Posted on April 6, 2011 7:58 am

Satellite Around Saturn

Epic Discovery: China’s National Radio-Astronomy
Observatory Announces Monitoring of ‘Dark’ Satellite
in Orbit Around Saturn -“Transmitting the Universal
Genetic Code”

 Satellite Around Saturn
Saturn-dragon-storm

China’s Xinhua News Agency, the official
press agency of the government of the
People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced
Thursday that the National Radio Astronomy
Observatory  has been monitoring signals
from a previously unknown “dark” satellite
in orbit around Saturn for the past 90 days.
According to government officials, the
signals appear to be the first verified
transmission from an alien civilization.China’s leading astrobiologist, Dr. Xi
Chang, a graduate of MIT, told Xinhua that
“the sigal repeats itself continuosly in 2
minute long sequences and appears to be the
four bases of the genetic code A,G, U and C
that ribosomes must convert mRNA sequences
into proteins and the twenty different amino
acids that proteins are comprised of.”


Dr.
Rosie Redfield, the newly appointed director
of the Astrobiology Program at NASA
Headquarters, Washington, confirmed China’s
dicovery this morning. In a press release
Redfield said that  “China’s discovery has
monumental consequences, and has been shared
with the world’s premier sciemtific
instituions for vetting and peer review. If
confirmed this will be the first proof of
extraterrestrial life in the universe and
confirmation that our DNA basis for life may
be universal throughout the known universe.”


Mary+Voytek+_SXv1RXz-87m

“The genetic code,” Redfield (left),
explained, “allows an organism to translate
the genetic information found in its
chromosomes into usable proteins . Stretches
of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are built
from four different nucleotide bases, while
proteins are made from twenty unique
subunits called amino acids . This numerical
disparity presents an interesting problem:
How does the cell translate the genetic
information in the four-letter alphabet of
DNA into the twenty-letter alphabet of
protein? The conversion code is called the
genetic code.

“The information transfer from DNA to
protein, called gene expression , occurs in
two steps. In the first step, called
transcription , a DNA sequence is copied to
make a template for protein synthesis called
messenger ribonucleic acid -messenger RNA,
or mRNA. During protein synthesis, ribosomes
and transfer RNA (tRNA) use the genetic code
to convert genetic information contained in
mRNA into functional protein. Formally
speaking, the genetic code refers to the
RNA-amino acid conversion code and not to
DNA, though usage has expanded to refer more
broadly to DNA.


Biol_02_img0198

“Mathematics reveals the minimum
requirements for a genetic code. The
ribosome must convert mRNA sequences that
are written in four bases—A, G, U, and
C—into proteins, which are made up of twenty
different amino acids. A one base to one
amino acid correspondence would code for
only four amino acids (4 1 ). Similarly, all
combinations of a two-base code -for
example, AA, AU, AG, AC, etc.- will provide
for only sixteen amino acids (4 2 ).
However, blocks of three RNA bases allow
sixty-four (4 3 ) combinations of the four
nucleotides, which is more than enough
combinations to correspond to the twenty
distinct amino acids. So, the genetic code
must use blocks of at least three RNA bases
to specify each amino acid. This reasoning
assumes that each amino acid is encoded by
the same size block of RNA.”

Redfield added that NASA expects a more
detailed press conference to be held at the
White House later today or tomorrow, pending
announcement from the Obama administration.

Dr. Dimitri Kardashev of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
told The Daily Galaxy that “This
discovery comes as no surprise to me. It was
always just a matter of time. The Earth is
only some four billion years old. Our
universe is some 14 billion years old. There
may be millions of advanced technological
civilizations that are billions of years
older than ours. Keep in my that the radio
was only invented 120 years ago. Quantum
computers and singularity are at most two or
three gereration distant. The technologies
of ET civilizations a million years old and
older are beyond our comprehension.”

Sir Martin Rees, a leading Cambridge
University cosmologist and astrophysicist
who is the president of Britain’s Royal
Society and astronomer to the Queen of
England, said: “I suspect there could be
life and intelligence out there in forms we
can’t conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can’t
understand quantum theory, it could be there
are aspects of reality that are beyond the
capacity of our brains.”

If verified, China’s startling annoucement
means you don’t need a miracle to arrive at
the chemical cocktail for early life, just a
decently large asteroid with the right
components.  That’s all.  The entire
universe could be stuffed with life, from
the earliest prebiotic protein-a-likes to
fully DNAed descendants.  The path from one
to the other is long, but we’ve had thirteen
and a half billion years so far and it’s
happened at least once.

The other ten amino acids aren’t as easy to
form, but they’ll still turn up – and the
process of “stepwise evolution” means that
once the simpler systems work, they can grab
the rarer “epic drops” of more sophisticated
chemicals as they occur – kind of a World of
Lifecraft except you literally get a life
when you play.  And once even the most
sophisticated structure is part of a
replicating organism, there’s plenty to go
round.

It’s no accident that we see stars in the
sky, says famed Oxford biologist Richard
Dawkins: they are a vital part of any
universe capable of generating us. But, as
Dawkins emphasizes, that does not mean that
stars exists in order to make us.”It is just
that without stars there would be no atoms
heavier than lithium in the periodic table,”
Dawkins writes in The Ancestors Tale -A
Pilgramage to the Dawn of Evolution
,
“and a chemistry of only three elements is
too impoverished to support life. Seeing is
the kind of activity that can go on only in
the kind of universe where what you see is
stars.”

China’s discovery puts an end to the
questions of whether DNA is inevitable as
the foundation for the coding of life, or
has life started with DNA in only one place
in the solar system and then spread among
the livable habitats through panspermia.
Microbial life can land on and seed another
planet, thereby not requiring that you have
to create life from scratch multiple times
and in multiple places.

It is the relentless shifting and mutating
of DNA, says Dennis Overbye of The New
York Times
, that generates the raw
material for evolution to act on and ensures
the success of life on Earth and beyond.
Dr.Paul Davies co-director of the Arizona
State University Cosmology Initiative “that
some sections of junk DNA seem to be
markedly resistant to change, and have
remained identical in humans, rats, mice,
chickens and dogs for at least 300 million
years.”

China’s epic announcement may shows that
DNA the cosmic code for life in the
universe, or is it possible that there’s are
alien, unknown foundations? At the Galaxy,
we place our chips on DNA.


Case6

The Daily Galaxy staff assumes that
China is using supercomputers similar to
those at the National Energy Research
Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in the
USA where Sukanya Chakrabarti has developed
a mathematical method uncover  “dark”
satellites. When she applied this method on
a more vast scale to our Milky Way galaxy,
Chakrabarti discovered a faint satellite
might be lurking on the opposite side of the
galaxy from Earth, approximately 300,000
light-years from the galactic center.

The technique involves an analysis of the
cold atomic hydrogen gas that comprise the
outskirts of a large spiral galaxy’s disk.
This cold gas is gravitationally confined to
the galactic disk and extends much further
out than the visible stars—sometimes up to
five times the diameter of the visible
spiral. This gas can be mapped by radio
telescopes.

With the help of NERSC systems, she
successfully validated her method by
analyzing the radio observations of the
Whirlpool Galaxy, which has a visible
satellite one-third of its size, and NGC
1512, which has a satellite one-hundredth
its size. Her calculations correctly
predicted the mass and location of both of
the known satellite galaxies.

The headquarters of China’s NAOC are
situated in the northern suburbs of Beijing
on the site of the former Beijing
Astronomical Observatory.

The National Astronomy Observatory of China
(NAOC, the acronym was officially claimed as
standing for National Astronomical
Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
was founded on April 25, 2001 through the
merging of four CAS observatories, three CAS
observing stations and one CAS research
centre.

Casey Kazan and The Daily Galaxy via

NASA
and

Xinhua News Agency

Image top of page: “Dragon Storm” Saturn:
Photo courtesy NASA