Analysis of Sutter's Mill fragments reveals organic compounds not seen in other meteorites

Sep 10, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Fragments of the Sutter's Mill meteorite obtained from Henningsen Lotus Park, Lotus, California. Credit: NASA

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Arizona State University has found that the space rock known as the Sutter's Mill meteorite had organic compounds in it that have not been found in any other known meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe how they applied hydrothermal treatment to fragments of the meteorite which allowed the organic compounds to be released.

Sutter's Mill was seen streaking through the atmosphere above northern California in April 2012. That led to a search by many interested parties for the chunks that survived the intense heat and made their way to the Earth's surface—in all 77 rocks were found and turned over to scientists eager to study their composition—initial testing of some of the specimens revealed few dissoluble . Undaunted, the researchers took another approach, applying hydrothermal treatment—a process that is meant to mimic the conditions scientists believe existed on certain parts of the Earth during the time life first emerged. This time, the team reports, the fragments released organic compounds that had never before been seen in a meteorite.

Organic compounds in meteorites (most of which are believed to come from the between Jupiter and Mars) are important to researchers who believe it's possible that life got its start here on Earth thanks to meteorites that carried payloads that added to material found on Earth. Taken together, the ingredients made for the perfect cocktail, eventually giving rise to the mysterious process that resulted in the creation of living organic matter and eventually all the forms of life that came after.

Looking to meteorites as a possible source for life on Earth has come about due to scientists' inability to nail down a rational explanation for the development of life based on theories of how the Earth came to exist. Of course, such theories only move the debate to another arena—if life came here from somewhere else, how did it get started in that other place? Scientists have no answer, but hope studying rocks brought from space will offer clues that may help to someday solve the puzzle.

Explore further: We may all be Martians: New research supports theory that life started on Mars

More information: Processing of meteoritic organic materials as a possible analog of early molecular evolution in planetary environments, PNAS, Published online before print September 9, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1309113110

Abstract
The composition of the Sutter's Mill meteorite insoluble organic material was studied both in toto by solid-state NMR spectroscopy of the powders and by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analyses of compounds released upon their hydrothermal treatment. Results were compared with those obtained for other meteorites of diverse classifications (Murray, GRA 95229, Murchison, Orgueil, and Tagish Lake) and found to be so far unique in regard to the molecular species released. These include, in addition to O-containing aromatic compounds, complex polyether- and ester-containing alkyl molecules of prebiotic appeal and never detected in meteorites before. The Sutter's Mill fragments we analyzed had likely been altered by heat, and the hydrothermal conditions of the experiments realistically mimic early Earth settings, such as near volcanic activity or impact craters. On this basis, the data suggest a far larger availability of meteoritic organic materials for planetary environments than previously assumed and that molecular evolution on the early Earth could have benefited from accretion of carbonaceous meteorites both directly with soluble compounds and, for a more protracted time, through alteration, processing, and release from their insoluble organic materials.

Press release

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rkolter
not rated yet Sep 10, 2013
I like the article, and I like the curiosity that led the researches to do this. I question the title of the article however.

They state that this meteorite did not release many organic compounds following normal testing, but did so when they applied their hydrothermal treatment.

So does the title imply that they tested other meteorites with they hydrothermal treatment, or does it compare the results of the hydrothermal treatment to the results of standard testing?

It would have been nice if they'd said they tested (or did not test) other meteorites.
rug
1.7 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
Looks like this has been going on for a while with other meteorites.
From the article "Results were compared with those obtained for other meteorites of diverse classifications"
While I have not read of anyone doing this to other meteorites doesn't mean it hasn't been done.
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 10, 2013
Yeah, I don't think the person writing the article really spent much time or effort to understand what was going on here.

If I'm reading it correctly, after cross-referencing against key word searches online, this is related to previous research on hydrothermal processes leading to life. There's theories regarding hydrothermal vents, subterranian water, and impact chemistry which suggest the right conditions might have occurred there. This isn't really about any organic compounds already inside the meteor. It's about synthesizing organic compounds from meteorite material in conditions that might have existed on early Earth.

Personally, I think we need to understand a bit more about what makes life work first. Once we really figure that out, the source of life will probably be a lot more obvious. Synthesize life first, then work backwards to possible origins.
rug
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
Yeah, got that part but I'm looking is if they have done this with other meteorites. I have yet to see the any papers on that. I'm still looking though. Interesting topic.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2013
I think the answer to that is yes, or at least something similar.

I don't think this meteor is anything special, or it would be a lot bigger story.

A meteor with unique composition would indicate a unique source. They would be really excited about that.

This is just a different kind of test process that resulted in different final products. I'm sure you'd get the same result if you applied the same process to any other condrite meteor.

One day we need to get a good chunk of a comet back to Earth in one piece. I'll bet that will be exciting. I'm especially interested in the tar substance that builds up as comets evaporate down. Never know, maybe all comets are crawling with bacteria.
rug
2 / 5 (12) Sep 10, 2013
That makes sense, and would explain why I'm not finding a whole lot. Bummer, sounded rather interesting. I'm waiting for the say life is created in the lab. I'm sure that will shut a lot of people up. Of course then you have the whole ethical debate. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (15) Sep 10, 2013
Apparently, this was the first time that the researchers had employed the hydrothermal process, whereas the desired results hoped for were not available with other methods. Heated water is a good and natural form of mixing compounds into solution, but in this case it was used for extraction.
Teasing the compounds out of the surrounding rock safely with hot water may be the only way to safely extract them without cracking of larger chemical artifacts.

The compounds merely represent the potential for life; it isn't evidence of life itself. It requires a catalyst to create life and that catalyst is God the Creator. Otherwise, all it is, is a pile of elements with the hope of somehow rearranging itself into a life form, which just does not happen.

"Organic compounds in meteorites (most of which are believed to come from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars) are important to researchers who believe it's possible that life got its start here on Earth thanks to meteorites".
obama_socks
1.2 / 5 (15) Sep 10, 2013
But to be fair, the only way I can see that life can spring from a pile of the right compounds without a higher Power, is if a compound can form itself into a slimy substance first, (which requires water) and which would be a safe place for those compounds to rearrange into some sort of matrix. But my problem with that is, that on the atomic level there would have to be a natural order for each element to connect with others to create the matrix in the first place. But the matrix itself isn't life.
obama_socks
1.2 / 5 (13) Sep 10, 2013
That makes sense, and would explain why I'm not finding a whole lot. Bummer, sounded rather interesting. I'm waiting for the say life is created in the lab. I'm sure that will shut a lot of people up. Of course then you have the whole ethical debate. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
-rug

Why should there be any debate on the ethics of creating life in the lab if that life can be compared to the very first "manufacture" of life on Earth by natural means? Such a manufacture of life in a lab would be the "smoking gun" required to prove that atheists are right and religionists are wrong.
Why concern yourself with ethics if only natural forces are all the evidence needed for life? Where is the ethics debate within the abortion industry?
rug
1.8 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
Why should there be any debate on the ethics of creating life in the lab if that life can be compared to the very first "manufacture" of life on Earth by natural means?
Good question. I can foresee some possible issues. What if what we create in a lab get out to the environment and kills everything it comes in contact with. That would kinda suck. We don't know what would happen, and that is scary business.
Such a manufacture of life in a lab would be the "smoking gun" required to prove that atheists are right and religionists are wrong.

Never was a concern of beliefs for me. It's more of shutting people up cause I'm tired of hearing about it. lol
Why concern yourself with ethics if only natural forces are all the evidence needed for life?

Mainly, I don't want to die and I don't want to see billions die because of a lab experiment.
Where is the ethics debate within the abortion industry?
It's there, you just never bothered to listen.
rug
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
The compounds merely represent the potential for life; it isn't evidence of life itself.

True, but the more we learn the closer we get.
.....blah blah blah ignoring the dummassery......Otherwise, all it is, is a pile of elements with the hope of somehow rearranging itself into a life form, which just does not happen.
Not recently but that does not mean it hasn't happened in the past.

Wow in two post there was only two things that wasn't dummassery. Come on socks you can do better than that.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (12) Sep 10, 2013
Re: ethical debate WITHIN the abortion industry = None or very little.
Ethical debate against abortion (life) from without is ongoing. The basic problem with the debate against abortion is the problem of who is willing to take on the raising of someone else's baby all the way to adulthood. There just aren't enough people who want the responsibility and the expense, least of all the mother of the child. There should be a law against having unprotected sex, only until the parent(s) can afford a child...unless conception is guaranteed not to happen. In lieu of an actual law, contraception will have to do.

Re: "Not recently but that does not mean it hasn't happened in the past."
Pure conjecture. If it actually had happened in the past without "outside" intervention, that recipe cannot be duplicated. To say that it can and will is to have an enormous amount of faith in science, which smacks of religious belief to some degree.

rug
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 10, 2013
Re: ethical debate WITHIN the abortion industry = None or very little.

Instead of going off on your like the dumbass you appear be on this topic I am going to ignore it. Bigger fish to fry and more related to the topic at hand.
Pure conjecture. If it actually had happened in the past without "outside" intervention, that recipe cannot be duplicated.

You need to qualify this with a yet. As we don't have the full recipe yet. When don't know when to toss in the flower or to only add the eggs after you have started whisking it. We don't know if you put the vanilla in before or after the batter is ready. Maybe the chocolate chips come first. (ok now I'm getting hungry) We simply don't have enough information at this point.
obama_socks
1.3 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
Think it over. If such a collection of a compound with all the right ingredients to "manufacture" a life form plus water could happen, then it would seem that every Earth-like planet in every Star system should carry a life form, depending on natural circumstance. If such life forms exist and were able to evolve, whether into life as we know it, or not...then I will proclaim without any doubt, that those UFOs that I and many others have seen up close are being piloted by life forms from elsewhere in the cosmos. IOW, manufacturing life out of a compound plus water must be a normal occurrence.
rug
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
To say that it can and will is to have an enormous amount of faith in science, which smacks of religious belief to some degree.
I don't have faith science can do it. I have faith human beings will continue to try and figure it out until they have tried every combination, temperature, and permutation possible. At some point they may get it. If not then only after everything has been tried can the theory be proven wrong.

I don't have faith in science the way you imply. Science have been wrong lots of times. In fact science is wrong every single day. That is part scientific method. Keep getting it wrong until you get it right. Once you have it right, do it again to verify.

To try and say I have a religious belief in science is the greatest insult to me you could possibly make. You have no idea what my beliefs are, I have never stated what I believe and you have never asked. Don't think for a second you know me. You really don't.
obama_socks
1.2 / 5 (13) Sep 10, 2013
LOL...I have proclaimed it already...many times. Life forms in an intergalactic or interstellar spacecraft, IMO, is no longer sci fi. Look up at the sky more often and you may also see them.
For the best effect, do avoid hallucinogens, alcohol and other improper stimulants.

You are correct, I don't know you or your beliefs.
rug
1.7 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
Think it over. If such a collection of a compound with all the right ingredients to "manufacture" a life form plus water could happen, then it would seem that every Earth-like planet in every Star system should carry a life form, depending on natural circumstance. If such life forms exist and were able to evolve, whether into life as we know it, or not.........ignoring more dumbassery.....manufacturing life out of a compound plus water must be a normal occurrence.

That is perfectly possible. The fact of the matter is, we don't know yet. Science cannot proclaim something that is unknown. Predictions about what is possible? Sure but can't claim it as truth.
Captain Stumpy
1.7 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
matrix in the first place. But the matrix itself isn't life.


well, for one thing we still have YET to put a real firm definition on what is LIFE. I mean, there is plenty of speculation, with the religionists saying god did something, and scientists trying like hell to repeat the experiments... we just cant nail down that one thing that makes something alive, that I know of. there are a few lists out there with things that make sense, but still leave things to be considered. I am with rug on this one.

one other thing, by definition, a UFO is undefinable, therefore there are no aliens flying them. I would put my money on military or natural phenomena first... maybe 'cause I used to work with some of them "UFO's" people report on. every time a stealth or even the SR-71 landed, we had a huge spike in UFO calls... but it is not likely the base nearby will tell anyone, "yeah, we got classified aircraft up here running tests" due OPSEC an COMSEC considerations.

Captain Stumpy
1.7 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
Think it over. .....blah blah blah IOW, manufacturing life out of a compound plus water must be a normal occurrence.


this may be not only entirely true, but entirely the case. until we can find evidence one way or the other, though, it is best to stay neutral. Empirical data will win out, when it is available. there are articles in here where they are trying to search out planets atmosphere's to determine if there is possible life... see : Detecting biomarkers on faraway planets

obama_socks
1 / 5 (12) Sep 10, 2013
Scientists who would LIKE to make an announcement that life on another planet has been found, or that "flying saucers, UFOs, extraterrestrial spacecraft piloted by aliens, etc., are absolutely genuine, are forbidden to make such admitting remarks on pain of losing one's job or imprisonment and a hefty fine. There are harsh consequences for 'whistle-blowers' in certain science industries and, even if they talk amongst themselves, it behooves each one to pretend they don't know anything if asked by a lay person.
It is all about politics and funding. Also control over the citizens and the nation.
A good example is Buzz Aldrin. As far as I could tell, Aldrin's mind is healthy and doing OK. But he has made certain statements regarding things that he saw on the Moon which have no usual explanation, and he has been labeled a highly imaginative ex-astronaut, to put it mildly. Personally, I believe what he has said re: what he saw on the Moon because he is not the type of man to make things up
obama_socks
1 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013

one other thing, by definition, a UFO is undefinable, therefore there are no aliens flying them. I would put my money on military or natural phenomena first... maybe 'cause I used to work with some of them "UFO's" people report on. every time a stealth or even the SR-71 landed, we had a huge spike in UFO calls... but it is not likely the base nearby will tell anyone, "yeah, we got classified aircraft up here running tests" due OPSEC an COMSEC considerations.
-Stumpy

I am well aware of all aircraft that may resemble 'flying saucers". I study Jane's and every other periodical that I can get my hands on re: aircraft from all civilized countries. I make it my business to retain such knowledge and to understand their methodology.
I have seen extraterrestrial spacecraft TWICE in the sky and at a close distance to understand that they were not built by human industry. My friends have also seen one during my second sighting. None of our aircraft can maneuver the way these E.T.s can.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (11) Sep 10, 2013
@Stumpy
It is the extraordinary maneuverability and enormous speeds and the fact that they do not emit any noise, no emissions from whatever form of propulsion they use, and their ability to suddenly appear in the sky when nothing was there just before. If you have never seen one, then you just may have missed out on one of the biggest thrills one can ever have in a lifetime.
Most people don't spend much time looking at the sky except for those whose job it is to search the skies. I am an outdoors type, so on my days off, I like to trek over to the Sierra Madre Mtns in California and walk around the chaparral. I have been to other mountainous areas but didn't see any spacecraft flying around. I regard my sightings as rare opportunities to understand the true meaning of life, if that makes any sense to you. It makes great sense to me.

rug
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
Illogical people make illogical claims and say illogical things.

There is no conspiracy, there is no evidence to support anything you have just said. OK, so Buzz saw something odd on the moon. Well, go figure he was on the moon for crying out loud. Of course they are going to see odd things.

How could you possibly know all the aircraft out there when the military has done a great job in the past of keeping top secret test planes just that. Top secret. Unless you have some kind of evidence....say a picture from a phone....that can be proven to not be a fake then all you have is conjecture. Do away with the conjecture and you have nothing.

Scientist have been looking for life out there in the universe for a really, really long time now. It's not something you can just cover up if found. The best indication of life outside of our planet at the moment is the WOW signal. Unfortunately, it has not not been verified. That leads me to think it most likely a signal but no way to verify.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2013
With the precise instruments available today, with gas chromatography - time-of-flight mass spectrometers using Fourier analysis, the number of different organic molecules seen in say the Murchison meteorite numbers in the 10's of thousands. Typically they then use a set of diverse extractions based on organic solvents.

The "hydrothermal treatment" is specifically targeted to see what could happen in early Archean oceans.

"how did it get started in that other place? Scientists have no answer,".

Now we have, since Lane & Martin observed a homology between alkaline hydrothermal vent chemistry and early autotroph metabolism. In at least one instance life started around such vents.

Since creationists are trolling here, I should also point out that it shows that life evolved, since it places it in a trait phylogeny with Earth biochemistry. So we have specifically rejected creationist magic here, there is no longer any gap to place it in.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2013
From the abstract:

"the molecular species released. These include, in addition to O-containing aromatic compounds, complex polyether- and ester-containing alkyl molecules of prebiotic appeal and never detected in meteorites before."

This is pretty much the Murchison wet chemistry observed, possibly extended to longer chains - alkyl means "no branching" IIRC. (Paywalled.) What happens is that C, H, O from water and possibly N from ammonia makes CHON alkyls and aromatics. In fact, in Murchison the process had gone farther, since it was shown that S would later substitute into that, building a near complete CHNOPS cell suit.

The P is of course supplied in Earth's Archean ocean, where the relative CHNOPS frequencies correlated well with the cell's. This can now (in retrospect of L&M result) be seen as another of the early traits that Earth biochemistry and biology shared under evolution. (The 3d such trait is important metal ion concentrations.)
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2013
BTW, as for the creationists haven't gotten the message that they are now shut out completely at last. (I haven't seen a peer criticize the L&M finding.):

It seems that historically it takes 5-10 years before they get around to see changes in science consensus. They don't care about studying the science itself for obvious reasons. After some time we will start to see a hectic discussion among them how to attack the obvious problem they now have.

This is different from them stating obvious lies such as "no transitional fossils" despite that the first such fossils were found 1861, just 2 years after they were predicted by Darwin. They will likely go around lying in public that creationism is still a possibility in the form of 'a gap' for centuries to come.

Except that from now on, most people will point and laugh at them - as they do for the "no transitional fossil" claims.
Captain Stumpy
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
But he has made certain statements regarding things that he saw on the Moon which have no usual explanation, and he has been labeled a highly imaginative ex-astronaut, to put it mildly.


well, considering the moon trip and walk were NOT usual situations, and that confined spaces for long periods as well as pressurized containers and high O2 have had effects on people that are similar to hallucinations, i would say, perhaps he DID see something unusual, but that does NOT mean that it was real. i have treated many patients that are trippin and seeing things that are every bit as real as you or i (to them) but the area was definitely NOT filled with what they were describing. (DT's are a good example). you would be surprised what the human body is capable of under stress... good, bad or otherwise.
rug
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
well, considering the moon trip and walk were NOT usual situations, and that confined spaces for long periods as well as pressurized containers and high O2 have had effects on people that are similar to hallucinations, i would say, perhaps he DID see something unusual, but that does NOT mean that it was real. i have treated many patients that are trippin and seeing things that are every bit as real as you or i (to them) but the area was definitely NOT filled with what they were describing. (DT's are a good example). you would be surprised what the human body is capable of under stress... good, bad or otherwise.

That is a good point I hadn't thought about. I was thinking more along the lines of the flashes of light and stuff people see when they are out of the atmosphere caused by radiation.
Captain Stumpy
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 10, 2013
Stumpy
I am well aware of all aircraft that may resemble 'flying saucers".... bah blah blah... None of our aircraft can maneuver the way these E.T.s can.


i am not saying that i dont believe that you really think you saw something extra-terrestrial...
i am saying that even when in the military and on a NATO base that watched just about everything that can possibly fly land in front of me, i have also seen aircraft that dont look "built by human industry" that were later de-classified to the public. the stealth flew MUCH earlier than you can possibly imagine...
in the Sierra Madre's you may have been on an approach vector to area 51, as well as Edwards AFB. in both places they have tested numerous stealth and other aircraft, and flying to White sands to range as well...
before you say it... NO, there are no green men at area 51 either.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (10) Sep 11, 2013
@Stumpy
No, I was not hiking in those areas. And the spacecrafts that I have seen were at a close enough distance above me that I could see no landing gear or anything resembling wings nor any type of propulsion system and vents. No doors, no seams. Like I said - nothing manufactured by human aircraft industry. I am well aware of top secret manufacturing and I have seen many designs, and some that I was not supposed to have seen. But my two sightings convinced me that they were not ours. I was never a believer in Area 51 as some staging area for UFOs to fly into and out of. But it had a certain notoriety that was interesting. Documentaries were filmed to fool the public, IMO.

To be honest, I don't feel any urgency to try and convince anyone about what I've seen and my friends also saw. Most people are skeptics and they may have a need to be. For some, it's a psychological insulation of sorts to be skeptical. As long as there is no full scale "invasion" with bloodshed or enslavement...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2013
What if what we create in a lab get out to the environment and kills everything it comes in contact with.

Hardly likely, as life outside the lab has had billions of years to adapt to the environment whereas life created in the lab will be (at best) adapted to a lab environment. It won't stand a chance.
It's not like our first stab at life in the lab will include all the honed defense/offense mechanisms that naturally evolved organisms have right from the get-go.
If it's something similar to what we know (which seems to be the natural way to try in the last first) then it'll just be a light snack fo the next passing microbe.
JVK
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
"Across species comparisons of epigenetic effects on pangenomic microbial nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions and on hormone-driven invertebrate and vertebrate social and sexual behavior indicate that human pheromones alter the development of the brain and behavior via the molecular mechanisms conserved across all species." If life exists elsewhere or came to our planet in bits and pieces from outer space, or if modern humans are the product of alien seed, does that make life more or less nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled -- as if it were designed to be so in accord with Darwin's 'conditions of life'? http://f1000.com/.../1093566 "

"If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based." Denis Noble (2011) http://jp.physoc....abstract
rug
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
Hardly likely, as life outside the lab has had billions of years to adapt to the environment whereas life created in the lab will be (at best) adapted to a lab environment. It won't stand a chance.
It's not like our first stab at life in the lab will include all the honed defense/offense mechanisms that naturally evolved organisms have right from the get-go.
If it's something similar to what we know (which seems to be the natural way to try in the last first) then it'll just be a light snack fo the next passing microbe.


As you say, it's not likely. I am reminded of a line I once heard in a movie.
"If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh... well, there it is."...."I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way." Dr. Ian Malcolm - Jurassic Park

Sure, it's just a movie, but it makes sense as well.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2013
I'd be a lot more concerned with GM altered foods - as these have all the trimmies for indefinite survival already installed...plus our options which make them 'better'.
Getting these removed from the ecosphere once they are out there is nearly impossible. And if these 'options' prove to be detrimental to our health with long term exposure...or, say, the health of pollinators like bees...then we're well and truly fu*ked.
rug
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
I'd be a lot more concerned with GM altered foods - as these have all the trimmies for indefinite survival already installed...plus our options which make them 'better'.
Getting these removed from the ecosphere once they are out there is nearly impossible. And if these 'options' prove to be detrimental to our health with long term exposure...or, say, the health of pollinators like bees...then we're well and truly fu*ked.


We all are anyway. There are way to many dumbass people in the world that are incapable of reason and logic. They will bring us all to death at some point. Maybe sooner than is realized.
obama_socks
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 11, 2013
In Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain", the FailSafe system failed due to unforeseen circumstances. To prevent such failures, lab researchers must not only build such a system, but should immediately determine if their new life form has a preference for eating into metals, rubber products, and whatever else comprises the lab and its equipment, plus animal flesh which would include human. A reasonable assessment of all possible contingencies would be required with nothing left to chance and, as a last resort, a small nuclear device set off if the lab is in a non-populated area. But this too would require a guarantee that the life form can be killed in this manner.

If rug's life form got out in spite of all precautions and efforts to extinguish the little bugger, then there could be a possibility that it could decimate the planet of all other life forms. But researchers should be aware of all such possibilities and demand excellence in their methods and handling of their product
rug
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
OK, now I know I'm way off on this one. Socks just agreed with me. Well kinda, he went overboard like always but still.
obama_socks
1 / 5 (10) Sep 11, 2013
http://en.wikiped...a_Strain

The 1971 movie was great and followed the book pretty much.

But there is a vast difference from the book/story. In the story, the microscopic life form existed already in outer space and became alive or viable upon entering Earth's environment. But rug's microscopic life form will have to be manufactured using the basic compound plus water from which all life supposedly stems...without help from a metaphysical intervention.

Indeed, science will require some 'magic' to accomplish such a feat. IMO
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2013
but should immediately determine if their new life form has a preference for eating into metals, rubber products

You do realize that Andromeda strain was a novel/movie, right? Please say "yes". Not even you can be that dumb.

And that in engineering you can't even make reasonable assessments of all contingencies in such simple things as "where to place emegency power generators in nuclear powerplants". (Let alone something as complex as "impact of GM food on ecosphere at large")

"Full failsafe planning" hasn't been feasible since someone started making a fire (probably even before that when the first human ancestor picked up a rock).
obama_socks
1 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
Of course it was a movie. Where do you get the idea that I would imagine it was real? I already stipulated that it is a novel/movie in my post.

"where to place emegency power generators in nuclear powerplants" was not anything I spoke of. Nuclear power plants is not my field or expertise and it is of no interest to me. You must be thinking of someone else. Any part of the book referring to nuclear power is science fiction, as far as I know.

"Full failsafe planning" hasn't been feasible since someone started making a fire (probably even before that when the first human ancestor picked up a rock). -antiA

I disagree. If rug's life form is to be manufactured in the future, full failsafe planning is a prerequisite before beginning the project. Otherwise, rug's fears may come to fruition.
rug
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 11, 2013
I'm not sure I like the idea of it being called "rug's life form" I really have nothing to do with it. My thoughts on the subject was more of a worst case scenario. It's already been said that the scenario I mentioned wouldn't happen. I believe that to be the case, but it never hurts to error on the side of caution in something like this.
obama_socks
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 11, 2013
LOL...sorry about that. OK...Obama's life form. ROFLOL
Miguel Esplain
1 / 5 (7) Sep 12, 2013
"Looking to meteorites as a possible source for life on Earth has come about due to scientists' inability to nail down a rational explanation for the development of life based on theories of how the Earth came to exist."

I'm sorry, but does anybody else except me realize what a huge confession this is? This is like "the secret that no one dares name!" No, zip, none, nada "rational explanation for the development of life..." This blows open the barn doors to any ghost that wants to inhabit it. Wow.
Captain Stumpy
1 / 5 (8) Sep 13, 2013
I'm sorry, but does anybody else except me realize what a huge confession this is?


Miguel
actually, IMHO, this is the same as saying that there is dark matter. we see the effects of dark matter, but cannot YET explain it...

we have several hypotheses about life started on Earth, but we have yet to nail down and define a working theory with empirical data that can be reviewed and systematically checked. we are currently attempting to define it further.

just because we don't have THE answer, right NOW, doesn't mean that we don't have a few good ideas. Science deals in facts, and we don't have enough data in ...