UPI, London Daily Mail – Scientists in Wales have discovered a tiny form of life that may have been dropped into Earth?s atmosphere by a passing comet. Researchers say that in the filter of a high-flying balloon, operated by the Indian Space Research Organization, they found a strain of bacteria unlike anything on earth. The bacteria were found at an altitude of ten miles and scientists at Cardiff University say it may have come from a comet on an approach to Earth. Professor Charles Wickramasinghe said the discovery marked “the first time we have had direct evidence for the hypothesis that comets seed life on other planets.

The bacteria found in the balloon?s filter, he says, “is so different from anything we?ve seen before that there are only two possible explanations.” One is that “organisms have been lifted from the Earth to great heights in the skies and have somehow multiplied there and changed over time.” The second is that “this is an example of primitive alien life.”

Some of the bacteria are now being studied at Cardiff?s Astrobiology Center. They have rejected the idea that the bacteria may have been the result of contamination by earthly organisms because there were stringent sterile conditions aboard the balloon.

The most recent geological evidence now suggests that life on Earth may be 4 billion years old. This is significant because it was a period when the Earth was bombarded by comets and meteors.

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