Virus from Space

8 Feb 2018

Gary sent in this link ... courtesy of British Columbia. Not exactly the same as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe and 'Diseases from Space' as the new findings are talking about viruses swept into the air in sea spray and soil dust, which then travel upwards into the atmosphere. They are deposited back on to the surface of the Earth somewhat later - in a never ending cycle. Obviously, humans have evolved and survived while all of this was going on - by the mechanism of the immune system. Genuine viruses from deep space may instead be able to breach our immune system. In any case, most of the viruses that rain back down on the Earth are not a  danger to humans. A few may have a human origin and therefore may affect other humans when passed on the atmosphere. One should get out a bit more and build up some resistance.

Two links to Ancient Origins sent in by Jovan. At ... it really is an elephant rather than a mastodon or a mammoth. Found in Italy. Human tools were found with the tips hardened by fire. The tools were made of boxwood which is dense and very strong. It is used to make musical instruments - among other things. Funny thing but boxwood in Europe is threatened by a virus. It only affects the domesticated plants. Wild boxwood which grows on hillside near where I live is resistant to the virus - having an inbuilt immune system to protect it. Boxwood is the hardest wood growing wild in Britain. You may come across it as a small hedge around flower beds and along paths on National Trust estates. It is regularly clipped to keep its shape and stop it growing too big. The fact boxwood grows slowly makes it an ideal plant for this labour intensive activity. The tools, it is suggested, do not have sharp points so were not manufactured to kill prey or spear anything of note. They are thought to be digging tools in order to access roots and tubers etc. I read this story at the Australian science magazine Cosmos (via a newsletter).

The second link ... where the article comes via the BBC report. Ten skeletons, going back 2400 years, or thereabouts, were unearthed in Mexico with inter locking arms. They date from before the Aztecs - to the Pre-Classical Period. Spiral designs can be found across the ancient world. In South America they are among the Nazca Lines of coastal Peru. In Columbia's highland zone spiral petroglyphs are common - as high as 3000M above sea level. Similar petroglyphs are also common to Mexico. The skeletons are arranged in the shape of a spiral.