What Is ‘Panspermia?’ New Evidence For The Wild Theory That Says We Could All Be Space Aliens

Imagine if NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover—now on its way to the red planet—discovered microbial life there.It would change everything we know about life in the Solar System and far beyond.Or would it? What if we accidentally transported life to Mars on a spacecraft? And what if that is how life moves around the Universe?

A new paper published this week in Frontiers in Microbiology explores the possibility that microbes and extremophiles may migrate between planets and distribute life around the Universe—and that includes on spacecraft sent from Earth to Mars.This is the controversial theory of “panspermia.”

What is ‘panspermia?’

It’s an untested, unproven and rather wild theory regarding the interplanetary transfer of life. It theorizes that microscopic life-forms, such as bacteria, can be transported through space and land on another planet. Thus sparking life elsewhere. It could happen by accident—such as on spacecraft—via comets and asteroids in the Solar System, and perhaps even between star systems on interstellar objects like ʻOumuamua.

However, for “panspermia” to have any credence requires proof that bacteria could survive a long journey through the vacuum, temperature fluctuations, and intense UV radiation in outer space.Cue the “Tanpopo” project.

What is the ‘Tanpopo’ mission?

Tanpopo—dandelion in English—is a scientific experiment to see if bacteria can survive in the extremes of outer space. The researchers from Tokyo University—in conjunction with Japanese national space agency JAXA—wanted to see if the bacteria deinococcus could survive in space, so had it placed in exposure panels on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). It’s known as being resistant to radiation.

Dried samples of different thicknesses were exposed to space environment for one, two, or three years and then tested to see if any survived. They did, largely by a layer of dead bacteria protecting a colony beneath it. The researchers estimate that a colony of 1 mm of diameter could potentially survive up to 8 years in outer space conditions.

What does this mean for ‘panspermia?’

“The results suggest that deinococcus could survive during the travel from Earth to Mars and vice versa, which is several months or years in the shortest orbit,” said Akihiko Yamagishi, a Professor at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and principal investigator of Tanpopo.

That means spacecraft visiting Mars could theoretically carry microorganisms and potentially contaminate its surface. However, this isn’t just about Earth and Mars—the ramifications of panspermia, if proven, are far-reaching. “The origin of life on Earth is the biggest mystery of human beings (and) scientists can have totally different points of view on the matter,” said Dr. Yamagishi.

“Some think that life is very rare and happened only once in the Universe, while others think that life can happen on every suitable planet.” “If panspermia is possible, life must exist much more often than we previously thought.”

What is ‘lithopanspermia?’

This is bacteria surviving in space for a long period when shielded by rock—typically an asteroid or a comet—which could travel between planets, potentially spreading bacteria and biologically-rich matter around the Solar System. However, the theory of panspermia goes even further than that.

What is ‘interstellar panspermia’ and ‘galactic panspermia?’

This is the hypothesis—and it’s one with zero evidence—that life exists throughout the galaxy and/or Universe specifically because bacteria and microorganisms are spread around by asteroids, comets, space dust and possibly even interstellar spacecraft from alien civilizations.

In 2018 a paper concluded that the likelihood of Galactic panspermia is strongly dependent upon the survival lifetime of the organisms as well as the velocity of the comet or asteroid—positing that the entire Milky Way could potentially be exchanging biotic components across vast distances.

Such theories have gained credence in the last few years with the discovery of two extrasolar objects Oumuamua and Borisov passing through our Solar System.However, while the ramifications are mind-boggling, panspermia is definitely not a proven scientific process. There are still many unanswered questions about how the space-surviving microbes could physically transfer from one celestial body to another.

How will Perseverance look for life on Mars?

NASA’s Perseverance rover is due to land on the red planet on February 18, 2021. It will land in a nearly four billion-year-old river delta in Mars’ 28 miles/45 kilometers-wide Jezero Crater.

It’s thought likely that Jezero Crater was home to a lake as large as Lake Tahoe more than 3.5 billion years ago. Ancient rivers there could have carried organic molecules and possibly even microorganisms.

Perseverance’s mission will be to analyze rock and sediment samples to see if Mars may have had conditions for microorganisms to thrive. It will drill a few centimeters into Mars and take core samples, then put the most promising into containers. It will then leave them on the Martian surface to be later collected by a human mission in the early 2030s.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

I’m an experienced science, technology and travel journalist and stargazer writing about exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses,

Source: What Is ‘Panspermia?’ New Evidence For The Wild Theory That Says We Could All Be Space Aliens

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How To Buy More Than $10,000 Of I Bonds Before The Rate Drops

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Thursday released inflation numbers for September. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 0.4% in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, or 8.2% over the past 12 months before seasonal adjustment. The CPI numbers now allow us to calculate the inflation rate on I bonds that will take effect in November.

Using the month-by-month data, the new inflation rate will drop to approximately 6.47% starting next month. Keep in mind that we don’t yet know the fixed rate portion for November I bonds. The Treasury Department will release that information next month. The rate makes I bonds an excellent place to invest cash.

The projected 6.47% is a significant drop from the current 9.62% rate. At the same time, it’s still an excellent rate for a risk-free investment, particularly given the performance of both the stock and bond markets in 2022. And the lower rate beats some of the best interest rates on savings accounts and CDs. Still, there are several ways to lock in the 9.62% rate, even if you’ve already purchased I bonds this year.

If You Haven’t Bought $10,000 Of I Bonds This Year

For those who haven’t purchased I bonds this year, now is the time to do it. You can purchase up to $10,000 a year per person. If you make the purchase by October 28, 2022, you’ll receive the current 9.62% annualized rate for the first six months.

With Inflation Hot, Can Fed Stay The Course?

This confuses some folks. Even though the rate will change next month for new purchases, those who buy in October will first earn the annualized 9.62% for six months, and then the new November rate for six months.

Keep in mind two things about I bonds. First, you cannot cash them in for the first 12 months. Second, if you redeem an I bond within the first five years, you’ll forfeit 3 month’s worth of interest.

If You Have Purchased $10,000 Of I Bonds This Year

For those who have already purchased their limit in I bonds, there are still strategies available to buy even more.

First, those with trusts can buy I Bonds in the name of the trust. Many families have revocable living trusts, for example, which can purchase I Bonds subject to the $10,000 limit. In some cases, families may have more than one trust, thus increasing the limits they can purchase. You’ll find resources for trusts on the Treasury Direct website here.

Second, you can also purchase I bonds in the name of a business. The business can be a sole proprietor or an LLC. Even somebody with a side hustle can purchase I bonds.

Third, you can purchase I bonds as a gift. Parents or grandparents, for example, might purchase I bonds for their children or grandchildren. To purchase an I bond as a gift, you must know the recipients social security number, and the bonds are registered in the recipient’s name.

After an I bond is purchased as a gift, it remains in the buyer’s Treasury Direct account until transferred to the recipient. While it sits there, it earns interest and is subject to the same rules as any other I bond purchase. And the buyer can keep the I bond in their account for years before delivering it to the recipient’s Treasury Direct account.

As odd as that may seem, it actually presents a fourth strategy for maxing out the current 9.62% rate. Spouses, those with significant others, or perhaps close friends can buy each other a $10,000 I bond as a gift.

If purchased before the new rates take effect, the I bond will earn the annualized 9.62% rate for the first six months. There is one catch, however.

When the I bond is transferred to the recipient’s account, it counts toward the recipient’s annual limit. If they’ve already purchased $10,000 in I bonds this year, you would have to wait until next year to deliver the I bond. Given that it earns the higher return from the start, this shouldn’t present an issue.

In theory, one could purchase more than $10,000 in I bonds as a gift this month for the same person. Just keep in mind that one cannot deliver more than $10,000 a year in I bonds to the recipient, and that assumes they haven’t purchased I bonds on their own.

You can check out a video on this strategy here.

One final note. Treasury Direct made some updates to its site this month. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the update broke parts of the website. One part that isn’t working is the buying of I bonds as a gift. The hope is the website will get fixed before the 9.62% rate goes away.

Rob is a Contributing Editor for Forbes Advisor, host of the Financial Freedom Show, and the author of Retire Before Mom and Dad

Source: How To Buy More Than $10,000 Of I Bonds Before The Rate Drops

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Related contents:

There’s no rush to buy Ibonds MarketWatch

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Surprise! CDs are back in vogue with Treasurys and Ibonds as safe havens for your cash MarketWatchWhen stocks are down, bonds hold steady or go up. So why are bonds down? NPR

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Govt: Poll bonds transparent The Telegraph, Calcutta
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5 Tiny But Impactful ‘Microaffirmations’ To Make Everyone on Your Team Feel Valued and Included

When it comes to making sure colleagues from different backgrounds feel comfortable at work, tiny things really do matter. We often hear about how “microaggressions” like always expecting female employees to organize birthday cards or questioning non-white colleagues about “where they’re from” can alienate, exhaust, and distract people at work.

But the opposite is also true. Even small actions and moments of thoughtfulness can make people feel welcome, valued, and included. New research out of the University of Kansas, for instance, found simply having male allies who spoke positively about gender equality helped make women working in unbalanced tech and science fields feel more supported.

Microaggressions matter, but so too do “microaffirmations.” These “are little ways that you can affirm someone’s identity; recognize and validate their experience and expertise; build confidence; develop trust; foster belonging; and support someone in their career,” according to Change Catalyst CEO Melinda Briana Epler, who has worked on diversity issues for 25 years.

Microaffirmations cost nothing and take mere seconds but can make a big difference to how well your company lives up to its ideals (and attracts and retains diverse talent). In a recent TED Ideas post, Epler laid out 13 of them, but here are five to get you started.

1. Mirror the language that someone uses to describe their own identity.

Can the fast-changing rules about the “right” words to use around sensitive subjects and identity markers seem confusing sometimes? Sure, but there’s an easy solution that doesn’t require keeping up with complicated theories or ever-changing debates. Just talk about people the way they talk about themselves.

“Listen and learn how someone pronounces their name, describes their identity and uses their pronouns. Then mirror the language they use to describe themselves — it shows them you’re paying attention and that you care about them,” instructs Epler.

2. Acknowledge important holidays and life milestones.

Not everyone in your office may celebrate the same holidays or tick through the same life milestones. But everyone you work with deserves to have the biggest occasions in their lives recognized by their colleagues.

“Keep an eye out for key moments that might be important in someone’s life, and recognize them. You might wish them a lovely Diwali if they celebrate it,” Epler offers as an example of a long list of potentially relevant occasions including Juneteenth, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Pride Month, etc.

3. When someone isn’t participating, take notice and support them.

It’s easy to write off someone who is quiet in meetings or brainstorming sessions as simply short of courage or ideas, but if you do so, you’ll likely miss out on both valuable insights as well as a chance to bring out the best in your people.

“A person who is feeling marginalized or excluded, tokenized or like an impostor may sideline themselves — by not speaking up, not contributing, not showing up. In the remote workplace, people may turn off their video because they aren’t engaged, don’t have a home environment they want to show on video, feel excluded, or are burned out from inequities and exclusion. Check in with them, and see if and how you can support them,” advises Epler.

4. Invite someone to speak and share their expertise.

If you’re invited to speak on an all-white guy panel or notice a certain sameness in who gets chosen for the big presentations around your office, fixing that lack of diversity isn’t just in the hands of the organizers. Epler urges those with clout to help push forward underrecognized talent in their professional circles.

“If you’ve been invited to give a speech or presentation, ask if you can bring an expert colleague with you to the stage, or consider stepping back and recommending someone who isn’t often asked to speak,” she suggests, adding that “if you’re asking someone to share their expertise at a corporate event or at an event that makes a profit, make sure they are paid equitably for their expertise.”

5. Provide both positive feedback and constructive criticism.

Studies show that women in particular are often give only “nice” feedback that ignores areas for improvement and robs them of opportunities to learn and grow. So be cognizant of your constructive criticism and make sure you’re not shying away from sometimes awkward but ultimately beneficial conversations with certain members of your team.

On the other hand, Epler reminds bosses to also remember to mix praise for what’s positive in with notes on what to work on. “When I was in film school working with actors, one of my directing teachers taught us that you should always give an actor two to three pieces of specific positive feedback before providing negative or constructive feedback. It can make a big difference in their next performance,” she writes.

Author image for Jessica Stillman

Source: 5 Tiny but Impactful ‘Microaffirmations’ to Make Everyone on Your Team Feel Valued and Included | Inc.com

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George Gilder- Life After Google Blockstack Berlin 2018

George Franklin Gilder is an American investor, writer, economist, techno-utopian advocate, and co-founder of the Discovery Institute. His 1981 international bestseller Wealth and Poverty advanced a practical and moral case for supply-side economics and capitalism during the early months of the Reagan administration and made him Ronald Reagan‘s most quoted living author.[2] Married to Nini Gilder, he has four children.

In the 1970s, Gilder established himself as a critic of feminism and government welfare policies, arguing that they eroded the “sexual constitution” that civilized and socialized men in the roles of fathers and providers. In the 1990s, he became an enthusiastic evangelist of technology and the Internet by several books and his newsletter, the Gilder Technology Report. He is also known as the chairman of George Gilder Fund Management, LLC…….

 

 

 

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