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Did Life On Earth Originate From Zombie Microbes?

by Adam Frank
May 29, 2012

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Adam Frank

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I just wanted to put up a link to a nice story on panspermia, the idea that life began elsewhere in the universe and was somehow transported to Earth. The story comes from a Wired article I stumbled across and gives a new twist to an old idea.

In its modern form, panspermia imagines microbes catching rides in rocks blown across the galaxy via asteroid impacts on life-bearing worlds. But it may be that the microbes can't survive the interstellar journey. The new twist, proposed a couple of years ago, is that, even if the microbes are dead when the rocks crash to Earth, the information in their DNA might play a role in triggering or helping life here.

The scientific article the piece is based on is clearly VERY speculative. I don't know its fate but it is a cool idea to get you started on this shortened work week.

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