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Thread: Reactivated Life from Glaciers

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    Senior Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Reactivated Life from Glaciers

    http://www.livescience.com/strangene...acier_dna.html

    Interesting is also the apparent evidence that it appears unlikely that any alien organism could have survived transportation by comet (due to the damaging effects of long term cosmic radiation exposure to DNA) and thus have "seeded" our embryonic world.

    More stuff for the creation debate?
    Last edited by Mike C; 08-07-2007 at 11:51 PM.
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    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Arrow Ancient glacier creatures brought back to life

    Ancient glacier creatures brought back to life


    By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
    Last Updated: 2:14am BST 07/08/2007


    Creatures that once lived eight million years ago have been successfully thawed from the ice of an Antarctic glacier, in an experiment that sounds like a scene from a science fiction film.
    Scientists found the microorganisms in ice samples from ancient Antartic glaciers

    The feat of revival was managed with as yet unidentified single-celled microbes and should pose no health issues, say the scientists

    However, it does show that evolution of simpler organisms is complicated by thawing glaciers which allow ancient bugs to contribute their old genes to modern populations.
    The finding is significant, said Kay Bidle, assistant professor of marine and coastal sciences at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, because scientists didn’t know until now whether such ancient, frozen organisms and their DNA could be revived at all or for how long cells are viable after they’ve been frozen.
    Working with Prof Paul Falkowski, Prof Dave Marchant of Boston University and Prof SangHoon Lee of the South Korea Polar Research Institute, Dr Bidle melted five samples of ice from the Transantarctic Mountains ranging in age from 100,000 to eight million years old to find the microorganisms trapped inside.
    The results are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.




    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...06/wice106.xml

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C
    http://www.livescience.com/strangene...acier_dna.html

    Intresting is also the apparent evidence that it appears unlikely that any alien organism could have survived transportation by comet (due to the damaging effects of long term cosmic radiation exposure to DNA) and thus have "seeded" our embryonic world.

    More stuff for the creation debate?
    In his book "Life Itself", Francis Crick, who contributed majorly to the elucidation of the DNA molecular structure and coding, hypothesised that an advanced alien culture facing annihilation in the wake of their dying star/sun might have invested a terminal effort in sending "seeds of life" (my paraphrase) to likely looking planetary systems and that the earth's system might have been one. Crick goes into minute detail in exploring the probabilities of each point or objection to this hypothesis.

    http://www.amazon.com/Life-Itself-To...6504231&sr=1-5
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    Crick's hypothesis is perhaps plausible, but in terms of the question about the origin of life, it merely puts the same question back to an earlier time, another planet.
    - Richard

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    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
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    i watched on the news...amaizing.
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      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfbdorf
    Crick's hypothesis is perhaps plausible, but in terms of the question about the origin of life, it merely puts the same question back to an earlier time, another planet.
    - Richard
    I'm not nor would I try to promote "Life Itself" for the probability of its central hypothesis - although its plausability is fun to speculate about - but rather for the exploration of supportive and non-supportive theory he goes into in such detail. In attempting to elucidate evolutionary theory he goes into the essential detailing of several ways to attempt to grasp the prodigious time-frame (what I think of as "deep time") involved. This concept needs the exercise of creative approaches before evolutionary theory may be usefully approached...and Crick has the kind or fertile and creative mind to make such exercises quite enjoyable.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  7. #7
    There are acouple of comments that grabbed my attention in this article.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6935146.stm

    This one gives an indication of the durability of DNA:

    The cultures grown from organisms in the 100,000-year-old ice doubled in size every seven days on average.
    By contrast, microbes from the eight million-year-old ice grew much more slowly, doubling every 30-70 days.


    This suggested some microorganisms in this old ice were alive, but only just. Their DNA had been severely damaged by long exposure to cosmic radiation. This radiation is stronger at the poles, where the Earth's protective magnetic field is weakest.
    The researchers were unable to identify them as they grew, because their DNA had degraded so much. The researchers found that DNA in the five samples examined showed an exponential decline in quality after 1.1 million years.
    And this comment was an interesting comment about the possibility of life on Mars:
    Dr Marchant added: "The other thing that's interesting about this is the connection to Mars. There's near-surface ice on Mars where the surface landform looks identical to what you'll see in Beacon Valley."
    Taken together these two comments made me wonder about the possibility of life in the ice on Mars. If it is there how long has it been frozen for, more or less than 1.1 million years? If the ice has life and if the life it contained was DNA based, which are two big ifs, would the thinner Martian atmosphere mean that the ice was exposed to different levels of cosmic radiation and accelerate the rate of DNA decay so that it would not last as long as 1.1 million years?

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