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Breaking, breaking: Possible alien life form discovered

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No, not a joke.

From “Exclusive: NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite” by Garrett Tenney (March 05, 2011) here:

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.[ … ]

“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.”

If true, it’s historic, and it’s all the more believable for the caution that has gone into vetting the story.

Rob Sheldon, who sometimes posts here and says the guy had hung onto this since 1997, tells me reasons to think it credible:

First, these pictures are of fossils, like petrified wood. They have virtually no nitrogen in them. Living organisms are more than 15% nitrogen.Samples of dinosaur bone and mammoth hair show that it takes more than a million years to eliminate all the nitrogen.

Second, the isotopes in these fossils don’t match earth isotopes, they are clearly meteoritic ratios.

Third, the meteorites are largely held together by hygroscopic minerals like magnesium sulfate.

The fossils are made of mostly things like magnesium sulfate, held in a keratogenic carbon sheath. If they were exposed to rain water and weathering, they would dissolve. That’s why we only have nine of them in the past 100 years, we had to grab them while they were hot and store them in a jar before they dissolved.

Fourth, many of them have fusion crusts, caused by passage through the atmosphere which would sterilize the outside of them from invasive bacteria, yet they still have these fossils.

Fifth, in large samples of the meteorite that have undergone chemical extraction, we find something like 10 or 15 amino acids. (The parts per billion sensitivity of chemical mass spectrometers is much greater than the scanning electron microscope atomic sensitivity to nitrogen at about 0.1%.) The ones that are missing are the least stable ones, with half-lives in the thousands of years. Invasive life would have all 26 amino acids present.

And there are no “bizarre” amino acids that would be produced abiotically. They all show some L-amino optical activity, which also indicates life.

Sixth, some of the fossils are of microorganisms that went extinct on earth some 400 million years ago. Seventh, some of the fossils are clearly biological, but have never been observed on earth, including one that has the atomic composition of teflon.

It looks both homey and alien at the same time. That’s why I believe there is a much larger biosphere than Earth, and it is all on comets, the mother object of these strange meteorites.

Oh, this is a complete joke. There was no nitrogen found in the meteorite, therefore, no life was ever present. What they are seeing are just little squiggles and bumps in the meteorite, not fossils of bacteria. Jehu
This discovery, even if proven to be as claimed, says little about design theory. The artifacts of design and the address of a given organism are unrelated issues. arkady967
I guess any sort of bacteria from outer space is considered alien life. TheForthcoming
SCheesman...Your hypothesis is entirely too reasonable for pop-science mags to publish. It's much more interesting to publish articles that actually don't prove anything, where the public is free to speculate about little green men, or at least micro-organisms self-assembling on alien worlds and somehow surviving interstellar travel to land on earth and the rest of that song and dance. Bantay
Apparently this isn't a new thing, ergo not exclusive...the Journal of Cosmology certainly looks weird. It has a tremendous number of articles -- 13 volumes -- but all published since 2009 (!). In a spot check, some of them at least are republished. Wickramasinghe seems to be deeply involved... FoxNews.com Publishes ‘Exclusive’ Alien Research That Is Both Questionable And From 2004 http://www.mediaite.com/online/foxnews-com-publishes-exclusive-alien-research-that-is-both-questionable-and-from-2004/ Fox News Publishes Fake ‘Exclusive’ About Discovery of Alien Life http://gawker.com/#!5777460 NickMatzke_UD
Nitrogen is undetectable, but amino acids are detected? Something doesn't add up. NickMatzke_UD
There have been meteorites recovered whose origin has been clearly determined to be Mars, likely blasted off that planet by a very large meteorite strike. The same explanation might be proposed for these meteorites; a very large meteor strike on earth (of which there have been numerous), that occurred 400 million years ago or more, with the remains orbiting the sun since then. Not alien, just on a long vacation. The fact that carbonaceous chondrites are extremely rare is likely due to their their rare origin -- ejecta from an earlier earth-strike? SCheesman

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