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Even though the bacteria-shaped structures are the same sizes and shapes as some Earth bacteria, Dr. W. Schopf (an eminent paleontologist and expert on the earliest life on Earth), cautioned that the structures may not be bacteria. He warned that inorganic processes can sometimes produce elliptical and tubular structures, and that ancient bacteria on Earth were hundreds of times larger than the tubes and“sausages” in ALH 84001.
In particular, there is some concern that the rounded bacteria shapes were produced accidentally during gold-palladium coating, or are “thick” gold-palladium sheaths surrounding much smaller, real objects.
It remains possible that the bacteria shapes are Earth bacteria. Although McKay and colleagues found no bacteria shapes in three other Antarctic meteorites, they caution us that these other meteorites are not exactly like ALH 84001. Particularly, the other meteorites did not contain carbonate mineral grains. If it happened that a kind of Earth bacteria lived only on carbonate minerals, it could grow in ALH 84001 and not in the other meteorites.
The mineral grains in ALH 84001 do look very similar to the ones made by terrestrial bacteria. However, similar grains can be made by nonbiological processes, a fact that McKay and co-workers readily bring forward.
To summarize, the Science paper of McKay and co-workers leaves many unanswered question. As they forthrightly state, their paper is NOT PROOF OF LIFE ON MARS. Their paper presents evidence that, on its surface, is consistent with ancient life on Mars; McKay and co-workers believe that the evidence is more consistent with life on Mars than any other explanation or explanations. Almost all of their conclusions can be disputed and will likely be disputed.
From my perspective, their strongest conclusion is that ALH 84001 contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that formed on Mars. These PAH molecules may be related to martian micro-organisms, as McKay and co-workers suggest. The PAHs might also have formed without assistance from living organisms, in what might be called a prebiotic organic chemistry. Proof of a prebiotic organic chemistry system in Mars would be nearly as exciting as proof of life itself.
The team has also been studying two other Martian meteorites — Nakhla, which landed in Egypt in 1911, and Yamato 593, which was found by a Japanese expedition to Antarctica. In research due to be published shortly, the scientists claim that both of these fossils also show evidence of microbial life.
Originally posted by ZombieSlayer
Evidence of life on Mars lurks beneath surface of meteorite, Nasa experts claim
Originally posted by Phage
Both articles are overly sensationalistic.
Any phenomenon or appearance in the atmosphere, as clouds, rain, hail, snow, etc.
Specif.: A transient luminous body or appearance seen in the atmosphere, or in a more elevated region.
A mass of stone or iron which has fallen to the earth from space; an aerolite.
Originally posted by GuidoV
We're waiting on NASA to tell us there's life elsewhere in the universe... in the form of bacteria? That's supposed to be big news?
How about all the stuff they've been withholding from us like the airbrushed photos of the Moon and all those NASA videos with UFOs flying around.
So I'm not getting all excited about bacteria found on space rock when they know so much more about life in the universe.
Hearing them say anything about the possibility of life or finding some bacteria is really an insult when you think about it.
Originally posted by SaturnFX
1) how do they know where the rock came from. I know they theorize where meteorites come from based on factors such as crystal growth and such that is barely science imo (read it..its very shaky science)
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by W3RLIED2
Please provide a source from NASA saying "there is no life in the universe".