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Sky high microbes probably not from space (you were surprised?)

Further to “Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!“, and the claim that alien life was recently found floating 27 km above Chester, England: People such as Terry Kee at Ars Technica, who would be quite happy to accept the claim if at all reasonable, have choked on it:

They found something called a “diatom frustule,” which is, in essence, the non-living outer shell of a dead organism, a type of algae that thrives in rivers, streams, and oceans. Diatoms are so common and so populous in such environments that they are central to those ecosystems. Wainwright makes a case that the inanimate material they see once belonged to a living entity.

The elephant in the room of course is, how did the diatoms end up in the stratosphere?

The authors conclude that they come from some other planet. But the explanations and (more to the point) the scientific evidence provided in the authors’ paper are rather weak. While terrestrial sources for diatoms so high in the stratosphere, such as volcanic eruptions and contamination of the original sampling equipment, are considered unviable by the authors, they offer as an alternative that the material must have come from space. However, to date there is no supporting evidence for that hypothesis either.

No, but then NASA found a previously unidentified bacterium in its own clean room.

And the Rover is still having trouble detecting any methane (a possible indicator of life) at all on Mars.

Don’t bring the space suits down from the attic just yet, Schmiddle.

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4 Responses to Sky high microbes probably not from space (you were surprised?)

  1. There was an interesting event over Sri Lanka:

    http://science.discovery.com/t.....d-rain.htm

  2. There was an interesting event over Sri Lanka

    The red color was caused by an algae called “Trentepohlia”. They didn’t find any DNA at first because they didn’t use the right technique.

    Check here: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4224

  3. The red color was caused by an algae called “Trentepohlia”. They didn’t find any DNA at first because they didn’t use the right technique.

    Different incident, the science channel video is about what happened in Sri Lanka at the end of 2012.

  4. Different incident, the science channel video is about what happened in Sri Lanka at the end of 2012.

    Unless there’s some very convincing proof of the opposite, I have no reason to assume the color of the rain in Sri Lanka incident had a different origin. Compare the pictures of the cells in the video and the ones found in Kerala: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....oscope.jpg

    Also, from the article:
    The red rain has even happened several times since the famous 2001 fall, and the botanists have found the same Trentepohlia spores every time.

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