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Alien Life: Will We Know It When We See It?

World Science Festival

What are scientists looking for when searching for alien life? A lot, it turns out: the search for extraterrestrials requires the help from astronomers, planetary scientists, chemists, computer scientists, and geneticists, just to name a few. But are we barking up the wrong carbonbased tree? Could alien life develop in ways we haven't dreamed of here on Earth? Hear Paul Davies, Sara Seager, Jack Szostak, and other experts give updates on the search for life outside our planet in "Alien Life: Will We Know It When We See It?" part of the Big Ideas series at the 2014 World Science Festival.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Original Program Date: May 31, 2014
Host: John Hockenberry
Participants: Jack W. Szostak, Paul Davies, Sara Seager, Dimitar Sasselov

Carl Sagan and the future of finding alien life. 00:00

John Hockenberry's Introduction. 2:23

Participant Introductions. 5:45

How close are we to finding aliens? 6:48

How can you detect exoplanets that far away? 10:03

Kepler 186 system. 14:49

What are the tools you use to find Exoplanets? 18:00

Detecting beer drinkers at a football game. 24:18

What are we looking for on the microbial level? 30:05

What starts life on any planet? 36:04

Who will we call when aliens land on earth? 41:28

Processing in analog and digital with a two denominational cellular optometer. 49:30

The "awakening" of extraterrestrial life from the Vatican. 54:00

How we may have cheated to form life from other planets? 56:50

If we look for life where water is located are we ignoring life everywhere else? 1:04:54

Can you elaborate on the possibility life on ancient mars? 1:08:39

What are the new tools coming online today? 1:11:20

What is the direct imaging technique? 1:14:50

Testing the pedals on a space telescope. 1:21:00

The conditions on earth that we need for life elsewhere. 1:24:32

Communication basics from extremophiles. 1:28:05

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