Alien Fossils: Bacteria Hitchhiking Rides to Earth on Meteorites

By | September 29, 2010

The fact that some earthly bacteria can survive in ice (as well as extreme heat and radiation) increases the odds that life on Earth may have been seeded by space bacteria.

Richard B. Hoover of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, began looking for the remains of bacteria in meteorites over a decade ago.

In August 2010 he presented, at the Astrobiology XIII Conference at the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) International Symposium,€  new images showing large cyanobacteria looking complex filaments.

These filaments allow bacteria to move and reproduce.€  Note, however that such images are not shocking new information.€ €  In fact, shows images dated July 2004. (thumbnail right)

The organic looking filaments are present in both the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites.€  ( Orgueil fell on May 14, 1864, near Orgueil, in southern France. Murchison fell on September 28, 1969 near Murchison, Victoria in Austrialia. )

In addition, the shapes which resemble microbes were in the process of forming mats, something today’s bacteria also do.

Are these real fossils, or contaminants from earthly bacteria?

The strongest evidence, according to Hoover, that these are space creatures, is that the filaments from the two meteors do not contain detectable levels of nitrogen, which is always found and is required by modern cyanobacteria and other extremophile microbes on earth.

“Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) studies carried out during the past several years on freshly fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil CI meteorite has revealed in-situ the existence of the well-preserved mineralized remains of a complex suite of trichomic prokaryotes. Many of the forms found embedded in the mineral matrix are morphotypes of cyanobacteria and sulphur bacteria. EDAX and 2-D X-ray analysis indicate the chemical composition of these remains are dramatically different from living cyanobacteria, although they bear elemental biosignatures that overlay that of the meteorite matrix.” – spie

The word trichomic above refers to threadlike structures.€  Prokaryotes are a group of organisms that lack a cell nucleus.

Looking at the images, it is difficult to imagine what natural process could create these tiny filaments of rock that seem to twist as if they were once alive.

The theory of panspermia says life was seeded on earth from the stars.€  Life is perhaps very difficult to start, but once it does, it spreads easily.€  Bacteria can grow and survive on one planet, then when that planet is destroyed, perhaps in a collision, some bacteria will survive inside the resulting icy comets. Radiation, water, and nutrients inside some space rocks would allow bacteria to live and reproduce for exceedingly long periods of time… until they crashed on another world. Then they would evolve using the local nutrients and adapt to the local environment, and the cycle would then repeat.

See my Panspermia article for more on this topic.

{9/30. Author’s note: For the time being, this article is closed for comments. Please feel free to email me if you are so inclined. }

19 thoughts on “Alien Fossils: Bacteria Hitchhiking Rides to Earth on Meteorites

  1. Xeno Post author

    Posing as the writer is not my intent, Melvin. Please take another look at the formatting on this blog.

    Everything I did not write is quoted and cited properly with a proper link to the original source.

    There is no word limit. Read the actual law in my other post above.

    As I pointed out, I’m generating more traffic for the authors of the most interesting content, bringing people to sites who otherwise would not find them, making them more money. Take a look at your web server logs and you’ll see people coming in from my site.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. I do write my own articles. One had over 2 million hits in one day.

    I’ll add to my blacklist along with for any future science news.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Melvin Tandoc

      Look at this blog’s ‘Possibly related post: (automatically generated)’ Xeno.

      You copied more than 50% of all four articles verbatim without quotes or attribution to each author and only provided a link when most of their substance were already displayed in your blog.

      You may get away with a rewrite of the article that you copied verbatim from Marcia Stone initially, but the other articles that you plagiarized are still obviously up.

      Uhm, yeah. I have screen shots of those.

  2. Xeno Post author

    Glad you are doing well. I wrote my own article on panspermia in 2003. I excerpted a recent article on the topic. Why are you saying i copied the entire thing? I did not. There is no word limit. Read the law. Below the excerpt, which was displayed as a quote, was a link to the original article. I cited the source in this way. Below that, not in quotes, was a comment linking to my 2003 article.

  3. Xeno Post author

    I don’t read it, but in this case someone put up a link to the article on a topic I found newsworthy. I dislike reading around ads on web sites so much that I copy the article text and paste it into a text editor so I can read it without the pollution. Same reason people hit the mute button during tv commercials.

  4. Xeno Post author

    You are misrepresenting what I’m doing here. Out of over 8,700 posts, about (3) three authors have felt they did not want the extra advertising I provide by re-posting an excerpt and a link to their article.

  5. Xeno Post author

    Sanchez, at the risk of boring Cheng, where is this “as your own” idea coming from? Take a look at some posts. Can you not see the indentation quotes and link to the original source? Why, if I was trying to make people think I was the author, would I put a link to the original source at the end of the excerpt!? Don’t you think that would make me a rather bad thief?

  6. marcia stone

    It appears my article has been reworded, shortened and some explanations added so it isn’t a direct copy of mine any longer. Mission accomplished.

    Not a bad job either. See Xeno, you can write a bit if you want to take the trouble.

  7. Cheng

    I only half agree Tina. Article very interesting, although not new. Copyright law, like most points of law, very tedious. Leave it to the bottom feeding lawyers to sort out.

    And please, to some of the postees here, “writing” is not hard work. Working at a coal face, or digging ditches is hard work. Typing for money is a cop out.

  8. Christiane Marshall

    That’s the only link I saw. Since you stated that there was a link to the original Suite101 article at the end, I assumed that was the link. There is then no link in your article to Marcia’s article and no credit given that I can see.

    1. Xeno Post author

      There was, but now there isn’t because I removed the original (along with the link) at the request of the author.

  9. Christiane Marshall

    Tina, You may be familiar with Xeno’s formatting style. However, it really isn’t that clear to a new visitor. What seemed clear to me is that his name was at the top of the article as “Xeno posts” and her name didn’t appear in the article at all. If someone stole something you owned, would you consider it unprofessional to tell the person? If there was a little passion in your tone, wouldn’t that be considered perfectly normal? Just my thoughts. Christiane

  10. Christiane Marshall

    Would you tell the car thief why your car was important to you, or would you simply ask for your car back? What if you went to work this week and your paycheck was cut in half because someone else claimed that he did 20 hours of your work? I suppose your interest might be solely in the missing revenue at that point.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Your analogy: If I made a copy of part of your car in another place and your car was not changed, and if i told people the design was yours, and if i showed them where to find the original, would you say your car was “stolen”? I think not. More people read your articles thanks to me, so you are actually making more money, not less. Have your host check the referrers in the server logs if you doubt this.

        1. Xeno Post author

          I agree. That was my point. No one took your car. You still have your car.

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