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the International Space Station
17 Oct 2018
Results from the Japanese mission Tanpopo "support the panspermia hypothesis."
Survival Data of Deinococcus aetherius from ...the International Space Station... by Akihiko Yamagishi et al., Astrobiology, online 05 Oct 2018.
Can The Theory Be Tested? has related links, including 11 Mar 2010: about Tanpopo.

15 Oct 2018
Life could potentially be exchanged over thousands of light-years.
Cometlike objects could be spreading life ...throughout the Milky Way by George Musser, Science, 15 Oct 2018.
Implications of Captured Interstellar Objects for Panspermia and Extraterrestrial Life by Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, The Astronomical Journal, 12 Oct 2018. Thanks Thanks, Sascha Wageringel.
11 Oct 2018
...we show that panspermia is not exclusively relegated to solar-system sized scales, and the entire Milky Way could potentially be exchanging biotic components across vast distances.
Harvard astrophysicists observe that objects like comets, asteroids or even planets can be spun away from the galactic center at velocities sufficient to reach the intergalactic medium. Considering the likely distribution of numerous variables in a fashion reminding us of the Drake equation, they firmly conclude, panspermia is viable on galactic scales.
Galactic Panspermia by Idan Ginsburg, Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, preprint on arXiv.org, 11 Oct 2018.
The Milky Way Could Be Spreading Life From Star to Star by Matt Williams, Universe Today, 12 Oct 2018.
09 Feb 2018: a related notice from Lingam and Loeb. 01 Nov 2017: about an interstellar traveler.
Introduction... has background. Comets... is related. Thanks Thanks, Google Alerts.

10 Oct 2018
Elegant and precise genetic programs guide the forces that allow seemingly identical starting cells to develop into highly specialized entities.... This comment comes, in a special issue of Science, in the introduction to eight articles about newly observed systems essential for controlling metazoan development. These systems utilize, for example, chromatin plasticity (illustration from Yadav et al.), dynamic DNA methylation, developmental enhancers guided by chromosome topology, and "sequence-dependent stochastic switching at regulatory loci".
Chromatin plasticity
Standard darwinism, by its logic, must eventually account for the origins of these systems, but no such accounts are yet even suggested. (To our surprise, a browser search for the case-insensitive string "darwin" found no matches in any of the nine related articles.) Meanwhile, elegant and precise genetic programs controlling development would further exemplify the robust software management that genomes require in cosmic ancestry.
Forces behind form by Beverly A. Purnell, Steve Mao and Laura M. Zahn, Science, 28 Sep 2018.
Robust Software Management in Genomes: this page is incomplete and under construction.

08 Oct 2018
Another project to explain the origin of life is announced. We will watch for any breakthroughs.
Ground-breaking lab poised to unlock the mystery of the origins of life on Earth and beyond, McMaster University (+Newswise), 04 Oct 2018. The RNA World and Other Origin-of-Life Theories has background and links.

02 Oct 2018
Cyanobacteria thrive in the deep continental subsurface without light or oxygen. They could probably do as well in similar places on other planets or moons. So say sixteen astro- and molecular biologists after finding cyanobacteria-dominated communities deep in southwestern Spain, in rock formations analogous to ones on Mars. ...their unequivocal presence in samples from this and other studies ...increases their relevance in early life and astrobiological scenarios.

Schematic representation of the photosynthetic, respiratory, and fermentative pathways detected in the cyanobacterial pangenomes of two deep subsurface metagenomes.

Viable cyanobacteria in the deep continental subsurface by Fernando Puente-Sánchez et al., PNAS, online 01 Oct 2018. doi:10.1073/pnas.1808176115.
+ The chart illustrates the metbolic pathways deployed by cyanobacteria from two samples. Oxygen-dependent and photosynthetic paths are crossed out.
Surprise Life Found Thriving 2,000 Feet Underground by Maya Wei-Haas, National Geographic, 01 Oct 2018.
Bacteria: The Space Colonists has lots more about their survival capabilities.
Thanks Thanks, Robert Sweeney and Martin Langford. Thanks also, Richard Hoover, who writes, ...These are the same genera of Cyanobacteria that Alexei [Rozanov] and I have often found embedded in freshly fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil CI1 and Murchison.CM2 Carbonaceous meteorites. example, posted 03 Mar 2011.

Meanwhile, a concurrent survey reports evidence of "the deep biosphere" from ten locations around the world.
Life Thrives Within the Earth's Crust by Catherine Offord, The Scientist, 01 Oct 2018.

01 Oct 2018 What'sNEW about HGT |
Green algae stole genes from bacteria to survive in harsh environments....
How Some Algae May Survive Climate Change, Rutgers Today (+Newswise), 27 Sep 2018.
Genomic Analysis of Picochlorum Species Reveals How Microalgae May Adapt to Variable Environments by Fatima Foflonker et al., Molecular Biology and Evolution, 01 Sep 2018.
Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms has background with updated & older links related to HGT.
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