Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 285, Issue 2, pp 555–562

A Balloon Experiment to detect Microorganisms in the Outer Space

  • J.V. Narlikar
  • D. Lloyd
  • N.C. Wickramasinghe
  • M.J. Harris
  • M.P. Turner
  • S. Al-Mufti
  • M.K. Wallis
  • M. Wainwright
  • P. Rajaratnam
  • S. Shivaji
  • G.S.N. Reddy
  • S. Ramadurai
  • F. Hoyle
Article

Abstract

The results of biological studies of a cryosampler flown with a balloon, in which air samples were collected at altitudes ranging from 20 to 41 km, well above the Tropopause over Hyderabad, are described. In the analysis carried out in Cardiff, voltage-sensitive dyes that could detect the presence of viable cells were used on these air-samples. Clumps of viable cells were found to be present in samples collected at all the altitudes. The images obtained from electron microscopy are consistent with the above finding. Reference is also made to another paper presented at this conference describing the identification of bacterial species in the sample carried out in Sheffield. Counter arguments are discussed against the criticism that the detected cells and microorganisms (in the samples collected above the local tropopause at 16 km) are due to terrestrial contamination.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.V. Narlikar
    • 1
  • D. Lloyd
    • 2
  • N.C. Wickramasinghe
    • 3
  • M.J. Harris
    • 3
  • M.P. Turner
    • 3
  • S. Al-Mufti
    • 3
  • M.K. Wallis
    • 3
  • M. Wainwright
    • 4
  • P. Rajaratnam
    • 5
  • S. Shivaji
    • 6
  • G.S.N. Reddy
    • 6
  • S. Ramadurai
    • 7
  • F. Hoyle
    • 3
  1. 1.Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Post Bag 4GaneshkhindIndia
  2. 2.Cardiff School of Biological SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Cardiff Centre for AstrobiologyCardiff University, 2 North RoadCardiffUK
  4. 4.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  5. 5.Indian Space Research OrganizationAntariksh BhavanBangaloreIndia
  6. 6.Centre for Cellular and Molecular BiologyHyderabadIndia
  7. 7.Tata Institute of Fundamental ResearchMumbaiIndia

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