Bacteria 'from Outer Space' Found on Space Station, Cosmonaut Says: Report

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dryson, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    https://www.space.com/38922-extraterrestrial-bacteria-international-space-station.html

    Scientists have detected living bacteria "from outer space" in samples collected from the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) during spacewalks, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov told Russia's state-owned TASS news agency.

    Now lets replace the ISS with asteroids. Well that wouldn't work because the asteroids would probably be pulled into the planet because they are so close it.

    What I am getting at is there seems to be a possible wave that carries the components through for bacteria to grow from. Much like a solar wind travels through space the wave would carry the components from their point of creation until they came into contact with minerals that would allow them to feed off of other material that becomes trapped in the crevices of the mineral's structure.

    Water would also need to be present so possibly these bacteria could have come from Enceladus which has plumes of water that shoot out from its surface at various times. Possibly frozen in very small water droplets that have Enceladus surface material mixed in with the droplet of water. A brown paper bag lunch if you will.

    Once the droplet of water comes close to a source of heat or an EM field such as the Earth's own EM field, the droplet would begin to melt allowing the tardigrade to wake up and feed until it comes into contact with organic material where it would then begin the process associated with engineering life on a planet such as Earth.

    Perhaps the Tardigrade might be the Universe's gardeners that till the garden of the Universe for other life grow from.
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ...and their athletes have never taken performance-enhancing drugs....

    Right...
     
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  3. velour

    velour Commander Red Shirt

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    Has that cosmonaut been tested for doping?
     
  4. Space Coast

    Space Coast Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Have they checked it for signs of Chaos?
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Have they checked the cosmonauts to make sure they are not mounds of bacteria duplicating the shape of a human?
     
  6. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Unbelievable.
     
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe the hypotheses of Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and other Panspermia proponents are correct and Carl Sagan and other detractors were wrong. Really, it needs successful dedicated sample-return missions to comets and Kuiper belt objects to test. I believe the sample-return missions so far are likely to have been subject to contamination. A non-Earth origin for terrestrial life just pushes the search for life's origin elsewhere.

    I recall reading someone claiming that the genetic clock indicates that life must have originated at least 6 billion years ago, which is, of course, longer ago than the Earth's formation 4.55 billion years ago. The transition from simple bacteria to complex eukaryotic cells with their organelles and suspiciously nanotech-looking proteins (see kinesin, dynein, leucine zipper, histone octamer spooler...), in particular, probably took at least three billion years of evolution.

    The protomolecule of The Expanse might not be that farfetched - perhaps we are just the autogenerated tools of a terraforming process with our creators either long extinct or waiting in the wings for us to complete the process and harvest us. ;)
     
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  8. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Captain Captain

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    I think we'll eventually learn that the bacteria originated in the extreme upper atmosphere. My question is, what are they metabolizing on the skin of the station? Do they eat metal or plastic? Because that would be bad for us. Wasn't there a sci-fi show where something mutated to devour all plastics and wrecked our civilization?
     
  9. Haggis and tatties

    Haggis and tatties Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^The Andromeda strain did something like that.
     
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  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Also an episode of Doomwatch back in the early 70s.
     
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  11. Corporal Cupcake

    Corporal Cupcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This would actually be a major discovery.

    Regarding The Andromeda Strain, this was a theory for the origin of the strain that was mentioned in Crichton's book that didn't make it into the 1971 film.
     
  12. psCargile

    psCargile Captain Captain

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    Let's see: bacteria is on your skin, you touch a glove, transferring bacteria to glove, glove touches exterior of module, bacteria transfers to the module surface. Possible?
     
  13. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not as plausible as a cloaked Romulan vessel installing a listening device on the outer hull of the station.

    From what I can tell from the article, ‘from outer space’ is Shkaplerov's interpretation, not what the scientists he's working with said. They are certainly outer space bacteria as much as the cosmonauts on the ISS are outer space beings, as they live in outer space in their outer space village. Their origin speculations sounds really non-convincing, obviously.

    Demonstrably alien life wouldn't have bacteria because the alien microorganisms would belong to a parallel domain, in a parallel tree of life. (Funnily, it wouldn't classify as life under our current classification, which would be hilarious.) Being able to easily class them under our own domain of bacteria would either suggest convergent evolution (which would make it difficult to discern them as alien), or that we haven't studied them (no alien conclusion there for you), or would result in a ‘we really haven't seen that kind of species before, we don't know what that is!’ statement, rather than ‘oh, so those are alien bacteria’.

    Bacteria are tricky, because for a very long while we didn't know or suspect they existed, and for a shorter while we couldn't tell them apart from archaea, or even single-celled animals, plants and fungi. But that also means that we would have a harder time calling their extraterrestrial not-cousins as such. (Thus also making them the perfect candidate for hiding-in-plain-sight aliens, as well as for making up plausibly-sounding stories such as this one.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  14. psCargile

    psCargile Captain Captain

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    My thoughts exactly.