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Space Science

Sweet Molecule Could Lead Us To Alien Life 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-catch-more-aliens-with-honey dept.
Matt_dk writes "Scientists have detected an organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life in a region of our galaxy where habitable planets could exist. The international team of researchers used the IRAM radio telescope in France to detect the molecule in a massive star forming region of space, some 26,000 light years from Earth."
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Sweet Molecule Could Lead Us To Alien Life

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  • um (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @09:43PM (#25905789)
    ...sweet
  • Oh, I see another PETA game coming...

    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:07AM (#25906387)

      Oh, I see another PETA game coming...

      You mean People Eating Tasty Aliens?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is not a joking matter.

        We'd better be concerned whether or not there is an AETP (Aliens for the Ethical Treatment of Pets) because, you know, we'll make great pets.

        • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @06:08PM (#25911721)

          Stranger: Well, it isn't all of us that are made for wild beasts, and that's what it's got to be. That's why I watched you. Watched you. All these little office workers that used to live in these houses -- they'd be no good. They haven't any stuff to 'em. They just used to run off to work. I've seen hundreds of 'em, running wild to catch their commuters' train in the morning for fear that they'd get canned if they didn't; running back at night afraid that they won't be in time for dinner. Lives insured and a little invested in case of accidents. Yeah, and on Sundays, worried about the hereafter. The Martians will be a godsend for those guys. Nice roomy cages, good food, careful breeding, no worries. Yeah, after a week or so chasing about the fields on empty stomachs they'll come and be glad to be caught.
          Pierson: You've thought it all out, haven't you?
          Stranger: Sure, you bet I have! And that isn't all. These Martians will make pets of some of them, train 'em to do tricks. Who knows? Get sentimental over the pet boy who grew up and had to be killed. Yeah. And some, maybe, they'll train to hunt us.
          Pierson: No, that's impossible. No human being....
          Stranger: Yes they will. There's men who'll do it gladly. If one of them ever comes after me, why....

        • I can only hope that maybe martians will do better than we've done.

      • by tyrione (134248)

        Or the truly subversive meaning of PETA:

        Premenstrual Extraterrestrial Tree Activists.

    • Oh, I see another PETA game coming...

      If PETA were serious, they'd put 100% of their efforts into developing an ethically superior food that's cheaper and tastier than meat.

      They don't, so they're not.

      QED.

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        If PETA were serious, they'd put 100% of their efforts into developing an ethically superior food that's cheaper and tastier than meat. They don't, so they're not. QED.

        Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of PETA. I'm not even a vegetarian, but that's a crap argument, and slapping "QED" at the end doesn't make it more valid.

        Stupid fucking analogy coming up: Suppose I got my kicks by driving around residential streets at 110mph, and some do-gooder whined that it was ethically wrong because of the danger to residents and all the dead pensioners wrapped around my bumper. Would it be a valid response to say that the road safety campaigners should STFU until they come up with an ethica

        • Obviously it could be cool if they could come up with a really good meat substitute, but that's not their main aim.

          Why do they put so many resources into advertising "Meat is Death" if they're not trying to convince people to stop eating meat?

          The fraction of people who eat meat "because it's death" is vanishingly small and would gladly switch if an alternative were available. But the alternative isn't Boca burgers and hummus because that doesn't meet the consumers' requirements. So, until such an alternat

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            Why do they put so many resources into advertising "Meat is Death" if they're not trying to convince people to stop eating meat?

            Where the heck did I imply that they weren't? Of course they are.

            The fraction of people who eat meat "because it's death" is vanishingly small

            Are you referring to a tiny percentage of people who like meat *because* it's dead animals? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here(!)

            and would gladly switch if an alternative were available. But the alternative isn't Boca burgers and hummus because that doesn't meet the consumers' requirements. So, until such an alternative is available (I believe that's inevitable) most people will eat meat.

            Where do you draw the line with an acceptable alternative? PETA may argue (again, you might or might not agree) that current alternatives are good enough if you're aware of the suffering involved in the creation of meat.

            You can disagree, but that's still a valid perspective to argue from and therefo

            • PETA may argue (again, you might or might not agree) that current alternatives are good enough if you're aware of the suffering involved in the creation of meat.

              Right, they do. But empirically lots of people are aware but do not change their eating habits because the alternatives don't meet their requirements. So my contention is that their base assumption is wrong, that education won't convert nearly enough people to attain their goals.

              And don't get hung up on 'qed', it was meant to be glib.

              • by Dogtanian (588974)

                So my contention is that their base assumption is wrong

                That's your contention, and certainly arguable, but it's not an indisputable fact. So to imply that simply because PETA haven't based their strategy around it they aren't serious (your original point)... is incorrect (*my* original point!)

                • That's your contention, and certainly arguable, but it's not an indisputable fact.

                  Well, how would one measure success then?

                  • by Dogtanian (588974)

                    That's your contention, and certainly arguable, but it's not an indisputable fact.

                    Well, how would one measure success then?

                    No idea, and not my problem! Since you were the one whose an argument relied on this being clearly true, the onus is on you, not me. :)

                    • No idea, and not my problem! Since you were the one whose an argument relied on this being clearly true, the onus is on you, not me. :)

                      Meat sales continue to grow [slashdot.org] despite PETA's campaign. That's prima facia evidence their campaign is not having the impact desired (to get people to stop eating meat). You stated that this this was arguable, not an indisputable fact, so I was asking for how you'd make that argument, since it does seem to be an indisputable fact.

                    • by Dogtanian (588974)
                      Perhaps meat sales would have grown faster had PETA not campaigned. Perhaps they see it as a long-term campaign. Perhaps they *will* change their strategy in response to the evidence. Who knows?

                      It's not indisputable.
  • by kasnol (210803)

    Tired of hearing journals suggest places may have foreign life... wonder when will there be "concrete" evidence to show life from other planets ?

    Hopefully Soon ~

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      I hardly think that if aliens want to announce their life to the rest of the universe it will be done through concrete slabs sent out into space - or concrete anything sent out into space for that matter.

      The evidence is much more likely to come through radio waves, not bits of concrete.

      PS. You aren't in an Austin Power movie, you can't use double quotes like that and get away with it on slashdot.
      • I thought the quotation marks were self-explanatory. He was referring to figurative concrete. Abstract concrete.

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by giantweevil (1216540)

          Metaphysical concrete, perhaps. But are we really talking about concrete here?

          Tell me about your mother.

      • Lots and lots of black monoliths. Though whether they where made of concrete, or even if they are concrete, can be debated.
      • by balbord (447248)

        Haven't we determined already that radio waves degrade into noise in a couple of light years :/?

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Don't you remember the story of Moses on the mountain coming back with rocks with messages on them? Sure, they were called stone tablets but who is to say they knew the difference between concrete and stone back then?

        -- When I make posts like this, I'm not as worried about offending religious zealots as I am the self proclaimed Atheist. Some people seem to be able to take a joke better then others.

  • tastes better!

    Add yeast and you can have alien brew!

  • No phone home. Here I get swweeeeeeeeettts. *sticks up a bony middle finger*

  • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @10:41PM (#25906043)

    That a Milky Way has sugar in it

  • Overlords (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Narpak (961733)
    I for one welcome our sweetness based Overlords! Their Vanguard the "Hello Kitty" have already spread their tendrils throughout society and Earth is now ready for the the invasion!

    Hail our new Sweetness in chief!
    • Their Vanguard the "Hello Kitty" have already spread their tendrils throughout society

      Whoever has a Hello Kitty + Dear Daniel matching pair, gets the babe. (The cuteness factor is indescribable.)

      Let's stock up on the toys, Slashdot residents!

  • It seems unlikely (Score:3, Interesting)

    by s4ltyd0g (452701) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @10:56PM (#25906109)

    A massive star forming region, hardly seems a conducive place for life to form.

    • Yes and no.

      In that context, these simple molecules are probably created by radiation catalized reaction rather than life (it is known to be possible). However, while the place is probably still hostile to life, those organic molecules that will be still around when the place would cool down might become the initial construction set of a new life.

  • by Sentry21 (8183) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @11:09PM (#25906161) Journal

    This just in - scientists have also discovered high fructose corn syrup, which could lead us to fat, ugly alien life.

  • Humanity needs to know NOW: if we develop space travel, will this substance enable enough limited prescience in human minds to get a first post on Slashdot?

  • In other news, the cleaning lady has now visited the site, and the mould has been cleaned of the lens.

    Given it has now been a while since breakfast for the scientists, the sugar levels are now dropping.



    Did the OP actually expect anything other than disbelief and notsofunnyafterall posts in reply? *sigh*
  • welcome our sweet overlords. And please bring some of those Ol' Janx Spirit-filled chocolates, I ran out.
  • ...couldn't it be that they located some candy from the toolbag? You know those women always put everything in their bags. I'm just waiting for the next item claiming that aliens also get their period, because they found a bloody tampon.
  • ... evidence of a Monolith Burger "near" our galaxy! :D
  • Hungry astronauts/kosmonauts could simply open the window and take a bite!
  • Umm guys? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pugugly (152978) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:29PM (#25912429)

    "The observations confirmed the presence of three lines of glycolaldegyde towards the most central part of the core of the region"

    Three lines?

    Umm I hate to mention it, but that's not sugar . . .

    Pug

  • ... but I keep it sedated with chocolate.
  • Not Even Correlation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:35PM (#25913177) Journal

    Just because a substance is implicated in a particular phenomenon does not mean that the phenomenon is present where ever that substance is. There are compounds that are human neuromodulators that are also found in plants. Nobody would seriously take this to mean plants require neuromodulators.

    TFA even states that the same compound was found in a region of space NOT likely to be conducive to the formation of life. TFA goes on blithely unaware of this statement before and after its appearance, because to be otherwise accurate TFA would have to simply state an organic compound found in some regions of space has been found in another.

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