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nieh
06-03-2006, 12:09 PM
This was posted on another forum so I swiped it from there: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/02/red.rain/index.html

Mysterious red cells might be aliens

(PopSci.comexternal link) -- 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.

Nina
06-03-2006, 12:23 PM
Whoa, No DNA? Bet it's something smaller, similar that we just cant see.

nieh
06-04-2006, 07:47 AM
Even if this is something that's naturally from Earth, the whole lacking DNA thing is really weird. And the articles doesn't say anywhere about whether or not it responds to stimuli. Maybe this is the first step in some sort of alien biological warfar on us. We're all doomed!

Kira
06-04-2006, 08:07 AM
Sylvia Brown (the famous Clairvoyant that is always on Montel) said that aliens will show themselves in the year 2010. And they will help us and won't be big meanies. That's always a plus.

Andy
06-04-2006, 08:16 AM
What always got me about aliens is the way that NASA and other sciency people go around saying, "no, there is absolutely no chance of alien life on 'planet x', because it is too far away from the sun and has no water blah blah blah" I mean, why would they need light and water like we do to survive? All because life as we know it needs it, doesn't mean that other life does. They're "alien" for a freakin' reason, people!






But that's just me.

Nina
06-04-2006, 08:30 AM
What always got me about aliens is the way that NASA and other sciency people go around saying, "no, there is absolutely no chance of alien life on 'planet x', because it is too far away from the sun and has no water blah blah blah" I mean, why would they need light and water like we do to survive? All because life as we know it needs it, doesn't mean that other life does. They're "alien" for a freakin' reason, people!


That's what I always thought as well, but no other elements can have so many connections to other elements than O C and H, thus the possibility for "aliens" who are based on other elements is extremly low. And heat and water is needed for beings based on those elements (a ton more as well of course but I'm not getting into that for obvious reasons).

JohnnyNemesis
06-04-2006, 08:32 AM
Sylvia Brown (the famous Clairvoyant that is always on Montel) said that aliens will show themselves in the year 2010. And they will help us and won't be big meanies. That's always a plus.

What scares me more than anything unnatural is when those motherfuckers are accurate in their predictions. THAT shit freaks me out.

pyromaniac
06-04-2006, 08:50 AM
Sylvia Brown (the famous Clairvoyant that is always on Montel) said that aliens will show themselves in the year 2010. And they will help us and won't be big meanies. That's always a plus.
It's also been predicted to be the year the world ends.
It's also been predicted to be the year the "War Of Wars" occurs(with nuclear weapons.)
Let Them Talk.

wheelchairman
06-04-2006, 09:20 AM
That's what I always thought as well, but no other elements can have so many connections to other elements than O C and H, thus the possibility for "aliens" who are based on other elements is extremly low. And heat and water is needed for beings based on those elements (a ton more as well of course but I'm not getting into that for obvious reasons).
Oh yes...for obvious reasons... O, C and H and all that. Gotcha! :p

Endymion
06-04-2006, 09:48 AM
Whoa, No DNA? Bet it's something smaller, similar that we just cant see.
we can see individual atoms. are you suggesting that they use a structure on a sub-atomic scale?

also, the whole thing where people assume any alien life must be similar to ours (dna, etc etc) is known as carbon chauvinism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_chauvinism).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_rain_of_Kerala

Nina
06-04-2006, 10:14 AM
Oh yes...for obvious reasons... O, C and H and all that. Gotcha! :p

I have no idea what you mean :[


are you suggesting that they use a structure on a sub-atomic scale?


Yes..but only suggesting it. I cant see it happening myself nor can I explain it.

Endymion
06-04-2006, 10:24 AM
Yes..but only suggesting it. I cant see it happening myself nor can I explain it.
i wasn't trying to knock it, just making sure i understood you. the biggest issue i see with that is the reading of it. mechnisms for reading/copying/transcribing dna are fairly large-scale, and something that would do the same for subatomic structures (though unusual as it would be, as there are very few stable building-blocks below the scale of an atom, let alone ones that would allow a complex structure that would remain smaller than an atom) would almost necessarily be much larger than an atom (and thus visible to current probes [afm, stm, tem, sem, etc]).

wheelchairman
06-04-2006, 10:49 AM
I have no idea what you mean :[




I have no idea what you meant either. :p I respond the same to Iz when she talks about famous psychologists.

O is oxygen yes? H is hydrogen? And I've been around Tizz too much, cause C must be calories or carbohydrates. Nah I ain't got a clue.

Tizzalicious
06-04-2006, 10:53 AM
Fuck you.

I don't care about carbs :(

Nina
06-04-2006, 11:05 AM
Ah Per, the thing is that I dont know the English words, so I just used the youknowwhat.

Endy, I understand what you mean. But maybe their "DNA" is something completely different. Maybe it something that is integrated in their cell walls or diaphragm (depending what they have...probably diaphragm, duh), something the mechnism for reading DNA (Gelelektrophorese in German, cant say what it is in English) cant find.

JohnnyNemesis
06-04-2006, 11:10 AM
I can guarantee that I am the least knowledgable or interested about anything even remotely related to the Sciences here, but even I know that C represents Carbon!

...wait, it does represent Carbon, right?

Nineteen Seventy Nine
06-04-2006, 11:11 AM
Look what just popped on my home page: Duck swallows alleged alien.

http://www.comcast.net/providers/fan/popup.html?v=85623221&pl=85605687.xml&config=%2Fconfig%2Fcommon%2Ffan%2Fhome%2Exml

Endymion
06-04-2006, 11:21 AM
...wait, it does represent Carbon, right?
http://www.csulb.edu/~rjames/classic/winrar.png

notoriousdoc
06-04-2006, 11:34 AM
*chokes on drink*

Kira
06-04-2006, 12:19 PM
What scares me more than anything unnatural is when those motherfuckers are accurate in their predictions. THAT shit freaks me out.

She is probably the only person I have ever believed, really. I'm usually skeptic when it comes to people claiming that they have such and such ability.

Nina
06-04-2006, 01:19 PM
God, Endy. That was brilliant.

Andy
06-04-2006, 01:50 PM
I feel strange pride in the fact I found that image funny.

Rag Doll
06-04-2006, 03:29 PM
Sylvia Brown (the famous Clairvoyant that is always on Montel) said that aliens will show themselves in the year 2010. And they will help us and won't be big meanies. That's always a plus.

she is scarily accurate sometimes too. o_O

TheUnholyNightbringer
06-04-2006, 03:30 PM
http://www.csulb.edu/~rjames/classic/winrar.png

You made me snort coke out of my nose. I hate you.

Paint_It_Black
06-04-2006, 06:10 PM
You made me snort coke out of my nose. I hate you.

That's just one of the many dangers of snorting coke.