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[APD] Re: Algae spores or now Space Bacteria

On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:47:51 -0800 (PST), Kyle Williams <amomum1 at yahoo_com> wrote:

Yes, there is a limit to how dry spanish moss can get, but not many things can get as dry as them (internally I mean, cacti don't count!) and still spring back to life. The cellular physiology of plants like resurrection fern and a Selaginella that does the same thing are pretty fascinating actually, but I digress. Bacteria are the all time champions though (surviving outside in outer space and coming back to life after 300 million years in amber is hard to beat!).

What's the story behind that? I know that when the Apollo astronauts brought back some of a unmanned Surveyor probe after two years of being baked by cosmic rays, there were still viable bacteria on it, but (while it certainly sounds possible - bacteria are just ridiculously tough) how did bacteria end up in space (meteor impact?), then end up back on Earth, and then end up in amber, and then come back to live when we dig it out?

Andrew McLeod
thefish at theabyssalplain_freeserve.co.uk

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