Verdict on the NASA Press Release

If you really are interested in a proper analysis of the recent announcement by NASA, then you should read the blog posting by Rosie Redfield … she quite rightly trashes it all …

NASA’s shameful analysis of the alleged bacteria in the Mars meteorite made me very suspicious of their microbiology, an attitude that’s only strengthened by my reading of this paper.  Basically, it doesn’t present ANY convincing evidence that arsenic has been incorporated into DNA (or any other biological molecule).

She then proceeds to chew into them for the appallingly bad science …

Click below to read it all.

Arsenic-associated bacteria (NASA’s claims)

She concludes with this …

Bottom line: Lots of flim-flam, but very little reliable information. The mass spec measurements may be very well done (I lack expertise here), but their value is severely compromised by the poor quality of the inputs. If this data was presented by a PhD student at their committee meeting, I’d send them back to the bench to do more cleanup and controls.

There’s a difference between controls done to genuinely test your hypothesis and those done when you just want to show that your hypothesis is true. The authors have done some of the latter, but not the former.

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