If you’re a fan of sci-fi movies where humans have to defend the planet against alien invasion ready to blast us all with lasers, you’re not alone. Such productions could become a reality one day, as there are more stars discovered in the Universe than grains of sand from all the beaches of the Earth. This means that theoretically, the chances are off the charts for life to develop on other planets as well.
But a new theory says that little green visitors from outer space would not bother consuming batteries for their laser weapons in order to take us down. They might use a much more cunning method to eradicate the human race, along with all the other life forms living on Earth.
Aliens could spread novel disease
Releasing killer bacteria on Earth to terminate all life seems like a much more comfortable way of getting the job done than by sheer warfare. Invent a disease in a laboratory able to withstand any medical treatment, and you’re all set. This could be the more plausible scenario for an alien invasion. The aliens themselves would be the tiny microbes that we couldn’t fight against with all our advanced medicine.
Although we all hope that it won’t be the case, this is the hypothesis proposed by a new study. We’ve all seen how much sorrow, life losses, and restrictions the COVID-19 pandemic could cause, although it has a very low mortality rate. Another virus that kills a much larger percentage of the infected people could truly bring the apocalypse to Earth.
The scourge could come riding a meteorite
Scientists from the universities of Aberdeen and Exeter put to the test mammal immune cells to see how they respond to peptides, which are combinations of amino acids. These microscopic structures contain two amino acids that are commonly found on meteorites.
While conducting a study on mice, which have a similar immune response to us humans, the outcome showed something worrying. Mammals have a less efficient response to the peptides commonly found on meteorites. The reaction of T cells was examined, as they are key to immune responses, to see how they behave in the presence of the amino acids isovaline and α-aminoisobutyric acid.
The response of the T cells was weak, with the activation levels of only 15 percent and 61 percent. As they’re exposed to peptides made entirely of amino acids that can be found on Earth, the activation levels are significantly higher: 82 percent and 91 percent.
Therefore, aliens are not necessarily little green guys with pointy years and ready to steal our secrets for the craps game.