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Research: Life Came To Earth From Another Planet

  August 30, 2020 | EASTERN PILOT By Sean Martin Life on Earth could be of alien origin 'Life must exist more often than we thought'...


August 30, 2020 | EASTERN PILOT

By Sean Martin

Life on Earth could be of alien origin 'Life must exist more often than we thought' Bacteria could be able to survive the extreme conditions of space, in a landmark study which suggests the idea that life came to Earth from another planet is not completely far-fetched - and could also prove that we are not alone. Panspermia is the theory certain microorganisms could survive the lifeless space between planets. The microorganisms could have been flung from a far away planet after an asteroid hit said celestial body.

Fragments of rock from the destroyed planet and asteroid could then be ejected into deep space, and over the course of billions of years, these fragments dotted with microbes litter other planets, thus seeding life elsewhere in the universe. This theory would suggest life in the universe stemmed from a single “genesis” – the seemingly miraculous point where life emerges.

Now, a study has revealed that certain bacteria can survive the lifeless void of space, where radiation is high and temperatures are low. The study could provide the answers as to where life on Earth emerged from. To prove the theory, Professor Akihiko Yamagishi of the University of Tokyo placed radioresistant Deinococcus bacteria on panels outside of the International Space Station (ISS). He and his team found if the bacteria is formed in thick layers, the top ones die off but then can act as a source of protection for the bottom layers for several years.

The three-year study saw layers above 0.5 millimetres able to survive in space for several years. Professor Yamagishi said: "The results suggest that radioresistant Deinococcus could survive during the travel from Earth to Mars and vice versa, which is several months or years in the shortest orbit." The professor, who also worked in tandem with Japanese space agency Jaxa for the study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, said the research could have implications for understanding the emergence of life on Earth.


Furthermore, it could prove we are not alone in the Universe. Professor Yamagishi continued: “The origin of life on Earth is the biggest mystery of human beings (and) scientists can have totally different points of view on the matter. “Some think that life is very rare and happened only once in the Universe, while others think that life can happen on every suitable planet. “If panspermia is possible, life must exist much more often than we previously thought.”

However, the University of Tokyo added much more research is needed to be done. It said: "While we are one step closer to proving panspermia possible, the microbe transfer also depends on other processes such as ejection and landing, during which the survival of bacteria still needs to be assessed".


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