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Tough Earth bug may be from Mars
New Scientist ^ | 25 September 02 | Stuart Clark

Posted on 09/26/2002 3:12:44 PM PDT by Heartlander

Tough Earth bug may be from Mars

19:00 25 September 02

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have evolved this ability on Mars.

That is the conclusion of Russian scientists who say it would take far longer than life has existed here for the bug to evolve that ability in Earth's clement conditions. They suggest the harsher environment of Mars makes it a more likely birthplace.

The hardy bugs could have traveled to Earth on pieces of rock that were blasted into space by an impacting asteroid and fell to Earth as meteorites.

Deinococcus radiodurans is renowned for its resistance to radiation - it can survive several thousand times the lethal dose for humans. To investigate how the trait might have evolved, Anatoli Pavlov and his colleagues from the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St Petersburg tried to induce it in E. coli.

99.9 per cent deadly

They blasted the bugs with enough gamma rays to kill 99.9 per cent of them, let the survivors recover, and then repeated the process. During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

However, the researchers calculate that it would take thousands of such cycles before the E. coli were as hardy as Deinococcus. And on Earth it would take between a million and a hundred million years to accumulate each dose, during which time the bugs would have to be dormant.

Since life originated on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago, Pavlov does not believe that there has been enough time for this resistance to evolve.

Dormant bugs

On Mars, however, the researchers calculate that dormant bugs could receive the necessary dose in just a few hundred thousand years, because radiation levels there are much higher.

What is more, they point out that the Red Planet wobbles on its rotation axis, producing a regular cycle of climate swings that would drive bacteria into dormancy for long enough to accumulate such doses, before higher temperatures enabled the survivors to recover and multiply. Pavlov reported the results last week at the Second European Workshop on Astrobiology in Graz, Austria.

David Morrison of NASA's Astrobiology Institute is sceptical that Deinococcus came from Mars, pointing out that its genome looks similar to those of other Earthly bacteria. But he admits that there's still no obvious explanation for the bug's resistance to radiation.

"It is certainly a mystery how this trait has developed and why it persists," he says.

-Stuart Clark

Other stuff:
Spider mite upsets evolutionary theory

CELL INTELLIGENCE


TOPICS: Technical
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution; id; panspermia
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To: PatrickHenry
I'm a (Biblical!) creationist, and I have no problems with evolution. Actually, I think it's esentially necesary if one wishes to accept the Flood of Noah. A good deal of species and porbably genera development would need to happen in the period after the flood to fill in the numerous landscapes that would appear. I do not accept the spontaneous formation of life however, nor have I seen evidence for the development of families and the like- though I'm open on that. I think the rate of evolution is rather fast in certain circumstances, though I must say that is mostly speculation on my part, as I have not done enough study in that field yet.
51 posted on 09/26/2002 6:57:10 PM PDT by Cleburne
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To: PatrickHenry
Getting ready to bail out for the night placemarker.
52 posted on 09/26/2002 7:00:02 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: Nebullis; All
Also from the New Scientist High-flying physicist sacked for falsifying data (AKA Peer review works after a fashion)

Schön's productivity was astonishing too. In 2001 he is reported to have averaged a new paper every eight days including four in each of the leading journals Nature and Science. Most scientists would be delighted with four papers a year in any journal.

In an appendix to the report, Schön says he disagrees with several of the report's conclusions but admits to have made "mistakes", which he "deeply regrets". He adds that he remains convinced that the physical effects he reported are real, and will be reproduced in future

53 posted on 09/26/2002 7:02:54 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: TN4Liberty
It isn't hard to come up with billions of E-coli bacteria. It's not like you have to buy them. If you want to play Mr Scientific Method, knock yourself out.

No problem. For this experiment, without regeneration, you'd need 1x10^88 bacteria. Not in the billions as you propose. A billion would take about one night to grow in a 1/2 liter flask.

54 posted on 09/26/2002 7:08:35 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
No problem. For this experiment, without regeneration, you'd need 1x10^88 bacteria.

My abacus comes up with the same number.

55 posted on 09/26/2002 7:12:53 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Nebullis
Haploid sexual species. Interesting.

Are human males next by an “infection by an as yet unclassified bacterium”? LOL!

56 posted on 09/26/2002 7:19:57 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
The "New Scientist" is to science what "Debka" is to truth.

--Boot

57 posted on 09/26/2002 7:20:23 PM PDT by Boot Hill
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To: Heartlander
If I eat enough of these bugs can I quit radiation treatment?
58 posted on 09/26/2002 7:24:00 PM PDT by Henchman
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To: Henchman
C’mon, be honest, you aren’t going through radiation treatment – you just got a bad hair cut and you don’t want people to hassle you:) LOL
59 posted on 09/26/2002 7:28:49 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Nebullis
That's precisely the point of the statement in the article.

Then I don't at all understand what they are saying in the sentences I quoted. It certainly sounds to me that they are integrating the radiation dose over a 3.8-billion-year timescale, and saying that the result is too small (a totally invalid calculation).

60 posted on 09/26/2002 7:36:15 PM PDT by Physicist
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To: Physicist
Wasn't it a copy of the New Scientist that was carried by the First Kidnapped Physicist in the movie "The Ipcress File"?
61 posted on 09/26/2002 8:23:27 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: SauronOfMordor
Perhaps the natural reactors in South Africa or Brazil?
62 posted on 09/26/2002 8:24:38 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Well, that changes everything.
63 posted on 09/26/2002 8:25:38 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: PatrickHenry
Lab-induced evolution bump.

They were bugs before and they're bugs now. Micro-evolution bump. ; * )

64 posted on 09/26/2002 8:29:13 PM PDT by dubyagee
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To: Nebullis
Haploid?

Bananas are triploid. Some frogs s(a)pontaneously self-tetraploidize their offspring which cannot breed with the diploids.

Sesquiploidy would be interesting.

(The above is mostly for the sound, not the sense.)
65 posted on 09/26/2002 8:30:32 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Nebullis
I had always heard that the anti-penicillin stuff had evolved as a defence against molds.
66 posted on 09/26/2002 8:31:39 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Bananas are triploid.

Time flies when you’re havin’ fun – and fruit flies like bananas.

67 posted on 09/26/2002 8:40:42 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: PatrickHenry
An "I just had a Bloom County flashback" placemarker.

Aach pftht!

68 posted on 09/27/2002 2:13:31 AM PDT by Junior
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To: Heartlander; sleavelessinseattle
Arthropod ALERT! Get the magnifying glass! &;-)
69 posted on 09/27/2002 2:20:39 AM PDT by 2Trievers
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To: Heartlander
It seems like this could be possible by leaving the microbes near a radioactive mineral deposit, maybe Uranium or Thorium. Or is this article about funding again?
70 posted on 09/27/2002 3:13:58 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: AndrewC
"I wouldn't bet this will change one Darwininian's mind."

And why should it. The ability to develop genetic immunity to antibiotics was developed to survive chemical attacks BY OTHER BACTERIA. After all, that is all that antibiotics are--chemicals developed by bacteria that are fatal to other bacteria. In other words "..bacterias antbiotic fighting arsenal" actually arose in response to ANCIENT antibiotics.

71 posted on 09/27/2002 3:32:27 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog
And why should it. The ability to develop genetic immunity to antibiotics was developed to survive chemical attacks BY OTHER BACTERIA

Thanks for proving my point. You have moved from actual laboratory demonstration to just-so stories.

72 posted on 09/27/2002 6:00:21 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
"You have moved from actual laboratory demonstration to just-so stories."

Typical brain-dead creationist response. Try looking at a petri dish. That ability is exactly how they TEST FOR BIOLIOGICAL ACTIVITY. Chemical attack is the mode of action in the single-celled world, the ability to quickly adapt to such an attack is well-documented, and by no means "just-so stories". But then, you wouldn't know about that, would you.

73 posted on 09/27/2002 6:08:08 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
It seems like this could be possible by leaving the microbes near a radioactive mineral deposit, maybe Uranium or Thorium.

How about cobalt thorium G?

74 posted on 09/27/2002 6:13:31 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Wonder Warthog
Typical brain-dead creationist response.

Also demonstrating the Darwininians typical response.

75 posted on 09/27/2002 6:14:37 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Nebullis
No problem. For this experiment, without regeneration, you'd need 1x1088bacteria.

Indeed. This would easily be kept in a volume no more than 370,000 times the volume of the observable universe.

Knock yourself out!

76 posted on 09/27/2002 7:07:29 AM PDT by Karl_Lembke
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To: Karl_Lembke; TN4Liberty
You may want to direct your post to TN4Liberty, who maintains that bacteria weren't regrown between cycles. I was gently trying to lead him to see the stupidity of his position.
77 posted on 09/27/2002 7:23:17 AM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Multiploidy is very common. Especially in plants.
78 posted on 09/27/2002 7:25:09 AM PDT by Nebullis
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To: AndrewC
How about cobalt thorium G?

I don't remember the decay schemes exactly, but if you start with a large nuclei like uranium, it'll run through a lot of the smaller, more radioactive species like cobalt as it decays into other elements. A lot of the really radioactive elements are so short-lived that they only occur when they decay from something else.

79 posted on 09/27/2002 7:27:08 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Karl_Lembke
Indeed. This would easily be kept in a volume no more than 370,000 times the volume of the observable universe.

Think of the pooper-scooper you'd need to clean that up.

80 posted on 09/27/2002 7:28:12 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Heartlander
The bug was, no doubt, sent her by its father, Jurel.
81 posted on 09/27/2002 7:30:49 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
It was an attempt at a joke. Cobalt Thorium G is from Dr. Strangelove.
82 posted on 09/27/2002 7:52:49 AM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
It was an attempt at a joke. Cobalt Thorium G is from Dr. Strangelove.

LOL!

You got me. It went right over my head. Must be my naptime ;)

83 posted on 09/27/2002 8:06:38 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Nebullis
I was gently trying to lead him to see the stupidity of his position.

Okay, on the basis of the argument of space rather than the stated scope of the experiment, I accept you are probably right about the regrowth. Having said that, you are acting like an ass and I think it is unnecessary.

84 posted on 09/27/2002 9:55:52 AM PDT by TN4Liberty
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To: Heartlander
And on Earth it would take between a million and a hundred million years to accumulate each dose

Unless a colony of the bacteria happened to grow next to a natural pocket of uranium/thorium ore.

If I want sensationalistic hyperbole, I'll pick up the Weekly World News.

85 posted on 09/27/2002 12:24:50 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: Heartlander

86 posted on 09/27/2002 12:31:12 PM PDT by michigander
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To: Nebullis
It's also bred for. Not much in animals though.
87 posted on 09/27/2002 3:16:24 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic
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To: Cleburne
I'm a (Biblical!) creationist, and I have no problems with evolution.

Consevatism and evolution are opposites!

You will someday have to make a realization---decision!

88 posted on 09/27/2002 4:38:39 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Heartlander
So we are being bombarded by radiation resistant spores of death, thanks!
89 posted on 09/27/2002 4:41:31 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: Heartlander
Huh ? Ever wonder why so many species of marsupial animals flourished in Australia ? Except for possums they became virtually extinct everywhere else. One possible explanation is that the hole in the Ozone layer is not as new as the enviro-wackos would have everyone believe.
90 posted on 09/27/2002 5:21:37 PM PDT by SSN558
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