Monday, Dec 3, 2012
1. ORGANIC: BEYOND THE HIGH-PRICED STUFF AT THE SUPERMARKET.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Charles Elachi, speaking to an
international conference at La Sapienza University in Rome last week,
implied that evidence of extraterrestrial life had been discovered on Mars
by NASA's Curiosity Rover. The search for life to which we are not related
is arguably the greatest scientific quest of our time. Although NASA and
JPL now downplay the story, theres room for uncertainty. "Organic" is not
a particularly exclusive club. There are about 4 million known organic
compounds and new ones are found every day. There is an urgent need for
more detail about the discovery and how it was made. But I remind you that
November is "rutting season." Even as male deer are fighting over access
to females, science laboratories around the world are fighting for a share
of the tight science budget.