anesthesia has the same anomalous effect, and microtubules play a major role in consciousness as per Dr. Penrose.
www.elsevier.com... ontroversial-20-year-old-theory-of-consciousness




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