Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is life from other planets already here? Or, why is India doing better science than we are?

From Science Daily this story about the discovery by Indian scientists of new micro-ogranisms in the upper atomosphere, some of which could be potentially of extra-terrestrial origin:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 18, 2009) — Three new species of bacteria, which are not found on Earth and which are highly resistant to ultra-violet radiation, have been discovered in the upper stratosphere by Indian scientists.

One of the new species has been named as Janibacter hoylei, after the distinguished astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, the second as Bacillus isronensis recognising the contribution of ISRO in the balloon experiments which led to its discovery and the third as Bacillus aryabhata after India’s celebrated ancient astronomer Aryabhata and also the first satellite of ISRO....

In all, 12 bacterial and six fungal colonies were detected, nine of which, based on 16S RNA gene sequence, showed greater than 98% similarity with reported known species on Earth. Three bacterial colonies, namely, PVAS-1, B3 W22 and B8 W22 were, however, totally new species. All the three newly identified species had significantly higher UV resistance compared to their nearest phylogenetic neighbours. Of the above, PVAS-1, identified as a member of the genus Janibacter, has been named Janibacter hoylei. sp. nov. The second new species B3 W22 was named as Bacillus isronensis sp.nov. and the third new species B8 W22 as Bacillus aryabhata.

The precautionary measures and controls operating in this experiment inspire confidence that these species were picked up in the stratosphere. While the present study does not conclusively establish the extra-terrestrial origin of microorganisms, it does provide positive encouragement to continue the work in our quest to explore the origin of life.

According to a press release issued by a spokes-bacteria for PVAS-1, these are emissaries from the Affiliated Inter-Galactic Banking Group, on a mission to Earth to seek TARP funds from the Obama administration.


pandora said...

Almost everyone is doing better at science than we are. (gross exaggeration, but, hey, it flowed with your title! ;-) )

But we really do have a science/politics problem which also dovetails into our science/religion problem. Separating this issues is really in the best interest of our country. If we don't separate them then get prepared for more headlines like this one.

Hube said...

Steve: It's the Andromeda Strain!!!! AHHHHRRRRRGGGGHHHH!