As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis’s laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens. In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples—water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis’s home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001—contain microbes from outer space.
Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600˚F. (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250˚F.)
As a fan of the panspermia theory, I'd been meaning to post about this for a while. Now the Popular Science article has also been picked up by CNN, this red rain incident and accompanying extraterrestrial-life theory is getting wider attention.
My «panspermia» tag at del.icio.us collects some of the coverage and research papers (including rejected versions) about the 'red rain' and other possible evidence for life elsewhere.