International Journal of Astrobiology

Research Article

Bacterial morphologies supporting cometary panspermia: a reappraisal

Chandra Wickramasinghea1

a1 Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK e-mail: ncwick@googlemail.com

Abstract

It is nearly 30 years since the first decisive evidence of microbial morphologies in carbonaceous chondrites was discovered and reported by Hans Dieter Pflug. In addition to morphology, other data, notably laser mass spectroscopy, served to confirm the identification of such structures as putative bacterial fossils. Recent examinations of cometary dust collected in the stratosphere and further studies of carbonaceous meteorites reaffirm the presence of putative microbial fossils. Since carbonaceous chondrites (particularly Type 1 chondrites) are thought to be extinct comets the data reviewed in this article provide strong support for theories of cometary panspermia.

(Received April 24 2010)

(Accepted April 30 2010)

(Online publication June 10 2010)