|Johnny Bee Goode?|
You've probably heard the bad news by now that bees were recently added to the endangered species list for the first time. But if you're part of the 60 percent of people who share stories without actually reading them, you might have missed an important detail: namely, that the newly endangered bees are a handful of relatively obscure species who live only in Hawaii.
The bees you're more familiar with — the ones that buzz around your yard dipping into flowers, making honey, pollinating crops and generally keeping the world's food supply from collapsing? Those bees are doing just fine, according to data released by the USDA this year.
Mechanical and biological approaches to design seem disjoint. True, such approaches often differ -- but disjoint is a higher standard, disprovable by a single counterexample. As in this one: "Functioning 'mechanical gears' seen in nature for the first time." Said gears are found in the jumping mechanism of an insect. (Cool, no?)
In any search for exo-life, we need to keep an open mind as to the various forms that life might take. Here on Earth, our expectations of where life couldn't possibly exist (e.g., in the abyssal depths, without sunlight to provide energy) and what chemistry might be involved (e.g., "Arsenic-Life Discovery Debunked—But "Alien" Organism Still Odd") have been repeatedly disproven. See "How cosmic rays may nourish and nurture alien life."
And now, because I have a life, I'll move on to other activities ;-)