Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Why no alien is calling us from space
Sydney : If the search for an alien life has not yielded any conclusive results in the last 50 years, it is probably because life on other planets was brief and has gone extinct soon after its origin owing to runaway heating or cooling on their planets, say astrobiologists led by an Indian-origin scientist.
 
“The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens,” said Aditya Chopra from Australian National University (ANU).
 
“Early life is fragile so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive,” he added in a paper published in the journal Astrobiology.
 
“Most early planetary environments are unstable. To produce a habitable planet, life forms need to regulate greenhouse gases such as water and carbon dioxide to keep surface temperatures stable,” Dr Chopra continued.
 
About four billion years ago the Earth, Venus and Mars may have all been habitable. However, a billion years or so after formation, Venus turned into a hothouse and Mars froze into an icebox.
 
“Early microbial life on Venus and Mars, if there was any, failed to stabilise the rapidly changing environment,” said co-author associate professor Charley Lineweaver.
 
“Life on Earth probably played a leading role in stabilising the planet's climate," he noted.
 
According to Dr Chopra, their theory has solved a puzzle.
 
“The mystery of why we haven't yet found signs of aliens may have less to do with the likelihood of the origin of life or intelligence and have more to do with the rarity of the rapid emergence of biological regulation of feedback cycles on planetary surfaces,” he explained.
 
Wet and rocky planets, with the ingredients and energy sources required for life seem to be ubiquitous. However, as physicist Enrico Fermi pointed out in 1950, no signs of surviving extra-terrestrial life have been found.
 
A solution to Fermi's paradox, say the researchers, is near universal early extinction which they have named the “Gaian Bottleneck”.
 
"One intriguing prediction of the 'Gaian Bottleneck' model is that the vast majority of fossils in the universe will be from extinct microbial life, not from multicellular species such as dinosaurs or humanoids that take billions of years to evolve," Lineweaver pointed out.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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IRDAI to come out with final regulations for reinsurance sector
Mumbai : The insurance regulator will soon come out with final regulations governing the reinsurance sector, a top official said on Friday.
 
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an insurance conference held by Ficci here, T.S. Vijayan, chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), said the regulations will soon come out and the draft norms governing the setting up of the British insurer Lloyds in India have to be finalised.
 
Queried about capping of management expenses, Vijayan said IRDAI was looking at the participating and non-participating policies sold by life insurance sector and whether they were costed properly.
 
He added that insurers should have the ability to pay commissions and also there is a level playing field.
 
Vijayan said IRDAI was monitoring the settlement of claims lodged due to floods in Chennai.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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CBDT signs 7 advance pricing agreements to cut tax litigation
New Delhi : In a move designed to reduce tax litigation, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday signed seven more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with taxpayers.
 
"This takes the tally of APAs signed so far to 39 (38 unilateral and one bilateral). In the current fiscal year, which is the third year of APA programme, 30 agreements have been signed so far," a Union finance ministry statement said here.
 
"Before the end of the financial year, more such agreements are expected to be signed," it added.
 
The latest APAs signed with taxpayers pertain to various sectors like investment advisory services, manufacturing, software development services and IT-enabled services.
 
APAs provide for signing an agreement between a taxpayer and the income tax department on an appropriate transfer pricing methodology for determining the value of assets and taxes on intra-group overseas transactions.
 
The scheme attempts to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance, the ministry said.
 
"Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest from taxpayers for using this mechanism to achieve tax certainty up to nine years," it added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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