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- 05/03/2011, 18:29 #1
NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite
We are not alone in the universe -- and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought.
That's the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology.
Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has traveled to remote areas in Antarctica, Siberia, and Alaska, amongst others, for over ten years now, collecting and studying meteorites. He gave FoxNews.com early access to the out-of-this-world research, published late Friday evening in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. In it, Hoover describes the latest findings in his study of an extremely rare class of meteorites, called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites -- only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.
Though it may be hard to swallow, Hoover is convinced that his findings reveal fossil evidence of bacterial life within such meteorites, the remains of living organisms from their parent bodies -- comets, moons and other astral bodies. By extension, the findings suggest we are not alone in the universe, he said.
“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet earth,” Hoover told FoxNews.com. “This field of study has just barely been touched -- because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible.”
In what he calls “a very simple process,” Dr. Hoover fractured the meteorite stones under a sterile environment before examining the freshly broken surface with the standard tools of the scientist: a scanning-electron microscope and a field emission electron-scanning microscope, which allowed him to search the stone’s surface for evidence of fossilized remains.
He found the fossilized remains of micro-organisms not so different from ordinary ones found underfoot -- here on earth, that is.
“The exciting thing is that they are in many cases recognizable and can be associated very closely with the generic species here on earth,” Hoover told FoxNews.com. But not all of them. “There are some that are just very strange and don’t look like anything that I’ve been able to identify, and I’ve shown them to many other experts that have also come up stumped.”
Other scientists tell FoxNews.com the implications of this research are shocking, describing the findings variously as profound, very important and extraordinary. But Dr. David Marais, an astrobiologist with NASA’s AMES Research Center, says he’s very cautious about jumping onto the bandwagon.
These kinds of claims have been made before, he noted -- and found to be false.
“It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence,” Marais said.
Knowing that the study will be controversial, the journal invited members of the scientific community to analyze the results and to write critical commentaries ahead of time. Though none are online yet, those comments will be posted alongside the article, said Dr. Rudy Schild, a scientist with the Harvard-Smithsonian's Center for Astrophysics and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cosmology.
"Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis," Schild wrote in an editor's note along with the article. "No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published, he wrote."
Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, said there is a lot of hesitancy to believe such proclamations. If true, the implications would be far-reaching throughout the fields of science and astronomy, the suggestions and possibilities stunning.
“Maybe life was seeded on earth -- it developed on comets for example, and just landed here when these things were hitting the very early Earth,” Shostak speculated. “It would suggest, well, life didn’t really begin on the Earth, it began as the solar system was forming.”
Hesitancy to believe new claims is something common and necessary to the field of science, Hoover said.
“A lot of times it takes a long time before scientists start changing their mind as to what is valid and what is not. I’m sure there will be many many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK.”
Until Hoover’s research can be independently verified, Marais said, the findings should be considered “a potential signature of life.” Scientists, he said, will now take the research to the next level of scrutiny, which includes an independent confirmation of the results by another lab, before the findings can be classified “a confirmed signature of life.”
Hoover says he isn’t worried about the process and is open to any other explanations.
“If someone can explain how it is possible to have a biological remain that has no nitrogen, or nitrogen below the detect ability limits that I have, in a time period as short as 150 years, then I would be very interested in hearing that."
"I’ve talked with many scientists about this and no one has been able to explain,” he said.
- 05/03/2011, 19:21 #2
Muy interesante sin duda, a ver como termina esta vez.____________________
"Papá, dejé mi corazón ahí arriba". -
Gary Powell describiendo su primer vuelo con 14 años.
Siempre volarás a nuestro lado.
- 05/03/2011, 22:05 #3
Tengo mucha curiosidad por leer el paper cuando salga.“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”
- 05/03/2011, 22:11 #4GuestGuest
Que ganas le tengo al tema... sería genial que eso se confirmara.
- 05/03/2011, 22:28 #5
De hecho ya se puede leer todo on-line:
Journal of Cosmology
De hecho, trabajo con alguna persona que es experta en microscopía electrónica. Le enseñaré el artículo para que me dé su opinión profesional.
Última edición por pujolet; 05/03/2011 a las 22:37“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”
- 05/03/2011, 23:44 #6
- 06/03/2011, 20:57 #7
Ya empiezan a salir voces discordantes, que entre otras cosas acusan a los autores de poco más que magufos con su propia web y sus propias publicaciones, en fin, cada cual piense lo que quiera.
Did scientists discover bacteria in meteorites? : Pharyngula
Did scientists discover bacteria in meteorites?
No, no, no. No no no no no no no no.
Fox News broke the story, which ought to make one immediately suspicious — it's not an organization noted for scientific acumen. But even worse, the paper claiming the discovery of bacteria fossils in carbonaceous chondrites was published in … the Journal of Cosmology. I've mentioned Cosmology before — it isn't a real science journal at all, but is the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics obsessed with the idea of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth. It doesn't exist in print, consists entirely of a crude and ugly website that looks like it was sucked through a wormhole from the 1990s, and publishes lots of empty noise with no substantial editorial restraint. For a while, it seemed to be entirely the domain of a crackpot named Rhawn Joseph who called himself the emeritus professor of something mysteriously called the Brain Research Laboratory, based in the general neighborhood of Northern California (seriously, that was the address: "Northern California"), and self-published all of his pseudo-scientific "publications" on this web site.
It is not an auspicious beginning. Finding credible evidence of extraterrestrial microbes is the kind of thing you'd expect to see published in Science or Nature, but the fact that it found a home on a fringe website that pretends to be a legitimate science journal ought to set off alarms right there.
But could it be that by some clumsy accident of the author, a fabulously insightful, meticulously researched paper could have fallen into the hands of single-minded lunatics who rushed it into 'print'? Sure. And David Icke might someday publish the working plans for a perpetual motion machine in his lizardoid-infested newsletter. We've actually got to look at the claims and not dismiss them because of their location.
So let's look at the paper, Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implications to Life on Comets, Europa, and Enceladus. I think that link will work; I'm not certain, because the "Journal of Cosmology" seems to randomly redirect links to its site to whatever article the editors think is hot right now, and while the article title is given a link on the page, it's to an Amazon page that's flogging a $94 book by the author. Who needs a DOI when you've got a book to sell?
Reading the text, my impression is one of excessive padding. It's a dump of miscellaneous facts about carbonaceous chondrites, not well-honed arguments edited to promote concision or cogency. The figures are annoying; when you skim through them, several will jump out at you as very provocative and looking an awful lot like real bacteria, but then without exception they all turn out to be photos of terrestrial organisms thrown in for reference. The extraterrestrial 'bacteria' all look like random mineral squiggles and bumps on a field full of random squiggles and bumps, and apparently, the authors thought some particular squiggle looked sort of like some photo of a bug. This isn't science, it's pareidolia. They might as well be analyzing Martian satellite photos for pictures that sorta kinda look like artifacts.
The data consists almost entirely of SEM photos of odd globules and filaments on the complex surfaces of crumbled up meteorites, with interspersed SEMs of miscellaneous real bacteria taken from various sources — they seem to be proud of having analyzed flakes of mummy skin and hair from frozen mammoths, but I couldn't see the point at all — do they have cause to think the substrate of a chondrite might have some correspondence to a Siberian Pleistocene mammoth guard hair? I'd be more impressed if they'd surveyed the population of weird little lumps in their rocks and found the kind of consistent morphology in a subset that you'd find in a population of bacteria. Instead, it's a wild collection of one-offs.
There is one other kind of datum in the article: they also analyzed the mineral content of the 'bacteria', and report detailed breakdowns of the constitution of the blobs: there's lots of carbon, magnesium, silicon, and sulfur in there, and virtually no nitrogen. The profiles don't look anything like what you'd expect from organic life on Earth, but then, these are supposedly fossilized specimens from chondrites that congealed out of the gases of the solar nebula billions of years ago. Why would you expect any kind of correspondence?
The extraterrestrial 'bacteria' photos are a pain to browse through, as well, because they are published at a range of different magnifications, and even when they are directly comparing an SEM of one to an SEM of a real bacterium, they can't be bothered to put them at the same scale. Peering at them and mentally tweaking the size, though, one surprising result is that all of their boojums are relatively huge — these would be big critters, more similar in size to eukaryotic cells than E. coli. And all of them preserved so well, not crushed into a smear of carbon, not ruptured and evaporated away, all just sitting there, posing, like a few billion years in a vacuum was a day in the park. Who knew that milling about in a comet for the lifetime of a solar system was such a great preservative?
I'm looking forward to the publication next year of the discovery of an extraterrestrial rabbit in a meteor. While they're at it, they might as well throw in a bigfoot print on the surface and chupacabra coprolite from space. All will be about as convincing as this story.
While they're at it, maybe they should try publishing it in a journal with some reputation for rigorous peer review and expectation that the data will meet certain minimal standards of evidence and professionalism.
Otherwise, this work is garbage. I'm surprised anyone is granting it any credibility at all.____________________
"Papá, dejé mi corazón ahí arriba". -
Gary Powell describiendo su primer vuelo con 14 años.
Siempre volarás a nuestro lado.
- 07/03/2011, 15:54 #8
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- 07/03/2011, 16:07 #9
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