[meteorite-list] Italian Researchers Find Traces Of Life In Meteorites

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:46:22 2004
Message-ID: <200105101624.JAA00204_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Italian researchers find traces of life in meteorites

ROME (AFP) May 10, 2001
Italian researchers have found traces of life in 4.5 billion-year-old
meteorites, according to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Geologist Bruno D'Argegno and molecular biologist Giuseppe Geraci, both from
the Federico II University in Naples, borrowed meteorite samples from a
local museum and introduced them to a "physiological solution," D'Argegno
told the paper.

"Then we saw these micro-organisms appear and begin to move," the researcher

The scientists noted 78 different types of bacteria -- known as
crystallo-microbes or "crim" for short -- which they identified as being
similar to ones which existed on Earth some 3.5 billion years ago.

The bacteria were described as very primitive organisms, with a DNA network
but no immune system.

The two Italian experts presented their conclusions to the Italian Space
Agency (ASI) on Wednesday, the paper said.

The space agency's scientific director, astrophsicist Giovanni F. Bignami
hailed the findings as "an excellent basis for boosting research programmes
dedicated to the search for life on other planets in the solar system."
Received on Thu 10 May 2001 12:24:19 PM PDT

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