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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Don't worry, scientists say they won't let alien bugs escape on Earth

So says an item in The Irish News (its a little space filler item covered on a few news sites).

It's nothing new and I'm not even surprised that people today find this "new" -most don't give a damn about things beyond their pizza, beer or money making. Anyone remember the movie The Andromeda Strain based on a 1969 book of the same title by Michael Crichton?  Why do you think Apollo astronauts had to wait in isolation after returning from space?

There are two books I would recommend by Sir Fred Hoyle and Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe -Diseases From Space (1979) and Evolution From Space (1981) as both look at...well, I think the actual titles explain it all.  Back then it was all controversial and some said silly but as the years went on so it became more accepted. Bacteria may well be floating freely through space.

It was one reason why, once the AOP Bureau got going, a standard question to anyone claiming to have come close to any landed 'UFO' was concerned with their health before and after the event? Not just to find out whether there had been any exposure to strong electro-magnetic fields, radiation or sounds that might cause harm, but whether there might be "another cause".

But let's hear what the scientists have to say.

A leading scientist has assured us all that alien microbes that may have hitched a ride to Earth on returning rockets will not be allowed to escape.
Dr John Rummel, a scientist at the Seti Institute in California, said: “If we bring samples back from either Europa or Mars, we will contain them until hazard testing demonstrates that there is no danger and no life, or continue the containment indefinitely while we study the material.”
Thank goodness for that, then.
Pictures of two clumps of bacteria
These bacteria were found on the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere back in 2001, and scientists claimed they could be from space (PA)
Microbes could easily survive the journey back to Earth with space samples from missions to Mars or Jupiter’s moon Europa, as bacteria are usually resistant to cold and dry conditions.
“Precautions taken would provide a very high degree of containment,” he said at a talk on space contamination at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston.
In a worst case scenario, a microbe from space could cause disease in humans, and we’d be unlikely to have any natural immunity against such a foreign bug.
There’s also concern that a leak the other way around could be troublesome.
If microbes from Earth contaminated somewhere scientists believe has the potential to harbour life, like Europa’s salty ocean, it would make finding definite proof of alien bacteria far more difficult.

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