[meteorite-list] Arsenic Bacteria Hoax

From: JoshuaTreeMuseum <joshuatreemuseum_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 23:17:59 -0400
Message-ID: <F730CE7994A240008E1EF07C078545FC_at_ET>

This current news story is as unfortunate as the original NASA story spin of
Wolf-Simon's article release two years ago. Hoax implies a deliberate
fabrication of evidence. There's no call here to insult the personal
integrity of the scientists for publishing their earlier experimental
observations on the Mono Lake arsenic tolerant bacteria. Also never
concluded in the original experiments would be that arsenate could
completely replace phophate, just that it might have been substituted for
less than one percent of phosphorus at a cost. They weren't looking for any
kind of attention themselves to create this a publicity stunt. Just over
zealot news media spun into action by an interesting preliminary report.
Looking forward to reading the actual article when available and new studies
to follow.


You're right, calling it a hoax may have been overstating my opinion. But it
was definitely a publicity stunt. If you claim to have discovered a
completely new life form, unknown to science and possibly of alien origin,
it's just good manners to wait until it's independently confirmed. They
jumped the gun with their premature announcement. As if they didn't know
that it would create a lot of hoopla and possibly mislead a lot of people! I
don't know what their exact motives were, but announcing that you've found a
living DNA chain with arsenic replacing phosphorus compounds before it's
been confirmed seems a little hoaxy to me. I'm no scientist, but I'm still
annoyed by that whole cold fusion thing.

Phil Whitmer
Joshua Tree Earth & Space Museum
Received on Mon 09 Jul 2012 11:17:59 PM PDT

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