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Three species of bacteria were discovered by India in the Earth's upper atmosphere, living in extreme conditions. The ISRO used a research balloon to make the discovery. Some scientists are hailing the bacteria as extraterrestrial life.  (Source: CNN/IBN Live)
ISRO makes intriguing "extraterrestrial" life discovery -- let's hope they're on our side!

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been increasingly active lately.  As India grows in financial and industrial prowess, so does its space agency.  Late last year the nation sent a probe crashing into the moon.  Now the ISRO is claiming an even wilder space discovery that might challenge people's preconceptions about extraterrestrial life.

India claims to have found three different species of bacteria living in the Earth's very thin upper atmosphere, at heights of 40 km above the Earth's surface (approximately 24.8 miles).  Many scientists are hailing the bacteria as extraterrestrial as they exist in a foreign climate so far from Earth.  Regardless of their designation, if their presence is verified, they would mark a new era in the study of life in extreme environments.

The bacteria colonies would have to deal with conditions deadly to terrestrial bacteria in order to survive at such heights.  The UV rays at that height, outside much of the atmospheric protective layer, would be intense enough alone to kill the bacteria.  In addition, they would have to deal with extreme temperatures, sparse air particles, and lack of organic matter.

A lively debate is occurring as well over the origins of the bacteria.  Some scientists are arguing they originated on Earth, being tossed into the air by volcanic eruptions or other events.  Others are arguing that they could have arrived from space. 

The first species has been named Bacillus Isronensis, in honor of the ISRO, while the second species has been named Bacillus Aryabhata, in honor of the ancient Indian astronomer Aryabhata.  The third is named Janibacter Hoylei in honor of astrophysicist Fred Hoyle.

The bacteria were discovered by scientific instruments aboard an ISRO high-altitude balloon, launched from the National Balloon Facility in Hyderabad.  The 459-kg scientific payload began collecting atmospheric samples at 20 km and traveled up to 41 km, around where the bacteria were found.  Analysis of the samples occurred at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and the National Center for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune.

The announcement was not the first claim of extraterrestrial life from a space organization.  Earlier this year, NASA announced finding signs of life on Mars when the Phoenix lander discovered that the Martian atmosphere contained significant levels of methane.  On Earth, the primary source of methane is living organisms. 

With discoveries like this new one, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility that bacteria could survive on a place like Mars, even if its chemistry was too extreme for most life on Earth.



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Extraterrestrial ?
By AntiM on 3/17/2009 9:48:19 AM , Rating: 5
When it is PROVEN that the bacteria came from outerspace, then I will accept that it's "extraterrestrial". Until then, it's no more extraterrestrial than the bacteria living in the hostile environment of my colon.




RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/17/2009 10:11:08 AM , Rating: 4
I agree, hailing it as "the discovery of extraterrestrial life" is a bit extreme, but I think its great that India's space program is getting more active and making discoveries, and you have to admit that this environment is FAR more extreme than any other environment bacteria have been found in.

True, gut bacteria have to deal with some acidity, but they have a warm environment thats rich in organic chemicals. Similarly, bacteria @ sea vents have warmth -- if a bit too much -- and while they have to deal with chemicals like sulfur, and the pressure they have a lot of organic material to work with.

UV damage is one of the deadliest foes of bacteria. If these bacteria can survive and populate at such altitudes given the scarcity of organic material extreme temperatures and pressures AND UV, I think its a pretty impressive feat of life -- be it from Earth or space.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Gul Westfale on 3/17/2009 10:23:55 AM , Rating: 3
according to international rules, space begins at 100km; these bacteria are at 'only' 40km... so they do not in any way qualify as 'extra-terrestrial'. in fact, many weather balloons climb higher than that, so while this is certainly a good scientific discovery i really don't see the ET part here... we don't call weather balloons intergalactic spacecraft, now do we?


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By lexluthermiester on 3/17/2009 11:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
You make a very good argument with the 100km point. Yet one has to ask, how did those organisms get all the way up there and how are they surviving?

So what the Indians are saying is if they can survive and even thrive in that hostile an environment, then would it not be logical and reasonable to conclude that life likely abounds all over the galaxy/universe?

I personally think life is all over the place we just haven't seen it yet... Or maybe we have and don't realize it.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Gul Westfale on 3/17/2009 11:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
i agree that life is all over the place, that makes sense when you consider the vastness of space... but that does not mean that these bacteria are from outer space. maybe they were deposited by the weather balloons, or military craft, or maybe they just evolved naturally there, like creatures in the deepest parts of our oceans.

i think the indians should have studied this a bit more before announcing them as 'extra-terrestrial'.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By GodisanAtheist on 3/17/2009 6:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think the logical leap is quite that simple or short. While the existence of life at extreme altitudes pretty much wins the "extremophile of the century" award, there is no grounds or basis for claiming that because life CAN exist in these environments that it necessarily DOES live in similar environments all over the universe.

As far as we know, and as far as empirical science has shown, the inanimate has transitioned to the animate in only one place in the Universe. Who knows, the real issue could simply be getting the ball rolling, but once it is, life will adapt to carve out a niche in any environment it can, no matter how wicked it may seem.

Far cry to call it extraterrestrial, especially when a much richer source of potential seeders is a mere 40km away, but a very cool and very humbling discovery nevertheless.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By lexluthermiester on 3/18/2009 12:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
there is no grounds or basis for claiming that because life CAN exist in these environments that it necessarily DOES live in similar environments all over the universe.


Unless you factor in the fact that we keep finding life in the most hostile and unlikely places just here on Earth. Now think about it. There are billions of stars in this galaxy alone. And as we are discovering, planets most likely out number stars. And of all those planets, how many of them orbit their star in the "life zone"? I'm thinking at least a few hundred, bare minimum just in our little neighborhood of stars. Do you really think we are alone in this galaxy? Now factor in that there are billions[and possibly trillions] of other galaxies in this universe. How can anyone who is reasonable possibly think we are alone?

Think about this; A few hundred years ago people believed the world was flat and that the universe rotated around us. Now we know otherwise. So is it not reasonable to conclude that things we have only slight understanding of now will completely change as we gain a greater understanding of the universe?


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Triple Omega on 3/23/2009 9:40:44 AM , Rating: 2
Your argument of numbers holds no ground as there is nothing in there about the creation of life. Yes there are probably a huge number of planets and moons out there that can support life, but since we don't know exactly what the chances are of life being created out of lifelessness there is no way of calculating the chance of life being created beyond our planet.

Maybe the chance of life being created is so astronomically small that the Earth really is the only place in the universe where it has happened, who knows? You can't conclude something based on numbers if your missing part of the calculation and you are.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By MrPoletski on 3/23/2009 10:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe the chance of life being created is so astronomically small that the Earth really is the only place in the universe where it has happened, who knows? You can't conclude something based on numbers if your missing part of the calculation and you are.


The chance of life being created is almost certainly astronomically small. But the universe is also astronomically large and has been around from an anstronomical amount of time.

At the end of the day, I think that if a planet has any water and carbon on it then it's also highly likely to have life on it.

One day we might even find silicon based life forms. I for one, welcome our new overlords.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Myg on 3/18/2009 5:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yea... God knows we have a hard enough time recognising life even amongst our own species, let alone tiny bacteria in the upper atmosphere.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Whaaambulance on 3/18/2009 12:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
I just find it interesting that we are so gung-ho about space exploration, when we haven't even really explored the very depths of our own oceans. There is so many undiscovered life forms there. I can only imagine just how 'extreme' it must be at the very bottom of the deepest oceans on earth.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By lexluthermiester on 3/18/2009 12:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just find it interesting that we are so gung-ho about space exploration, when we haven't even really explored the very depths of our own oceans.


That is true, but one must remember that it is easier to go from 1 atmospheric pressure to a vacuum than it is to go from that same pressure to hundreds of times that pressure. Just not an easy thing.

quote:
There is so many undiscovered life forms there. I can only imagine just how 'extreme' it must be at the very bottom of the deepest oceans on earth.


Totally agree! There has got to be some very exotic life down there.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By quiksilvr on 3/17/2009 1:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
No but they sure as hell look like one:

http://www.majicminiatures.com/custom/DSC00786.JPG


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By clovell on 3/17/2009 11:23:51 AM , Rating: 1
Well put, Jason - I've enjoyed your last couple of articles. Keep it up!


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By AntiM on 3/17/2009 1:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, In the future, I think we'll find that life, at least in simple bacterial form, is much more prevalent in the universe than we ever imagined. When conditions are right, it can evolve into much more complex forms.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By AnnihilatorX on 3/17/2009 2:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
The gut is a very bad example.
You can find bacteria in several thousand feet below the ocean floor in volcanic vents, as well as bacteria that survives in absence of oxygen and nutrients in rock formations.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Chemical Chris on 3/17/2009 5:53:42 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
while they have to deal with chemicals like sulfur

Actually, they typically utilize sulfur as the final electron acceptor for cellular respiration. In the same way that we use oxygen as the final electron acceptor for our cellular respiration.
Us: O + 2H --> H2O + energy for life
Them: S + 2H --> H2S + energy for life

Often, oxygen will kill sulfur-reducing bacteria, and vice versa for us.

Life is highly varied, but even so, a surprising amount of biochemistry is shared between us and those deep-sea or "extraterrestrial" bacteria.

ChemC


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Belard on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By General Disturbance on 3/17/2009 10:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yah that totally loses ISRO some credibility.

If, on the other hand, the DNA of the bacteria was genetically dissimilar to earth life, say it didn't use ATCG nucleotides and wasn't right-chiral, THEN they could say the bacteria came from outer space.

Technically if the bacteria don't live on the ground, then they're not "of the earth", i.e. extra-terrestrial.

But that's WEAK!!


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Schrag4 on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By General Disturbance on 3/17/2009 1:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do know that OF means FROM and not ON, right? Just as our rovers on Mars are "of the earth" but not on the earth.


Yah that's why I said it's a weak position for them to take!


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By phattyboombatty on 3/17/2009 11:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If, on the other hand, the DNA of the bacteria was genetically dissimilar to earth life, say it didn't use ATCG nucleotides and wasn't right-chiral, THEN they could say the bacteria came from outer space.

Or, the bacteria may have just evolved separately than other life on Earth. Just because it's different than what we have found so far on Earth, doesn't mean it isn't from Earth. I think the most interesting question is how the bacteria arrived (and remained) in that environment.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By General Disturbance on 3/17/2009 1:11:21 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Or, the bacteria may have just evolved separately than other life on Earth. Just because it's different than what we have found so far on Earth, doesn't mean it isn't from Earth.


Yes, but ALL life discovered on earth so far, no matter how extreme it is, always follows ATCG and right chirality. Discovering a life form that didn't follow this rule truly would be as big a scientific discovery as finding actual extra-terrestrial life.

You're right, it would be really interesting to know what the life process is for these bacteria at such an extreme altitude.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Davelo on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By bighairycamel on 3/17/2009 11:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
You're making a unfair assumption of his post... where did he say his beliefs or feelings on ET life in general? Keep it to the point Bill OReilly.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 11:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
Well there's the part about hearty bacteria spreading once they settle to earth, killing a large part of our ecosystem (and possibly us too), but I see your point, dead people have no fear.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By FITCamaro on 3/17/2009 12:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
He's not denouncing the existence of extraterrestrial life. He's saying that bacteria found in the atmosphere of our own planet are not extraterrestrial. I mean we've discovered organisms surviving in the plumes of underwater volcanoes that we used to not know about. Most terrestrial organisms couldn't survive in that environment either but we don't count those as extraterrestrial.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By walk2k on 3/17/2009 12:57:34 PM , Rating: 5
Oh look I jumped 2 feet in the air, I'm an "extraterrestrial" alien from outer space now!


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By rdeegvainl on 3/20/2009 4:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
birds are wierd


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By zinfamous on 3/17/2009 1:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except that the bacteria in your colon is not immune to intense UV radiation.

I agree though, in terms of the origin of these beasties.

I'm also a little frightened, though: If during collection and testing, these bugs become exposed to the more "common" bacteria that we know, and manage to pass on UV-resistant plasmids....then you can consider the rest of us hyper-screwed.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By geddarkstorm on 3/17/2009 1:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
Haven't people heard of Deinococcus radiodurans? It can survive up to 6 kGy of radiation (an air burst neutron bomb is about 1 kGy) with almost no reduction in CFUs. It's a soil dwelling bacteria that developed such a resistance most likely to deal with dessication (which is very similar to UV radiation).

The important question to ask is: where the heck would bacteria in the atmosphere get enough nutrients, trace metals, and especially water? Without water, they'll just be dry, dead husks, but still completely detectable to a sensor for organic matter. Even for photosynthesis you'd need CO2, and that is already relatively rare at sea level pressures, let alone that high in the atmosphere.

The last problem I have with this is have they all forgotten that bacteria can form "spores", which are amazingly resilient to heat and radiation? Those spores would have no problem being blown that high in the atmosphere by events, or even riding along with desert dust, and would remain inactive, ready to germinate once they found water and nutrient rich environments - potentially even the inside of a weather balloon instrument.

Till we can get a sample and look at the DNA of these things, this story is simply sensationalism, so it appears to me. I see a woeful lack of critical questions, at least in this article.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By geddarkstorm on 3/17/2009 2:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would also like to point out that there is a difference between surviving radiation, dessication (which will happen at those altitudes, heck, what about freezing?), and low nutrients rather than functioning in the presence of those factors.

Even D. radiodurans' genome is blown to heck upon exposure to intense UV radiation, no different than for a human or E. coli. The only difference is, D. radiodurans can shut itself down and piece its genome back together remarkably well, while the other two mentioned organisms couldn't do that if their lives depended on it, literally.

You cannot replicate with blown apart DNA, and radiation will blow DNA into scrap due to physics and chemistry, nothing prevents that that we know of. Also, proteins get destroyed and oxidized into scrap too (which D. radiodurans avoids using high amounts of manganese, which you aren't going to get in the upper atmosphere or space).

So sure, bacteria could get up that high, and they could potentially survive as spores being dormant, but replicate, grow, and metabolize? Only if they don't have a completely different system than DNA could they replicate, and how the heck can they grow and metabolize when there's next to nothing up there to grow and metabolize with? Such massively low densities of materials for such small creatures.. just isn't going to be a viable growth environment. All the "extreme" environments life is found growing in are still nutrient rich, that's one thing the upper atmosphere isn't going to have. So: survive, sure, grow and live, no.

I'd really like to know how they were measuring for bacteria too -- just reading different organic materials, or did they actually collect bacteria and look at them physically? If the latter, then we already know they are normal bacteria, or a huge hooplah would have been made about how the DNA and chemistry are different, which they would have to be to live at such heights.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By Starcub on 3/17/2009 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
With regard to how they would get the materials they need to survive and replicate...

I think Micheal Chrichton positited in The Andromeda Strain that bacteria could form chains in space. He suggested that they could be used to build a sort of self healing comm network. So while the bacteria might not be extraterestrial life, it might be evidence of it ;)


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By vulcanproject on 3/17/2009 8:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
its probably just false readings. someone got curry on the instruments again


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By roostitup on 3/18/2009 3:43:29 AM , Rating: 3
Ya, I agree with you. The bacteria and other organisms living at the bottom of the ocean could be considered to be in a just as hostile environment. Though these environments are different, they are both equally extreme in my opinion. Now, if they came from outer space and colonized our upper atmosphere, that's a different story. Though I would think it's highly unlikely that the bacteria came from outer space, nothing from outer space enters our atmosphere gentle enough to allow it to live. Bacteria in your colon is another story though because technically that's not a very hostile environment, unless you just ate some beany mexican food :p


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By callmeroy on 3/18/2009 10:14:02 AM , Rating: 2
Dude you need to lay off the taco bell..


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By JonnyDough on 3/20/2009 7:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
Define "outerspace." Aren't we also from outerspace? Oh, that's right. We were drawn up out of the mud by GOD. Forget balls of matter floating in space. That never happens. Except for the little planet we live on, and God put that here.


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By rdeegvainl on 3/20/2009 4:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
maybe you were made from mud, but i was chiseled from stone....


RE: Extraterrestrial ?
By MrPoletski on 3/23/2009 10:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
sandstone?

all I know is that one of my distant ancestors shagged a monkey.

So did all of yours.

Yuck.

The human race is an STD.


Am I Overlooking Something?
By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 11:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
They prep a balloon, but even if it is sterilized beforehand (if these bacteria survive unexpected things, now can we even be sure it was really 100% sterile?), how does one let a balloon go up and not have bacteria settle on long before it reaches 40KM?

What if these were just conventional bacteria carried up to that altitude, then mutated by the UV light?




RE: Am I Overlooking Something?
By iamted on 3/17/2009 11:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
if i go catch a new fish and i have never seen it before, does that mean i discovered a new fish? arent there millions if not billions of bacteria? a little more then what this article says would be needed before i could go along with this.

if all life is organic then they have organic material to eat in that atmosphere.


RE: Am I Overlooking Something?
By suryad on 3/17/2009 11:59:20 AM , Rating: 2
You have a point but I dont think that UV will mutate the bacterial dna to something that was not seen before. I mean the chances of that happening and providing a viable sustaining lifeform is a matter of millions of years...not a few months or however long the balloon has been floating along in the atmosphere.


RE: Am I Overlooking Something?
By mindless1 on 3/17/2009 2:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily true, if you mutate millions of bacteria, some may have mutated into something that survives at least for awhile, this happening immediately (mutation is not an evolutionary process to the extent that it takes millions of years, in the presence of UV light it's poof(!) live or die).


By DigitalFreak on 3/17/2009 1:57:45 PM , Rating: 3
Is there anything sterile in India?


RE: Am I Overlooking Something?
By roostitup on 3/18/2009 3:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
Do you realize how very highly unlikely this is? I really don't think it's possible. This type of extreme environmental change is not survivable. It would be much more likely to be a bacteria that is slowly carried up by volcanic erupetions. The bacteria would be carried up with the continuous plumes of smoke to a slowly increasing level in the atmosphere, and the bacteria that survive come back closer to earth to to reproduce than get carried back up to a higher altitude slowly breeding for high altitude characteristics. Eventually the bacteria would get so high over a longer period of time that it becomes completely aloft. The way that a balloon goes so quickly through the atmosphere is far to much of an enviromental change for bacteria to survive. It would have to be a slower process.


RE: Am I Overlooking Something?
By mindless1 on 3/19/2009 4:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, what is very unlikely is that A) they sterilized it, plus B) they had some kind of bacterial killing field around it so that all along it's journey, no bacteria accumulated.

It'd be crazy to assume anything more than this, until there is reason to rule it out. Never assume absence bacteria until it is proven.

To suggest altitude change means they wouldn't survive is wrong, if the changing ecosystem kills some, sure it will, but that is not at all a reason nor proof that all are killed.

Remember, we are talking about mutant cells. This is what life itself is about, given an environment not hospitable to *everything*, only what adapts, survives.

To put it another way, all this talk about it is silly. Energy has to be used, we can study and see where, the metabolism. If it is one that can survive in outer space, only then is there any validation beyond it being something carried up by the balloon or a volcano, etc.


Aha!!!
By Ticholo on 3/17/2009 10:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
See? It's the proof that Global Warming is NOT caused by humans!!! I bet these are Green-house Bacteria! Nuke'em!

BTW, the ET claim in this case seems a bit far-fetched... Say people started reproducing in space. Would the babies be ET?
I'd say it's just another case of life found in extreme conditions where we would think no life could exist. Not quite the same as life from outside Earth.




RE: Aha!!!
By rudolphna on 3/17/2009 12:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
the question is, how did the bacteria get there, and how are they surviving those conditions?


RE: Aha!!!
By FITCamaro on 3/17/2009 12:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they've always lived there and we've never noticed? And they evolved to survive there.


RE: Aha!!!
By Ticholo on 3/17/2009 3:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
Evolved? Is that a new, fancy word for "placed there by a higher power"?

But really, this shouldn't be any different than finding out that life can exist in environments like deep sea vents, after all. If I'm not mistaken, I think I remember watching something on TV about bacteria that lived in a region with high volcanic activity in sulphur vents, or pools (something like that) and actually had a completely sulphur based metabolism.


Very Hi-Tech Bacteria
By SpaceJumper on 3/17/2009 12:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
These astronaut bacteria are unfortunately captured by human.




RE: Very Hi-Tech Bacteria
By shaw on 3/17/2009 2:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if we combine this bacertia with flowers we can get sufficient samples of the Progenitor virus finally.


Orbit
By bobsmith1492 on 3/17/2009 12:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
At that altitude, are these bacteria in orbit? Or, are they simply light and small enough to be conveyed upward by natural convection like dust particles?

I would think a bacterial orbit would decay rapidly because their mass is so small that air resistance would substantially slow them down.

So, I would guess they're simply riding on air currents.




RE: Orbit
By 91TTZ on 3/17/2009 2:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Being in orbit has to due with speed and gravity, not altitude. You can be in orbit at any altitude if you're going fast enough. On the Earth, our atmosphere makes that almost impossible at lower altitudes since you'd burn up. But you can't go up to "orbital altitude" and expect to stay up there if you weren't going fast enough. If you were on the International Space Station and reduced your speed to 0 mph you'd fall straight down.


interesting
By kattanna on 3/17/2009 10:03:15 AM , Rating: 2
i find it interesting that the more we look, the more places we find life to exist.

congrats on the find




Good Stuff
By JoeWho on 3/17/2009 12:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
Bet we could make some wicked germ warfare agents with that stuff.




pls advice
By RamarC on 3/17/2009 2:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
regarding ET bacteria and do the needful.




By Spinne on 3/19/2009 7:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
More crappy reporting from Jason Mick. Go read the ISRO announcement - it's much more critically written

http://www.isro.org/pressrelease/Mar16_2009.htm

Incidentally, Fred Hoyle was Narklikar's advisor and a proponent of some pretty out there ideas about the origin of life. Fred Hoyle's hypothesis that life comes from space is probably why Narlikar chose to name one of the bacterium after Hoyle (Narlikar is famous enough in his own right as a cosmologist that I don't think he did this to earn brownie points with his dead advisor).




le-sigh
By oab on 3/17/2009 9:46:11 AM , Rating: 1
"Lets hope they're on our side!"

Oh please. Mick, if you want to have DT be a respected newsy place on the interwebs, the subheadline needs to be something even fake-professional. At least if it is going to be put into the "articles" section.




RE: le-sigh
By Alexstarfire on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
Hoyle
By Sir Picto on 3/17/2009 3:21:23 PM , Rating: 1
The term Big Bang was coined by Hoyle in his radio-driven campaign to debunk the idea. He died on 2001, refusing to concede the theory had any merit. He insisted in a solid state universe much like Einstein did because it was, in a word, prettier.

He believed that Hydrogen and Helium were somehow being constantly manufactured somewhere in the universe to account for expansion (just as Einstein blindly insisted on a cosmological constant). Thus there will always be perfect balance and the universe will never end. *Rolls Eyes*

He did make the contribution of the idea of nucleo-synthesis inside the cores of stars. So he did at least have a real contribution in some way. But why he deserves to have anything but a gut-busting nucleo-synthesis inducing burger named after him is beyond me.




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