posted on Jan, 16 2006 @ 02:44 PM
The capsule is/was opened in a clean room. I'm certain that the scientists involved will take every precaution possible, because they don't want
contaminated samples. Each dust particle will be sliced thin and studied under an electron microscope. (How do you slice dust?) If a captured particle
of dust were actually a "seed" or an entire miniature world, slicing it into pieces should destroy it's viability. (mini-world being an example,
not a speculation)
Science in general has a bad habit of ignoring anything outside of the mainstream. So if Stardust brought back something science considers
impossible, like living matter, would they be able to recognise it? Would anyone be willing to risk their careers to prove it is what it is?
Consider the meteorite that was found in Antarctica. Believed to be from Mars, it contained bacteria fossils. A few scientists risked their careers
and said there was bacteria living on Mars. Mainstream science reacted pretty violently to that one. Now we have the Mars rovers collecting samples of
what might be fossilised bacteria on Mars itself.
I believe the greatest risk (along the lines of The Andromeda Strain scenario) is that the scientists will refuse to see risk, thinking that this
cometary dust is inert, and thereby create risk. Living matter behaves differently than non-living matter.