From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul> Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:46:42 +0100 Archived: Sat, 20 Apr 2013 06:14:50 -0400 Subject: 'Desert Varnish' & 'Shadow Life' Hello List, Here's some extracts from a piece in the UK's Guardian, titled Life On Earth Not As We Know It. http://tinyurl.com/bng8d35 [Quotation Begins] Professor Carol Cleland ...believes desert varnish could be the manifestation of an alternative, invisible biological world. "On Earth we may be co-inhabiting with microbial lifeforms that have a completely different biochemistry from the one shared by life as we currently know it." ... Other astrobiologists have also proposed ideas along these lines. They include Chris McKay, who is based at Nasa's Ames Research Centre, California, and Paul Davies, who put forward his vision of this alternative living zone in a paper in Astrobiology in 2005. These researchers believe life may exist in more than one form on Earth: standard life =E2=80=93 like ours =E2=80=93 and "weird life", as= they term the conjectured inhabitants of the shadow biosphere. "All the micro-organisms we have detected on Earth to date have had a biology like our own: proteins made up of a maximum of 20 amino acids and a DNA genetic code made out of only four chemical bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine," says Cleland. "Yet there are up to 100 amino acids in nature and at least a dozen bases. These could easily have combined in the remote past to create lifeforms with a very different biochemistry to our own. More to the point, some may still exist in corners of the planet." Science's failure to date to spot this weird life may seem puzzling. The natural history of our planet has been scrupulously studied and analysed by scientists, so how could a whole new type of life, albeit a microbial one, have been missed? Cleland has an answer. The methods we use to detect micro-organisms today are based entirely on our own biochemistry and are therefore incapable of spotting shadow microbes, she argues. A sample of weird microbial life would simply not trigger responses to biochemists' probes and would end up being thrown out with the rubbish. That is why unexplained phenomena like desert varnish are important [End Of Quotation] Cheers Ray D Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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