Dr. Mohamed Noor (last appearing on Hungry Trilobyte in Episode 79) comes back to the show after a great time on Star Trek: The Cruise. He and I recap some of the fun of the trip, but quickly get down to discussing speculation on extraterrestrial life, how looking at fictional creatures can be used to move real-world biology, and another phase of his research.
Topics we discussed:
- Agnostic biosignatures – looking for life beyond our understanding of it.
- Are viruses alive?
- What is biology? How narrowly can we define “life”?
- Craig Venter and the Shotgun approach to human genome project
- Let That Be Your Last Battlefield – exploring evolutionary possibilities, aided by this great presentation
- Aaron recommends The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
- Dr. Noor suggests watching Amazing Stories
- Research: lethal causing gene variants in fruit flies