Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alien Bacteria Found Orbiting Earth

They came from Outer Space and have been orbiting the earth watching us for perhaps hundreds if not millions of years!  Brings me back to the drive-in movies of the 50's. Yet, it is eerie to think that some heretofore unknown life has been found in our stratosphere.

The India Space Research Organisation reported yesterday:

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. The experiment was conducted using a 26.7 million cubic feet balloon carrying a 459 kg scientific payload soaked in 38 kg of liquid Neon, which was flown from the National Balloon Facility in Hyderabad, operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

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 neighbour.

There you go! Three extra-terrestrial colonies orbiting and watching us from on high! Seriously though, if 18 life-forms are in orbit around earth, who cannot conclude that they and WE came from Outer Space? I wonder if their names were Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel...

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