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FW: Thoughts on Bio Contamination



Has anyone seen the (new) Outer Limits TV film titled "The Sandkings"
(based on George Martin's novellette)?  Well, there's a contamination
scenario for you!  Long dormant insectoid eggs are brought back to Earth
via a Mars sample-return mission.  The critters--resembling scorpions or
prehistoric eurypterids--are revived from their natural cryo sleep in
the soil samples and mutate rapidly building unsual sand formation (in a
giant "Mars Jar").  These Martians have a nasty, primitive intelligence,
and reproduce rapidly.  They evolve in a few generations spanning a few
days into two distinct species.  Now while this all makes wonderful
drama (by the way, this is an excellent TV episode--available on
videotape--which I believe won a Hugo Award for best TV SF drama a few
years ago), it is still science fiction.  

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Joachim.Hirschmann@t-online.de
> [SMTP:Joachim.Hirschmann@t-online.de]
> Sent:	Tuesday, July 21, 1998 7:30 PM
> To:	meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com
> Subject:	Re: Thoughts on Bio Contamination
> 
> Mmmmh, depends on HOW HUNGRY YOU ARE !
> 
> But, joking apart, your argumentation is bad as you do not know how
> anything is
> what you dot know. Just conclusions. And, on earth there are so many
> different
> parts, sea ground, cities, vulcanos, inside and outside of living
> organisms
> which you cannot compare. For a bacteria in your stomach this
> discussuion would
> sound absurd as it knows only ( and nobody elses ) stomach.  But, life
> exist
> because of its possibility of adaption and changing. At the moment,
> many
> viruses and bacterias get resistent in spite of all the things we do.
> They are
> sourrounded by bad conditions but they survive.
> and, I do not think we know enough about Mars to be able to say that
> it si
> impossible for a primitive life form to survive. If it can, it would
> be
> dangerous as we will maybe have no time to react ( anything against
> AIDS found
> yet ? After 15 years ?)
> 
> I think we have to go to Mars but the costs for taking care against
> contamination will be a very very small part of the whole costs and
> risks.
> 
> Joachim
> 
> 
> Gene Marlin schrieb:
> 
> > >  3 spores fall on the concrete floor of the Martian Receiving Lab
> and
> > > begin to metabolize the floor.
> >
> > So? The same bacteria that were with us 65 million years ago are
> with us
> > today. This Martian strain is just a version of an already existant
> > species that is *less* well adapted to life on Earth. As for the
> > sterilization: "If you found a viable dinosaur egg, would you cook
> it?"
> >
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