Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution


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However, this genetic analysis did not include the length of time necessary to fashion the first protein, the first nucleotides, the first DNA macro-molecule, or the first cellular membranes. In the early history of Earth, these heat producing isotopes would have been at full strength Turcotte and Schubert , thereby destroying all biological molecules, proteins, and naked DNA; but not any of the many microbial species and viruses which are radiation resistant.

Left The comparison of a biological structure in the Murchison meteorite with structures resembling Cyanobacteria and an iron-oxidising microorganism — pedomicrobium. Right An electron micrograph of a structure resembling a clump of viruses — influenza virus — also found in the Murchison meteorite. This relatively feeble heat source, coupled with sunlight blocking debris in the atmosphere secondary to bolide impacts, might be expected to contribute to global cooling.

The first period of global warming was triggered by internally generated geothermal heat flow Davies , the excretion and liberation of heat trapping greenhouse gasses Joseph d,e and the tremendous heat generated as stellar debris pounded the planet until around 3. The residue following asteroid impact also contributed to these green house gasses. When rock is vaporized following impact, a rock vapor atmosphere and heavy volatiles are produced consisting of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, thereby creating a heat-trapping haze.

According to Kasting and Ackerman , if the early atmosphere contained 10 bars of CO2 this would have created a dense heat-trapping greenhouse atmosphere. Coupled with impact induced heat, parts of the planet may have been at the melting point. Of course, the temperatures of some areas of Earth would have fluctuated due to transient variables such as frequency and size of asteroid and meteor strikes and the presence or absence of oceans of water.

Therefore, at varying times for the first million years, pockets of the Hadean Earth may have melted from impact whereas other regions would have been relatively hot but not broiling, whereas at other times the warmer regions became broiling and those areas that had melted becoming cooler and solidifying. The repeated vaporization of surface rocks explains why the oldest rocks are 4. Nevertheless, despite the evidence of life in these ancient rocks, these conditions would have destroyed all pre-biological molecules, and naked proteins, nucleotides, DNA and RNA.

Although hyperthermophiles could survive, life could not have been fashioned under these conditions. Oceans of water, delivered by comets, were probably also crashing into the new Earth, thus cooling parts of the planet and providing Earth with oceans Drake as well as life Joseph , a.

Evidence for massive quantities of water, by 4. Zircons crystals are created during rock formation and have been discovered embedded in sedimentary rocks located in the Jack Hills areas of Western Australia. A small fraction have been determined to be 4. By contrast rock formation following impact in the absence of water, occurs at around to 1, degrees. Thus, because these zicron containing rocks were formed at lower impact temperatures, water must have been present.

Life Was Present From the Beginning: Hyperthermophiles At the same time rocks were vaporized then hardened, and oceans of water were falling upon the surface of Earth, there is evidence of biological activity Nemchin et al. However, at temperatures of degrees Celsius, the oceans of Earth had to be boiling. Those survivors could have included the ancestors of Desulforudis audaxviator, which lives 2. Moreover, these species can also form spores, protected by heat shock proteins, which enables them to survive at even higher temperatures. Moreover, after forming spores, they can awaken from their long slumber even after million Vreeland et al.

Since they could not have been fashioned on Earth, then where did these microbes and viruses originate? Microbes and viruses can easily survive a journey through space, including the violent ejection from the surface of a planet, the frigid temperatures and vacuum of an interstellar environment, and the UV rays, cosmic rays, gamma rays, and ionizing radiation they would encounter, and when descending to the surface of a planet the shock waves of a violent impact as the debris they are in strikes the upper atmosphere even if accompanied by high atmospheric explosions Szewczyk et al.

They can in in fact survive reentry speeds of up to km h-1 McLean et al. Since there is no evidence life can be generated from non-life, at least on Earth, it is logical to assume that the ancestry of the first Earthlings leads back into space.

MIND-BLOWING signs that aliens exist.

And these temperatures were maintained because of volcanic activity, geothermal activity, and heat generated from bolide impacts which were nearly continuous for the first million years. Yet, during this same million time of incessant extraterrestrial bombardment and despite the hellish conditions, life had already taken root on this planet, with evidence of biological activity dated to 4. These findings, indicating life was on Earth from the beginning and most likely arrived in extraterrestrial debris, are further supported by the analysis of molecular clocks which indicates Eubacteria and Archaebacteria were present on this planet over 4 billion years ago Battistuzzi and Hedges, Biological molecules would have been destroyed, but many species of microbe could easily survive these hellish conditions completely unscathed, including those who typically flourish under blistering, broiling, and boiling conditions Boone et al.

The evidence, therefore, indicates that many essential ingredients necessary for fashioning proteins, nucleotides, and RNA and DNA were lacking on the early Earth, and the thermal and radioactive conditions would have destroyed any biological molecules as well as proteins and naked RNA and DNA if by some miracle they had been fashioned. In fact, if all rocks had not been repeatedly vaporized by the incessant pounding of extraterrestrial debris, it is likely evidence of biological activity as well as microfossils would have appeared at 4.

There is no evidence life can be fashioned from non-life, at least on Earth. Therefore, the preponderance of evidence indicates life on Earth came from other planets. Genetics Indicates a 10 Billion to 14 Billion Year Ancestry Based on four separate analyses of the evolution of the genome, and single gene and whole genome duplicative events, and beginning with evidence of life between 4.

Subsequently, Sharov and Gordon determined it would take 9. Based on this data, it could be argued that the ancestry of carbon-based, DNA-based bacterial life, in this galaxy as represented by life on Earth , extends backwards in time to at least 10 billion or more years, during a period and in locations where the chemistry and physics were ripe for fashioning those self-replicating DNA-equipped molecules whose descendants would eventually fall to Earth.

If these dates are correct, then a primitive genetic code consisting of just one gene must have first been established in an extraterrestrial environment and this led to the first extraterrestrial DNA-proto-bacterial replicon which also had to have been fashioned billions of years before Earth was formed. This DNA-replicon began to replicate, made variable copies of itself and became more complex, giving rise to a simple bacteria with a genome of several hundred genes.

It can also be assumed that it also took at least 10 billion years to generate a minimal gene set sufficient to sustain the life of a simple archae. It is not likely that archae evolved from bacteria or that bacteria evolved from archae for reasons which will be explained. The genetic analysis performed by Joseph and Wickramasinghe and Sharova and Gordon , however, did not take into consideration the length of time necessary to form just a single protein.

The same would not be true of a created universe less than 14 billion years in age. However, if instead of trillions of years, estimates for fashioning proteins, nucleotides, and the first strand or DNA were based on trillions of chance combinations of all the essential ingredients on the right conditions, all the components of life could have been fashioned in a finite or infinite universe or in the Milky Way Galaxy alone.

As detailed and reviewed by Joseph and Schild a,b , the number of galaxies in the known, Hubble length universe might be a trillion sextillion. Each of these galaxies likely contain hundreds of billions to trillions of stars, each of which was presumably fashioned in a nebular cloud. For example, a single galaxy, such as Andromeda, may contain over a trillion stars Mould, et al.

However, this does not mean that all would have achieved life. Nevertheless, given even more extreme almost improbable odds of 1 in a sextillion trillion, it can be predicted that given over a sextillion trillion environments where trillions of chance combinations took place, then life could have arisen in multiple galaxies through chance combinations of the necessary ingredients in the womb of nebular clouds.

Virus Evolution

When we consider not just nebular clouds, but the vast number of planets and comets, some of which may have also contained all the necessary ingredients for generating life, extreme odds of up to sextillion trillion are no longer daunting. Therefore, it could be said that life may have have begun by 10 to 14 billion years ago, in this galaxy, perhaps right around the time or soon after this galaxy was formed 13 billion years ago.

On the other hand, although it takes at least 10 billion years to go from a single gene to a minimal gene set necessary for life, this does not mean that life began 10 billion years ago, but only that it takes at least 10 billion years. Again, the genetic analyses performed by Joseph, Sharov and Gordon did not include estimates as to the formation of the first proteins and nucleotides or the creation of the first DNA macro-molecule; and this leads us back to those estimates ranging from a trillion years to completely improbable.

However, if the universe is infinite the first gene and the first minimal gene set could have been established infinitely long ago. Life may have had no beginning, or the universe itself may be alive. Or, as the atomists posited over two thousands years ago, within an infinite universe the atoms of life may continually assemble and reassemble over infinite time, such that, in the final analysis, life continually recycles itself, which means, life comes from life.

Thus, after a trillion chance combinations in an ideal extraterrestrial environment, life was fashioned, and then diverged, and diverged again, giving rise to archae, bacteria, viruses, and Eukaryotes. However, although there is substantial evidence that the co-mingling of Prokaryote and viral genes contributed to what became the multi-cellular Eukaryotic genome, there is no evidence that bacteria can become an archae or an archae a bacteria, or that a bacteria or a archae can become a Eukaryote. Rather, it took a commingling of genes from different species to form a multicellular Eukaryote.

If life only began once in the vastness of the cosmos, how could it split up into three domains of life, two of which archae and bacteria are distinctly different, generally do not associate together, and often dwell in completely distinct environments? Archae and bacteria are considered Prokaryotes. In the broadest terms, archaea are distinct from bacteria, particularly in regard to the size of their genomes and cell membranes.

For example, archaean membranes are made of ether lipids whereas bacterial cell membranes are created from phosphoglycerides with ester bonds De Rosa et al. Like bacteria, archae can live in the most extreme environments Kimura et al, , ; Leininger et al. However, whereas bacteria are usually the most common form of life in the soil, archae are the most common form of life in the ocean, dominating ecosystems below m in depth Karner et al.

The genomes of archae are rather uniform and compact in size ranging from 0. Bacterial genomes can vary by two orders of magnitudes, from kb in the intracellular symbiont, Carsonella rudii Nakabachi et al. Although there are bacterial genomes of intermediate size, the vast majority of bacteria so far sequenced show a clear-cut bimodal distribution of genomes; i.

Although speculation abounds, there is no convincing evidence that archae and bacteria originated from a common ancestor which, in fact, has never been found. On the other hand, if that common ancestor dwells only in specific extraterrestrial environments, then perhaps the common ancestor to all of life will someday be discovered.

However, if life began multiple times or in multiple extraterrestrial locations, and if archae, bacteria, Eukaryotes and viruses have separate or even overlapping origins, why would the genetic code be similar, almost universal among all species, all domains of life, as well as viruses? Thus, where ever life is fashioned, be it in a primordial planet, a nebular cloud in another galaxy, a comet traveling through interstellar space, pre-life can only achieve life if it contains DNA and a genome with a minimal gene set.

Wallace coupled with endocytosis, phagocytosis, and horizontal gene transfer, that over billions of years extreme variations in genetic coding between innumerable microbial species were eventually averaged out; or that one genetic code won out as it was the superior code. Thus, initially, even if completely diverse life forms were generated in different extraterrestrial environments and with wildly different genetic codes, those codes may have become modified or extinguished upon encountering DNA-based life with a superior genetic code.

Through well established mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer Polz, et al. The superior code and its superior genes and genome then began dominating and taking over inferior genomes, thereby giving rise to a universal genetic code which is common to all life. If these latter propositions are true, then the different domains of life could have arisen in completely different extraterrestrial environments under localized conditions where all the essential ingredients were available for the manufacture of proteins, enzymes, DNA, RNA, the cell wall, membranes, etc.

Later, upon making contact, bacteria, archae, Eukaryotes, and viruses exchanged genes which resulted in a universal genetic code. And this is how life on Earth began. And then, it began to evolve.

However, life was present on Earth from the very beginning, as demonstrated by discoveries of biological activity in the first rocks to re-solidify and harden, dated to 4. Additional evidence of life has been dated to 3. And this biological activity was most likely that of Cyanobacteria which is the only known species of Prokaryote capable of photosynthesis, and which also secretes oxygen and calcium.

In addition, microfossils resembling Eukaryotic yeast cells and fungi were discovered in 3. Greenland Pflug It was during this same time period, 4. It can be deduced, therefore, that the first Earthlings arrived here within those meteors, asteroids and comets, and that Cyanobacteria were among these sojourners from the stars.

And it can be concluded that the ancestors of these microbes and viruses hailed from space and with a genetic ancestry leading to planets much older than Earth. Viruses are found in association with and outnumber archae and bacteria on ratios ranging from 1 to 10, and 1 to respectively.


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Thus, when viruses as well as Prokaryotes arrived on this planet in successive waves of invasion from space, they carried with them genes, and possibly entire genomes which had been acquired via horizontal gene transfer, from living creatures which had evolved on other worlds Joseph a, b,c,d. And once on Earth, these patterns of horizontal gene transfer continued, resulting in a co-mingling of genes which resulted in the generation of the first Earthly multi-cellular Eukaryotes. Almost from the very beginning of the establishment of life on Earth, Prokaryotic archae and bacteria genes and viral genes were contributed to the Eukaryotic genome; and these donated genes have influenced and shaped the evolution of all subsequent multi-cellular species leading to humans.

They also terraformed the planet in preparation for those yet to evolve, and in so doing liberated minerals and released gases such as oxygen, which acted on those genes they had inserted into Eukaryotes. Prokaryotes Cyanobacteria in particular have biologically engineered this planet such as by pumping oxygen and calcium into the air and sea.

And these genes, once embedded in the genomes of Eukaryotes, released pre-coded traits in response to the biologically engineered changing environment which enabled oxygen breathing animals to evolve hearts, bones and brains, then crawl upon the surface of the planet, walk on four then two legs, then stand upright and gaze into the heavens to ponder the nature of existence. What has taken place on Earth is not a Darwinian evolution, but has unfolded according to the basic principles governing metamorphosis and embryogenesis and which resembles the precise, purposeful and genetically regulated interactions of those cells comprising a complex multi-cellular supra-organism.

Silent Genes, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Evolution Genomic analysis has demonstrated that genes are commonly shared between bacteria and archaea Koonin a,b; Polz et al , between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes Hotopp et al. In fact, genes and entire chromosomes can be transferred between Eukaryotes including between humans Berger et al. The sharing of genes is accomplished via horizontal gene transfer HGT. However, although the transfer of genes between Eukaryotic genomes can provide benefits or protection Dhimolea et al.

Mutations do not contribute to the evolution of species. By contrast, genes transferred to the Eukaryotic genome by Prokaryotes and viruses, provide substantial benefits to the host and its genome. Archae, bacteria, and viruses, provided Eukaryotes with the regulatory elements which control gene expression and which have repeatedly duplicated individual genes and the entire genome thereby enabling the Eukaryote gene pool to grow in size and leading to evolutionary innovation and the generation of increasingly intelligent species.

Thus we see that the genomes of modern day Eukaryotic species, including humans, contain highly highly conserved genes which were acquired from archae, bacteria, and viruses Esser et al. Viruses, as well as bacteria and archae, can also store their genes within the Eukaryotic genome Conley et al. The combination of these Prokaryote and viral genes therefore produced a new genome and a new species and possibly a new domain of life: Eukaryotes Feng et al.

However if these combined genes generated the first unicellular Eukaryotes Woese or if single celled Eukaryotes were transformed into a multi-cellular Eukaryote after single celled Eukaryotes were first generated in their own unique extraterrestrial environment, is unknown. Following successive invasions and combinations of Prokaryote and viral genes, some species of unicellular Eukaryotes became more diverse, and some of their descendants later came to be comprised of compartments and a nucleus which contains the DNA of multicellular Eukaryotes.

Likewise, organelles, as well as mitochondria, may have been created following engulfment and the donation of bacterial and archae genes to the Eukaryotic host Dyall et al. The incorporation of these Prokaryotic genes and the symbiotic relations which developed between Eukaryotes and genetically-stripped down bacteria and archae, led to the creation of the nucleus and compartmentalization.

The nucleus and compartmentalization made it possible for predatory Eukaryotes to ingest and phagocytize other creatures while minimizing the risk of random gene mixing and the unregulated incorporation of foreign DNA. Therefore, it appears the Eukaryotic nucleus was fashioned out of a Prokaryote which provided genomic protection, and this allowed other microbes to be safely ingested or incorporated thereby giving rise to additional compartments including the metamorphosis of mitochondria.

However, as the same time, these stripped down internalized Prokaryotes also allowed specific Prokaryote genes including viral genes and elements to be incorporated into the Eukaryotic genome following HGT. Therefore, Prokaryotes not only provided genes, compartments, and nuclei, but acted as gatekeepers which could determine which genes would be accepted and which would be rejected. These developments enabled Eukaryotes to become more complex and conquer new environments which then acted on gene selection.

When some single celled Eukaryotes acquired additional symbiotic partners and genes donated by archae, bacteria, and viruses, they became multi-cellular Joseph d, a. Therefore, the first multi-cellular Eukaryotes were fashioned via the combination of Prokaryotic and viral genes; an event which may commonly take place on every habitable planet. Thus we see that the genomes of modern day Eukaryotic species, including humans, contain compartments, nuclei, mitochondria which appear to be stripped down Prokaryotes, and they contain highly conserved genes which were acquired from archae, bacteria, and viruses Esser et al.

However, not all of these genes have been expressed, whereas yet others have been activated in response to specific environmental signals, thereby giving rise to new species Joseph a, b,c. Archae, bacteria, and viruses, provided Eukaryotes with genes which code for core cellular functions including the regulatory elements which control gene expression and which have repeatedly duplicated individual genes and the entire genome.

Individual and whole genome duplications have enabled the Eukaryote gene pool to grow in size thereby leading to evolutionary metamorphosis and the generation of increasingly complexand intelligent species, including humans. These conserved genes, proteins, and gene sequences, include those governing translation, the core transcription systems, and several central metabolic pathways, such as those for purine and pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis Koonin , , b.

Moreover, protein sequence conservation extends from mammals to bacteria thus demonstrating their great antiquity Dayhoff et al. Archae, Bacteria and Operational and Informational Genes Broadly considered, the Eukaryote genome contains two sets of functionally distinct prokaryotic genes, operational vs informational; one set derived from archaea and the other from bacteria.

Archae provided the Eukaryote genome with genes for information processing and expression translation, transcription, replication, and repair. Over eukaryotic genes have been identified that are of apparent archaeal origin and which were acquired via early horizontal gene transfer Yutin et al. Thus, archae were a major source of introns and transposable elements.

By contrast, bacteria provided operational genes responsible for the Eukaryotic membrane system, the inner cytoskeleton, complex metabolic activity, metabolic enzymes, and the production of the principal enzymes of membrane biogenesis Esser et al. These include genes and proteins which directly influence metabolism and the ingestion and excretion of various waste products. Operational genes have been repeatedly and continuously horizontally transferred over the course of evolution Jain et al.

The combination of these two sets of genes, informational and operational, which were donated by Prokaryotes to the Eukaryotic genome, contributed significantly to the evolution of Eukaryotic complexity. Likewise, many of the proteins that regulate Eukaryotic signal transduction networks, including those involved in apoptosis and programmed cell death, are derived from the Prokaryotic genome Aravind et al. These signaling molecules are common in bacteria, Cyanobacteria, and archae and include proteases from the AP-ATPase family. Therefore, the genes coding for these products were also transferred from Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes.

The fashioning of multicellular Eukaryotes and the contribution of so many crucial genes, was no random act of nature, but was purposefully orchestrated and choreographed, much like embryogenesis and metamorphosis which are precisely genetically regulated. These complex interactions should not be viewed as independent acts by cells acting as lone wolves, but the complex acts of a supra-organism consisting of genes linking numerous species.

Genes which were allowed entry included regulatory genes and elements contributed by viruses and Prokaryotes who in turn biologically engineered the environment which led to the expression of those genes. These interactional patterns are not randomized acts of individual cells, but genetically regulated and purposeful, much like the inner compartments of a single cell act to maintain the functional integrity and growth of that cell; or the various cells of a single organism maintain interdependent relationships which promote the health and development of that organism.

In other words, cellular individuality is an illusion, and that includes the seemingly independent actions of Prokaryotes and viruses which are not behaving in isolation but purposefully in relation to numerous microbial species so as to promote the development and metamorphosis of Eukaryotes with whom they are genetically entwined and linked. Mitochondria Metamorphosis: Bacteria Invade, Engineer Eukaryotes Almost two billion years after the first unicellular Eukaryotes appeared on the surface of this planet, a mitochondria-like bacteria may have donated its genome after invading a Eukaryote Margulis et al.

The internalized bacteria and Eukaryote may have formed a mutual genetic as well as a symbiotic relationship which resulted in the metamorphosis of mitochondria. Prior to this epic event, Eukaryotes may have consisted of less than 2 cell types Hedges et al. However once the bacterial invasion and its transformation into a mitochondria was complete, Eukaryotes soon grew in size and complexity. Mitochondria live inside every single cell of every multi-cellular organism, adjacent to the nucleus. Many cells have only a single mitochondrion, whereas others contain several thousand.

Mitochondria have their own independent genomes and their DNA shows substantial similarity to bacterial genomes Pace ; Woese Mitochondria are enclosed in their own inner and outer membrane, play a significant role in signaling, cellular differentiation, cell death, as well as the control of the cell cycle and cell growth Chipuk et al.

Mitochondria also serve as the powerhouse of the cell and are located outside the nucleus. Thus, mitochondria are essential to the functioning of the cell, providing these organisms with substantial energy, and enabled Eukaryotes to grow larger in size and exploit the changing biologically engineered environment, which in turn acted on gene selection.

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The Astrobiology Primer v

This invasion and gene transfer which resulted in the first mitochondria began around 2. As oxygen levels increased, methane levels decreased, and the Earth became glaciated, fueled by oxygenic photosynthesis Joseph d, a. The spike in oxygen and the onset of this period of biologically induced glaciation acted on gene selection. The internalized bacteria underwent metamorphosis and became a mitochondria and oxygen-dependent ATP-generating pathways replaced the less efficient oxygen-independent pathways and Eukaryotic cells underwent a significant alteration and began breathing oxygen.

The activation of the genes donated by Prokaryotes, and the metamorphosis of mitochondria enabled Eukaryotes to colonize emerging oxygenated environments; with the oxygen being produced biologically. Mitochondria, as a distinct entity within Eukaryotic cells, were fully established by 1. Thus, a complex interaction involving Cyanobacteria and oxygen production, and genes contributed by an invading bacteria as well as other Prokaryotes including Cyanobacteria , produced an internal structure within Eukaryotes which would give Eukaryotes the ability to breath oxygen and become more powerful.

Then as Prokaryotes, Cyanobacteria in particular, biologically engineered the external environment by releasing oxygen and liberating other elements and minerals, the changing environment acted on genes donated to Eukaryotes by viruses and Prokaryotes and the the next stage of evolutionary metamorphosis began to unfold. Eukaryotes diversified into numerous microscopic species. However, hidden away within their genomes were thousands of silent genes which would not be expressed for another billion years.

Silent Genes The primary genetic sources for genes within the Eukaryotic genome are Prokaryotes and viruses Alvarez-Ponce et al. Be they derived from archae, bacteria, or viruses, not all these genes have been activated or expressed. Many are silent or have been silenced Appasania, ; Guetg, et al.

Genes inserted into the Eukaryotic genome may be stored for hundreds of millions and even billions of years, passed on to offspring and subsequent species via the germ line. And yet, although they apparently diverged from a common ancestor over a billion years ago, their genomes contained the same exact silent genes necessary for generating hearts, bones, a brain and nervous system Sakarya et al. And yet, these genes remained silent. These silent genes inherited by Trichoplax and the Silicarea sponge were then passed on to subsequent species at which point, around million years ago, these genes became activated--after million years had elapsed.

Darwinian apologists claim this is just nature arriving, by chance, at the same solution. A solution to what? These genes were inherited from even more ancient ancestral species which also never evolved a heart or bones or a nervous system; and the ancestors of these ancestral species obtained many of their genes and genetic elements from Prokaryotes and viruses almost 4 billion years ago Joseph b,c,d. After billions of years these silent genes and the genetic elements for generating these genes, were finally inherited by Trichoplax and other species including the sponge millions years ago, where they remained dormant and silent.

These silent genes were then passed down for another hundred million years through subsequent generations and species and then became activated in response to significant alterations in the environment such as an oxygen atmosphere, the produciton of ozone, and copious amounts of calcium which were flooding the oceans, thereby giving rise to the heart, eyes, bones and brains in hundreds of diverse species at the onset of the Cambrian explosion mya Joseph a, c,d.

These genes did not randomly evolve through natural section, for if that were true, why would they evolve and then remain silent after the evolution of Trichoplax Placozoans? Why would Trichoplax Placozoans evolve the genes for generating hearts, eyes, bones and brains, but then fail to evolve these structures?

The Evolution of Life From Space

Darwinism is not the answer. The same questions could be asked about tadpoles which possess the silent genes which when activated produce a frog, or a caterpillar which posses the silent genes which generate a butterfly. Silent genes are expressed only in response to specific regulatory and environmental signals, thereby transforming a tapole into a frog and a caterpillar into a butterfly. The same principles of metamorphosis can be applied to the evolution of bones and brains.

It was only after major changes in the environment, engineered primarily by Cyanobacteria, which resulted in the activation of these silent genes, and only after another million years had passed. These environmental changes included a UV radiation blocking ozone layer created by the release of oxygen generated by Cyanobacteria, and the flooding of the oceans with calcium, also produced by Cyanobacteria Joseph c,d. It was a confluence of genetic, environmental and other factors, which triggered the expression of those genes responsible for hearts, eyes, a skeletal system and brain, and made it possible for species to emerge from the sea and take to the land.

These were not random acts of chance, but under precise genetic control similar to what takes place during embryogenesis and metamorphosis; and exactly what might be expected of numerous species acting in concert as if part of the same supra-organism. Genetic Engineering of the Environment: Oxygen and Cyanobacteria Cyanobacteria are the only known Prokaryotes capable of oxygenic photosynthesis DesMarais Oxygen is secreted as a waste product by Cyanobacteria, a species which was most likely among the first to arrive on Earth.

In fact, fossilized colonies of Cyanobacteria have been discovered in the Murchison meteorite Hoover, which is older than this solar system Joseph a. In fact, they were performing the same functions from deep beneath the sea and were congregating near undersea volcanoes and thermal vents and reducing metals, minerals and carbon dioxide.

For the next billion years photosynthesis and thus oxygen production was not significantly hampered by any sun-blocking organic haze or the feeble rays of the sun, due to the activity of viruses Joseph b,c,d. Viruses provide bacteria with additional photosynthesizing genes under conditions of reduced sunlight Lindell et al.

Microfossils discovered in the Murchison meteorite which resemble cyanobacteria Stromatolites Thus, beginning nearly 4 billion years ago, oxygen-producing Cyanobacteria were proliferating and began creating thick calcium encrusted Cyanobacterial mats Buick , as well as secreting oxygen, and leaving their fossilized signatures in shales and stromatolites Brocks et al.

And by 3. Around 3. In consequence numerous microbial species perished, but in dying became food sources for species which had just begun to evolve. However, it should be stressed that solar and geomagnetic activity, coupled with variations in the orbit and tilt of this planet, were also contributory factors. By contrast, there is considerable evidence from astrobiology, genetics, microbiology, virology, and the fossil record which demonstrates that life has an extraterrestrial origin and that microbes were deposited on this planet early in its history when Earth was bombarded by comets, meteors, and planetary debris containing living bacteria, archae, viruses, and other microbes.

Further, those promoting a "cosmic ancestry", such as R. Gabriel Joseph and Chandra Wickramasinghe, have argued that evolution has been shaped by viruses deposited on Earth by comets and meteors. Although Darwin has been elevated to near deity status, the fossil record and genetics is not consistent with his belief that evolution has proceeded by "small steps. According to Joseph, Prokaryotes have inserted genes into the Eukaryotic genome, and have then labored to biologically alter the biosphere by pumping oxygen, calcium and other substances into the environment which activated those genes donated by Prokaryotes.

Joseph calls his theory "Evolutionary Metamorphosis" and "Evolutionary Embryology. However, according to Dr. Figure 4. Comet of was associated with the coming "end of the world" and spreading death and disease. The great plague of Athens that broke out in the year BC Karlen is a strong candidate for a cometary cause. The epidemic was localized geographically, and declined and disappeared as abruptly as it had started and no source could be discovered. The description of the epidemic and its symptoms described by the historian Thucydides , has defied identification with any known infectious disease.

The popularly accepted cause of the pandemic is bubonic plague caused by the bacillus Yersinia pestis , in which flea-infected rodents act as an intermediate vector. But what was the source of the bacillus? The popularly accepted cause of the pandemic is also bubonic plague McNeill These plagues are all bacterial diseases which are spread by infected fleas, by contact with the body fluids of infected people and animals, and by inhaling infectious droplets in the air.

How did fleas come to be infected? Were they also contaminated by pathogens in the air? Bacteria and Viruses From Space? Yersinia pestis is one of the causative agents of plague. Yersinia pestis are anaerobic and must live within host cells during the infective phase of its life cycle Brown et al. Infection takes place through a syringe-like apparatus by which the bacteria can inject bacterial virulence factors effectors into the eukaryotic cytosol of host cells.

Yet, as they are anaerobic, Yersinia pestis and other pathogenic bacteria are completely dependent on their host species, and cannot be propagated over evolutionary time if the host dies Brown et al. Thus it must be asked: what is the origin of these plague-inducing bacillus which periodically infect and kill huge populations over diverse areas, and then reemerge hundreds of years later to attack again? In fact, Yersinia pestis is the causative agent responsible for at least three major human pandemics: the Justinian plague 6th to 8th centuries , the Black Death 14th to 19th centuries and modern plague 21st century.

Figure 5. Yersinia pestis The keys to unlocking this mystery may include the fact that these microbes are anaerobic Brown et al. A major anaerobic, freezing environment is located in space. Therefore, could these microbes have originated in space? A variety of microbes have been discovered in the upper atmosphere, including those who are radiation resistant Yang et al. It is the mesophere where meteors first begin to fragment as they speed to Earth Wickramasinghe et al.

Could these upper atmospheric microbes have originated in meteors or from other stellar debris? Or might they have have been lofted from Earth to the upper atmosphere? The natural mechanisms which transport microorganisms to the upper atmosphere are storm activity, volcanic activity, monsoons, and bolide impact events Joseph c; Joseph and Schild a; Wainwright et al. Wainwright et al. According to Joseph and Schild a; Joseph a,b viruses accompany these microbes and store and provide genes which are of benefit to the bacterial host. However, they also argue that these inserted genes may introduce genetic errors into the host, triggering death and disease.

However, there are other factors to consider: UV rays and fluctuations in solar activity. Further, cyclic fluctuations in solar activity could also directly impact the genomes of microbes within the upper atmosphere. Thus, if they originate in space or from Earth, those microbes or viruses who suffer UV damage or genetic mutations do to cyclic increases in solar activity, may also insert these damaged genes into other bacteria which then infect the animals and plants of Earth.

Consider, for example, the flu pandemic which was caused by the combination of new viral genes with old viral genes, such that a new viral strain transferred its genes to an old viral strain, creating a deadly hybrid which killed maybe as many as million humans. However, the first to be infected were birds, thus suggesting the source of the disease came from the sky. Therefore, we are presented with a variety of scenarios which might be linked, and all involve the transfer of genes, including those which may have been mutated by UV rays or increased solar activity, and those which originated in bacteria and viruses from space.

If these scenarios or variations thereof are accurate, this could explain the origin of Yersinia pestis and their variable gene pool which periodically acquires infective or mutated genes thus inducing plague after they fall to Earth. The Black Death AD for example, has all the hallmarks of a space incident component or trigger. That this disease spread from city to city has been well documented Kelly ; McNeill However, the progression of the disease did not follow contours associated with travel routes, displaying a patchiness of incidence including zones of total avoidance Figure 6.

Moreover, the pattern of infection appear to travel the course of prevailing winds Figures 7 and 8. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe interpreted these patterns as indicative of a space incident bacterium. Left Contours of the spread of the Black Death, from Carpentier. Winter wind pattern. During the 20th century, smallpox may have killed million people Koplow, However, small pox is not due to a bacteria, but is caused by virus.

Nevertheless, like bacteria-triggered plagues, this virus is host-dependent i. For example, there is evidence of small pox epidemics dated to 12, years before the present Barquet and Domingo Records from India dated to B. The Plague of Antonine AD detailed by Galen was possibly the best documented pandemic of smallpox in the ancient historical record Hopkins ; Karlen ; McNeill In , small pox invaded the "New World" beginning in the Caribbean and jumping to the mainland in Fenner ; Li et al.

However, a "molecular clock" genetic analysis of the small pox virus, Variola major, indicates that at least two strains of this host-specific entity can be dated 16, years before the present YBP in East Asia, and to 68, YBP in Africa Li et al. Victims of small pox. The small pox virus, like the plague, has an intermittent record of periodic and quite deadly attacks, which are punctuated by centuries long periods of stasis.

It is also transmitted via the air, or through direct contact with an infected person. Might the small pox virus also originate in space? Viruses have been shown to survive simulated extraterrestrial conditions Fekete et al. Moreover, many types of viruses are radiation resistant Fekete et al. Those which are dehydrated and which are double stranded are the most radiation resistant, and this includes the small pox double stranded variola virus Sullivan et al. Given the ancient history of the small pox virus and its radiation, dehydration, and cold temperature resistant genome, coupled with the periodicity of its infection cycles, there is thus good reason to suspect this virus originated in space.

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Comets and Contagion Figure Montezuma watching a comet appear in the East In the year , a comet appeared in the skies over ancient Mexico, witnessed by Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor. That same year plague began to sicken and kill the native peoples, tens of millions subsequently dying of the disease Fenner ; Li et al. Two continents were nearly culled of its native people. The comet, however, may likely have had nothing to do with this deadly contagion, for that same year, Cortes and his soldiers arrived off the Coast of Mexico, possibly bringing with them plague and disease.

The Aztec priests, however, believed that Cortez, the comet, and the contagion, were heaven-sent. From November of to February of , a comet blazed across the morning skies of New England, prompting the Reverend Increase Mather to deliver an incendiary sermon he called: "Heaven's Alarm to the World" Gleiser The comet, Mather preached, was a sign of God's anger and warned of disease, pestilence and disaster. When a second comet appeared in , Mather delivered another sermon of doom Gleiser : "The Voice of God in Signal Providences: God in his providence doth order, as that sometimes, Blazing Stars are seen in heaven.

Such stars are called comets for they stream like long hair Fearful sights are called signs in the scripture Tokens of God's Anger, they are Presages of great and publick Calamities. The presence of clay particles proved that liquid water once existed in quantity within the comet, thus confirming theoretical predictions that the interiors of comets were initially melted by radioactive heat sources.

There is no reason whatsoever to think that the organics found in comets were not produced by biological organisms Wickramasinghe, Microbes may flourish or lie dormant in the heart of comets. Left High resolution image of Comet Tempel 1 showing dark surface with relic frozen lakes. Right Infrared evidence of clay and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. When a comet approaches the sun, solar radiation and blasts of energetic particles from the solar wind begins to heat, melt, and vaporize the surface layers of ice.

The comet then sheds particles comprised of silicates rocks and organic material and ionised gas. These form two separate tails — a plasma tail and a dust tail, each of which are millions of miles in length. In addition to these two tails, comets sometimes fragment and eject much larger pieces that co-orbit with them around the sun. Examples are seen in break-up of Comet Linear in and of Comet Schwachmann-Wachmann in Figures 16 and 17 , and these fragments include what are described as meteors and asteroids. Figure Hubble telescope image of fragments of Comet Linear Figure Millions of pieces of debris impacted the atmosphere, lighting up the skies with flashes of light, and showering the planet with tons of cometary debris.

Based on evidence reviewed by Joseph c; Joseph and Schild a,b if microbes are attached to this stellar debris, most would likely survive.

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Comet Hale Bopp The smaller sub-micron sized particles and any microbes and viral particles attached to them, do not burn up. If bacteria and viruses are attached to these falling particles, then it could be surmised that as they descend through the air they may infect those hosts who are directly exposed and who inhale them Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, , beginning, perhaps with birds and flying insects. Further, as they are caught up in the jet streams of the upper atmosphere, viruses and bacteria may be dispersed over wide areas of land and sea, triggering pockets of contagion which are separated by hundreds even thousands of miles.

Comets may in fact be a source of diseases from space Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, , and once released into the upper atmosphere, microbes and viruses may be impacted by UV rays and cyclic changes in solar activity. Influenza: A Space Virus? Long before the viral cause of influenza was established, Physicians in the late 19th century asserted that epidemic influenza spreads so rapidly across the country that it defies explanation on the basis of person-to-person spread alone. The distinguished English Physician Charles Creighton described its spread as a miasma descending over the land.

In , Halley's comet blazed across the skies, and 4 years later Europe was caught up in the fever of war. There is a wealth of information to be gleaned concerning the pandemic if one has the patience to leaf through tomes of yellowing papers in the dusty archives of libraries. Their researches led to a stark, yet inescapable conclusion: at the very least some component of the infective agent responsible for the outbreaks of a lethal brand of influenza fell directly from the skies Hoyle and Wickramasinghe Estimates of the death toll in vary from a minimum of 30 million to about twice that number Barry There are some estimates that suggest that 20 million deaths occurred in India alone.

In parts of Alaska and in the Pacific Islands over half the total population in some villages and cities had perished Barry With a population of 50, people very thinly spread over an area of the size of Europe, and with ground transportation essentially impossible, the only route of viral transfer must have been through the air. There were three waves of pandemic influenza occurring in less than 12 months Barry The second wave, which came in the autumn, was characterised by high attack rates accompanied by very high mortality rates.

The overall scale of the disaster caused by the pandemic is difficult to imagine. Populations in many cities and villages were decimated in a matter of weeks. In the State of Punjab in India, streets were reported to have been strewn with corpses of victims, and at railway stations carriages had to be continually cleared of dead or dying passengers. The devastation in parts of the African continent were incalculable.

On the other hand some places miraculously escaped from the pandemic. St Helena, an island in the mid-Atlantic, is known to have definitely escaped, despite all the shipping that had called to port. Yet other areas separated by thousands of miles, including Boston and Bombay, were affected simultaneously. Then there was a puzzling long delay before the pandemic reached the shores of Australia.

This country seems to have been quite remarkably free of the disease until early in , despite all the ships that called there from infected ports, and despite the well-attested attacks that occurred in mid-ocean. The first influenza death in Australia occurred at Sydney on 10 February and was reported in the Times of London of 20 February Again there was an enormous variability in the way ships at sea were affected.

And there were similar differences in the attack rates on crews of ships in the British Navy. In other words, the passengers and crews of many ships at sea, totally isolated from infected persons, quite suddenly were afflicted whereas others were spared. The erratic behaviour of the influenza virus, particularly in the lethal second wave of , is described graphically in an article by Dr. Its epidemiologic behaviour, was most unusual. Although person-to-person spread occurred in local areas, the disease appeared on the same day in widely separated parts of the world on the one hand, but, on the other, took days to weeks to spread relatively short distances.

It was detected in Boston and Bombay on the same day, but took three weeks before it reached New York City, despite the fact that there was considerable travel between the two cities. It was present for the first time in Joliet in the State of Illinois four weeks after it was first detected in Chicago, the distance between those areas being only 38 miles….. Death rates from respiratory disease recorded in the late months of varied dramatically between different cities.

A striking contrast came from Pittsburg and Toledo, neighbouring cities with normally almost identical death-rates and with populations engaged in similar daily occupations. The late death-rate from respiratory diseases in Pittsburg exceeded that in Toledo, not by a few percent or a few tens of percent, but by an enormous percent.

The overall pattern of contagion is suggestive of a disease which is spread not just through the air, but the upper atmosphere, with diseased agents drifting along the jet stream and then literally falling from the sky. If correct, and if the pathogens originated in space, or were induced through upper atmosphere UV exposure, then it might be expected that genes might have been exchanged, and that high flying birds would have also been effected.

Left Flu Virus. Right Flu victim recovered from Alaskan permafrost. They soon discovered that a completely new virus had combined with a old virus, exchanging and recombining genes, creating a hybrid that transformed mild strains of the flu virus into forms far more deadly and pathogenic.

They also confirmed that the flu virus originated in the sky, first infecting birds and then spreading in humans. And with each approach, Comet Encke shed ice, rock and dust which streaked through the atmosphere of Earth. There is some evidence to suggest that a large piece of Comet Encke broke off, fell to Earth, and exploded above the Tunguska, Russia, in , leveling forests for hundreds of miles Vaidya Comet Encke.

The Astrobiology Primer v2.0

Comet Encke orbit and dust trail. Intersection points nodes of Comet Encke's orbit with Earth's orbit, at various dates before the present BP. The orbit of the comet and its associated tail has intersected that of the Earth repeatedly throughout history.

Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution
Diseases From Space: Astrobiology, Viruses, Microbiology, Meteors, Comets, Evolution

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