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 Microorganisms in space 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Microorganisms in space
This has been on my mind today.

A while ago I read an article about a study made in 2001 where a balloon was sent up 40km to see if the biosphere extended to there. They found out that it did. This is about halfway to space.

In a talk Venter said that breathing outdoors for an hour exposes you to 20 000 different species of bacteria, and about ten times as many viruses. It should be much fewer at 40km and fewer still at 100km where space begins. But there should still be some because the air circulates.

The atmosphere doesn´t end in a sharp divide between air and space. Rather the air gets progressively thinner higher up. This is the reason satellites fall out of orbit. The friction against what air there is slows them down forcing them into an ever lower orbit.

If there are organisms at the edge to space, they should sometimes get jettisoned out. The wake of a metoroid gracing the atmosphere and getting expelled could give the organism escape velocity.

As Earth orbits the sun the organism would continue in the direction of the tangent. This means it hurls into space at the speed of 30km/s. This could be happening constantly, every day, year after year. If this really is happening then Earth has been spraying microorganisms into space for millions of years.

And some organisms, like Deinococcus radiodurans, can survive the trip.

A seed for evolution.

Venter is sure there is life on Mars. He also talks about looking for microorganisms in space.

Life is a strange thing.

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Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:48 am
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Post Re: Microorganisms in space
Phoenix landed on Mars 2 days ago. So now there are 3 spacecraft looking for singns of life there. It looks like the scientific community expects to find life.

Maybe next month? :lol:

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Tue May 27, 2008 9:54 pm
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Post Re: Microorganisms in space
where theres water, theres life...

btw, read an article (yes in THAT dodgy magazine...), about "Tardigrades" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade, these little multicellular critters are able to survive vacume, -272 degrees, extrem heat, radiation and so on. in additon some of "their people" has already been to space.
http://tardigradesinspace.blogspot.com/

To my theres no doubt theres life beyond our biosphere, the question I ask is: is it origin from earth or somewhere else? finding life on mars could mean a step to some clarification. :lol:

/apopTechsis

ps. by the way, "aquired" the first parts of my garagelab today. If only I had a garage... ;)


Wed May 28, 2008 10:51 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:19 am
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Location: Sweden
Post Re: Microorganisms in space
apopTechsis wrote:
To my theres no doubt theres life beyond our biosphere, the question I ask is: is it origin from earth or somewhere else? finding life on mars could mean a step to some clarification. :lol:

Maybe we're part of a biosphere that spans part of the universe - I don't know. Would be cool if they found organisms floating in space between planets. That would settle it.


apopTechsis wrote:
btw, read an article (yes in THAT dodgy magazine...), about "Tardigrades" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade, these little multicellular critters are able to survive vacume, -272 degrees, extrem heat, radiation and so on. in additon some of "their people" has already been to space.
http://tardigradesinspace.blogspot.com/

The Tardigrades look very cool to me for some reason... I had never seen them before... or imagined they could exist ;)


apopTechsis wrote:
ps. by the way, "aquired" the first parts of my garagelab today. If only I had a garage... ;)

Congratulations, what did you get? :lol:


- Splicer

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Fri May 30, 2008 9:00 pm
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Post Re: Microorganisms in space
Quote:
what did you get?

well all kinds of onetime use pipetts n stuff, and my very own microscope slide box "á la Dexter".

will report back when ive got something to brag about ;)
/s


Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 am
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Post Freeman Dyson: Let's look for life in the outer solar system


A 20min TEDtalk about what life in the Kuiper belt may look like.

He begins with a short exposition on how to popularize biotech: "Make toys". Why not? He also suggests that if the life is not already there, we should create it and put it there because it would be a beautiful thing to do. Dyson is an 84 years old physicist.

- dR

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Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:57 am
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:02 am
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Location: New York
Post Re: Microorganisms in space
I agree. We so need accessible biotech toys for tots and adults alike... Like the halobacterium kit for example, but more refined and free from license concerns.

Ugh. I hate it when I have to think about legal stuff when doing science.


Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:22 am
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Post Re: Microorganisms in space
Aaah, the Tardigrade - or in German "Bärtierchen"
Wonderful creatures to play Jesus with :)

When I was in seventh or eighth grade, I used to write "Bärtierchen" on everything that accidentally collided with my pen :D (Aaah, the memories...)

I like how Dyson emphasizes the beauty of creating new Life and letting it flourish, which is something conservative people simply subvert when screaming "STOP PLAYING GOD!". Of course there are problems with ethics that have to be considered, but isn't life in itself a beautiful thing?

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Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Microorganisms in space
phryk wrote:
I like how Dyson emphasizes the beauty of creating new Life and letting it flourish, which is something conservative people simply subvert when screaming "STOP PLAYING GOD!". Of course there are problems with ethics that have to be considered, but isn't life in itself a beautiful thing?


I think about the implications of biology sometimes. How some of the mystery and poetry changes when life in every sense becomes molecules following laws of physics. And I think about how the feelings I have which steer this vessel that is me are the results of a simple rule - natural selection. I look at my dads dog or my sisters cat and see some of the same traits/behaviors in them as I have. And I find myself wondering if the genecomplex governing those might have come from a common ancestor shared by us. This is a new way of looking at the world for me. It still sometimes feels bizarre. It probably won't be strange for someone who is 5 years old today. There are huge marvels in this new world too. Like the realization that I stand on the shoulders of countless creatures who were my ancestors. All the way down to slime in a puddle eons ago. This is what I am, it feels humbling... and when things are shit I think about it and it fills me with a sense of importance. I don't know where biology is ultimately going to take us, right now I can sniff the beginning of it. But I understand it's going to be so transformative that I have no way of predicting it's course. Computers make calculations, we've been doing those for a long time. But this thing that we're starting to do now, isn't like anything we have done before. And it affects the very core of what we are. There will be resistance and reactions, but we're past the point of no return on this. So for those in opposition: Shut up, relax and enjoy to the ride. There is some pretty amazing scenery coming up.

-Splicer

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Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:27 pm
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