Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Can Life exist without DNA?

Red rain could prove that aliens have landed

Amelia Gentleman and Robin McKie
Sunday March 5, 2006
The Observer

There is a small bottle containing a red fluid on a shelf in Sheffield University’s microbiology laboratory. The liquid looks cloudy and uninteresting. Yet, if one group of scientists is correct, the phial contains the first samples of extraterrestrial life isolated by researchers.
Inside the bottle are samples left over from one of the strangest incidents in recent meteorological history. On 25 July, 2001, blood-red rain fell over the Kerala district of western India. And these rain bursts continued for the next two months. All along the coast it rained crimson, turning local people’s clothes pink, burning leaves on trees and falling as scarlet sheets at some points.

Investigations suggested the rain was red because winds had swept up dust from Arabia and dumped it on Kerala. But Godfrey Louis, a physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, after gathering samples left over from the rains, concluded this was nonsense. ‘If you look at these particles under a microscope, you can see they are not dust, they have a clear biological appearance.’ Instead Louis decided that the rain was made up of bacteria-like material that had been swept to Earth from a passing comet. In short, it rained aliens over India during the summer of 2001.

Not everyone is convinced by the idea, of course. Indeed most researchers think it is highly dubious. One scientist who posted a message on Louis’s website described it as ‘bullshit’.

But a few researchers believe Louis may be on to something and are following up his work. Milton Wainwright, a microbiologist at Sheffield, is now testing samples of Kerala’s red rain. ‘It is too early to say what’s in the phial,’ he said. ‘But it is certainly not dust. Nor is there any DNA there, but then alien bacteria would not necessarily contain DNA.’

Critical to Louis’s theory is the length of time the red rain fell on Kerala. Two months is too long for it to have been wind-borne dust, he says. In addition, one analysis showed the particles were 50 per cent carbon, 45 per cent oxygen with traces of sodium and iron: consistent with biological material. Louis also discovered that, hours before the first red rain fell, there was a loud sonic boom that shook houses in Kerala. Only an incoming meteorite could have triggered such a blast, he claims. This had broken from a passing comet and shot towards the coast, shedding microbes as it travelled. These then mixed with clouds and fell with the rain. Many scientists accept that comets may be rich in organic chemicals and a few, such as the late Fred Hoyle, the UK theorist, argued that life on Earth evolved from microbes that had been brought here on comets. But most researchers say that Louis is making too great a leap in connecting his rain with microbes from a comet.

For his part, Louis is unrepentant. ‘If anybody hears a theory like this, that it is from a comet, they dismiss it as an unbelievable kind of conclusion. Unless people understand our arguments – people will just rule it out as an impossible thing, that extra-terrestrial biology is responsible for this red rain.’

Source: The Guardian


Filed under: Science & Technology, , , ,

8 Responses

  1. CambournePat says:

    I don’t believe that life can exist without DNA.

    Scotty once said “I canny change the laws of physics” and I believe there are some scientific rules that even aliens springing out of commets would have to abide by.

  2. Reem says:

    hehe.. i think the hypopthesis is radically “over the top” :)–>

  3. Chris says:

    OK. Great. Two responses to this great scientific possiblity are, “it seems over the top.” ISN’T SCIENCE SUPPOSED TO BE?!

    And the other guy quotes “Star-Trek” as his scientific guide. Hopefully he has the chance to be beamed up one day.. perhaps already has. 😉

    But in any case, literally could bring a new age of science; if we learned to understand how this functions.. if it is indeed what it seems to the researcher.

  4. Reem says:

    Chris…this is like 5 yrs ago 🙂 today… am open too any possibility

  5. tryme says:

    couldn’t the sonic boom be from a supersonic jet, and the red rain some kind of experimental bacteria developped by some army (u.s. perhaps) that have been dropped from that jet and replicating themselvers at high altitude so it keeps “falling” for a long time..?

  6. Mike says:

    Experimental bacteria that doesn’t utilize DNA? That’d be a miracle of science that we simply cannot achieve at this point. We’ve barely even begun mapping the human genome. The fact is, this is an organic, cellular-structured particle, that replicates in the right conditions. Nothing non-organic can replicate itself in this way that we know of, so the conclusion is a logical one.

    People automatically dismissing possibilities before pursuing all available avenues of research is not thinking scientifically.

  7. Martin says:

    Please provide only facts not emotional notions

    • Reem says:

      Martin, the article is written by Amelia Gentleman and Robin McKie in The Guardian. I am just the messenger 🙂 A lot of article I post on my blog because they are thought provoking, doesnt mean I personally “agree” with them.

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