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Are bacteria falling on us from space?

 Scientists from India and Great Britain claim that the discovery of bacteria at a height of 41 km in the atmosphere indicates their space origin

Avi Blizovsky, editor of the knowledge site

Scientists claim to have discovered evidence of life in spaceAn international team of researchers announced last Thursday (August 2, 2001) that they had found the first evidence of extraterrestrial life - a type of extraterrestrial bacteria in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
Although these bacteria are similar to bacteria on Earth, the scientists say that the living cells discovered in air samples at the edge of the atmosphere are too far away to reach from Earth.
"There is now unequivocal evidence for the presence of clumps of living cells in air samples from an altitude of 41 kilometers, well beyond the tropopause, (a height of 16 kilometers), a height that air from the lower layer cannot reach." said Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, an astronomer at Cardiff University in Wales.
He presented the findings at a meeting of the World Society of Optical Engineers in San Diego, California. "Now a way has been opened for the claim regarding the insemination of bacteria on Earth from space."
Wickramasinghe and scientists from India collected these samples from the stratosphere using balloons launched by the Indian Space Agency from Hyderabad in southern India.
Using fluorescent equipment, they found living cells in the samples and estimated by their distribution and the height at which they were found that they fell from space. At least a third of a ton of biological material falls out of space every day. they appreciate

Bacteria from space
Prof. David Lloyd, a microbiologist at Cardiff University who examined the samples and was a co-author of the report, says that they look like common bacteria, but there is no explanation as to how they got to such a high altitude.
"It would take an extraordinary event to take particles from Earth to an altitude of 40 kilometers." Lloyd says.
The bacteria could hitch a ride on a rocket or satellite into space, if they could really come from another planet.
"We have no preference for one hypothesis over the other, but the higher chance is that the bacteria came from outer space. I would like to think so." Lloyd said. Lloyd has tried, so far without success, to grow these bacteria in cultures but he says he has yet to find the right conditions. "This is the first sign of the possibility that life exists on other planets." added
Wickershamsingh is convinced that the space bacteria provide support for the panspermia theory - which suggests that life began elsewhere in space and came here to thrive and reproduce. "We have been claiming for over two decades that life on Earth arrived here via comets and cometary material that includes micro-organisms is still arriving on Earth in large quantities." said.

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