Life Redefined: Is Information Processing The Key To Understanding How Life Will Arise Elsewhere In The Cosmos?

12/24/2012 11:17 am ET
  • Cara Santa Maria Science correspondent, Huffington Post; editor, Talk Nerdy to Me

What is the definition of life? And how will we recognize it if we see it elsewhere in the cosmos?

These are questions that have plagued scientists and philosophers for centuries. Now, astrobiologists at Arizona State University are looking at these questions with fresh eyes.

They think that instead of focusing on the chemical building blocks of life, we should be identifying and seeking out important differences in the way living things store and process information. This may be the key to our search for life on other worlds.

I had the chance to discuss it with HuffPost Live producer/hosts Alyona Minkovski and Jacob Soboroff. We were joined by Arizona State University astrobiologist, Sara Walker, a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, and astrobiologist Chris McKay, from NASA Ames Research Center.

Check out highlights from our conversation in the video above (or watch the full segment below) and leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

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