Experts from the US and Japan issued a statement that scientists should pay more attention to the search of alien viruses and even create to this end, the subsection of science. According to scientists, previously, similar proposals sounded remarkably rare.
Quite popular designation of viruses as “organisms at the border of the living”, and there’s no scientific consensus on whether to consider them a form of life in the full sense of the word. The advocates of this classification indicate that the viruses have their own set of genes, able to breed, creating their own copies, and to evolve by natural selection. At the same time, experts who believe that viruses should be considered only complexes of organic molecules, indicative of the absence of the cellular structure and its own metabolism which they can not synthesize molecules and multiply outside the cell.
Even if on their own viruses cannot with absolute certainty be called a form of life, they exist since ancient times and have a significant impact on the process of evolution. If the disposal of the scientists turned out to be an alien virus, that would be quite convincing proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life
Thus, according to the scientists, viruses can be ejected beyond the atmosphere of the planet, and then get on other space bodies. If life exists on other planets, then the virus with them in a similar way could get to earth, scientists say. However, when talking about the search for extraterrestrial life, it often comes to microorganisms such as bacteria.
The researchers suggest that in the framework of the existing science called astrobiology, you should see the direction of astrobiology, the objectives of which could be the study of hypothetical extraterrestrial viruses and the development of more efficient methods for their search.
The study was published in the journal Astrobiology.
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