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Red Rain In India: New Form Of Life?

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Red Rain In India: New Form Of Life?

Postby damien james » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:50 am

My apologies if this has been posted before, but I thought it was very interesting.

As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis's laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens.

In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples -- water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis's home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001 -- contain microbes from outer space.

Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit . (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250 degrees Fahrenheit .)

So how to explain them? Louis speculates that the particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria adapted to the harsh conditions of space and that the microbes hitched a ride on a comet or meteorite that later broke apart in the upper atmosphere and mixed with rain clouds above India.

If his theory proves correct, the cells would be the first confirmed evidence of alien life and, as such, could yield tantalizing new clues to the origins of life on Earth.

Last winter, Louis sent some of his samples to astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe and his colleagues at Cardiff University in Wales, who are now attempting to replicate his experiments; Wickramasinghe expects to publish his initial findings later this year.

Meanwhile, more down-to-earth theories abound. One Indian government investigation conducted in 2001 lays blame for what some have called the "blood rains" on algae.

Other theories have implicated fungal spores, red dust swept up from the Arabian peninsula, even a fine mist of blood cells produced by a meteor striking a high-flying flock of bats.

Louis and his colleagues dismiss all these theories, pointing to the fact that both algae and fungus possess DNA and that blood cells have thin walls and die quickly when exposed to water and air.

More important, they argue, blood cells don't replicate. "We've already got some stunning pictures -- transmission electron micrographs -- of these cells sliced in the middle," Wickramasinghe says. "We see them budding, with little daughter cells inside the big cells."

Louis's theory holds special appeal for Wickramasinghe. A quarter of a century ago, he co-authored the modern theory of panspermia, which posits that bacteria-riddled space rocks seeded life on Earth.

"If it's true that life was introduced by comets four billion years ago," the astronomer says, "one would expect that microorganisms are still injected into our environment from time to time. This could be one of those events."

The next significant step, explains University of Sheffield microbiologist Milton Wainwright, who is part of another British team now studying Louis's samples, is to confirm whether the cells truly lack DNA. So far, one preliminary DNA test has come back positive.

"Life as we know it must contain DNA, or it's not life," he says. "But even if this organism proves to be an anomaly, the absence of DNA wouldn't necessarily mean it's extraterrestrial."

Louis and Wickramasinghe are planning further experiments to test the cells for specific carbon isotopes. If the results fall outside the norms for life on Earth, it would be powerful new evidence for Louis's idea, of which even Louis himself remains skeptical.



http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/02/red.rain/index.html
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Postby AstusAleator » Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:37 am

HOLY MOLY
That would be incredible...
It's probably not extraterrestrial life... but if it was!
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:41 pm

This is amazing. Please keep us updated on what happens.
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Postby damien james » Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:00 pm

When I first read it, I thought it was some kind of joke. But to think of reproduction of life without DNA is what really caught my eye. Really neat I think :)
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Postby Linn » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:57 pm

funny, I had this book marked on my computerfor:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/media/?clip=46
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Postby Enzyme » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:40 pm

That's a funny and interesting thing. It is very incredible! I'm looking for more articles about it.
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Postby damien james » Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:29 am

Linn wrote:funny, I had this book marked on my computerfor:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/media/?clip=46


What is dream land and Whitley Streiber? I have never heard of this before. I think I will listen to some of this though. It sounds neat.
The hand of God may well be all around us, but it is not, nor can it be, the task of science to dust for fingerprints.
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Postby Linn » Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:05 pm

damien james wrote:
Linn wrote:funny, I had this book marked on my computerfor:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/media/?clip=46


What is dream land and Whitley Streiber? I have never heard of this before. I think I will listen to some of this though. It sounds neat.


I found this through a link at an other site that I have bookmarked, in fact it is an excellent web site. That tells news you will not hear mainstream. It for example predicted the eathquakes prior to the big one that caused the tsunami.
and way before any one had heard of the bird flu they were predicting its comming. I remember I told my folks I read about a flu brought by birds may come to the USA and could cause an epidemic. My folks just made a face. :lol:
If you want to know things before its on the news then check it out from time to time. (just ignore the religious stuff! ~I do)
Its at the "edge" of science:
Its:http://www.unknowncountry.com/
try that again:

http://www.unknowncountry.com
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Postby EmmVeePee » Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:58 pm

When I contacted Dr. Louis about the article published in New Scientist back in March, I asked him why he hasn't done a hemoglobin test since they look so much like RBCs. He replied stating that they can't be RBCs because they don't have DNA. For some not familar with RBCs... RBCs DON'T HAVE DNA ANYWAY!

I mean, this amount of blood in the rain would be almost equally as puzzling as alien life.

But I think he is so dead set on turning these things into aliens that he may be fudging, and just making up descriptions.
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Postby damien james » Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:03 am

RBC as we know them do not self-replicate, as in case with cell with DNA. That why it is so amazing that these things are replicating without DNA.
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Postby Linn » Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:29 am

I hope the goobely glop red stuff I keep finding in my yard isnt this stuff :shock: It grows around wet rocks in my waterfall. :?:
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Postby Linn » Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:32 am

I just heard that it happened again. (the red rain)

"A strange red-hued rain fell in showers between July 20 and July 23 in Kerala, India in 2001. As Dreamland reported in June, scientists were puzzled and concerned that the rain might be carrying a pollutant, and collected a substantial amount of the rainwater under controlled conditions. But the water was found to contain strange living cells instead.

NOW, JUST FIVE YEARS LATER, THE RED RAIN HAS RETURNED TO KERALA.

And Dreamland's ace science reporter Linda Moulton Howe has gone to the lab in Liverpool where the cells are under study by prominent biologists. "

~Unknowncountry.com

This week we listen as she interviews the scientist who is actually studying the cells.
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