Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And the winner of the painful microbiology press release of the day: U. Maryland and Shil Dassarma

Not much to say here but "yuck".  A new press release is out from University of Maryland: Strategies for possible survival on Mars: Scientists found differences in core proteins from a microorganism that lives in a salty lake in Antarctica

Some pretty painful things in here such as:
"These kinds of adaptations are likely to allow microorganisms like Halorubrum lacusprofundi to survive not only in Antarctica, but elsewhere in the universe," says Dr. DasSarma.
What?  Does he really think there will be microorganisms like this elsewhere in the universe?  If there is life elsewhere in the universe is it really going to be like this at all?

And then in a shameless attempt to connect to the work being done on Mars:
"For example, there have been recent reports of seasonal flows down the steep sides of craters on Mars suggesting the presence of underground brine pools. Whether microorganisms actually exist in such environments is not yet known, but expeditions like NASA's Curiosity rover are currently looking for signs of life on Mars."
Does this mean in my next PR I should mention Curiosity too?

Actually the most painful part of me is the next paragraph
"Dr. DasSarma and his colleagues are unraveling the basic building blocks of life," says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Their research into the fundamentals of microbiology are enhancing our understanding of life throughout the universe, and I look forward to seeing further groundbreaking discoveries from their laboratory." 
First - do they really need to list that Reece is MD, PHD, MBA, VP, Dean and Distinguished Prof?  Seriously? Uggh.  And then the quotes attributed to said person are not impressive.  The basic building blocks of life?  Dassarma is not really looking at that.  And "life throughout the universe"?  Really?  What life exactly is that?  And finally, "further groundbreaking discoveries."  Just what exactly makes this groundbreaking?

Uggh.  Can someone just make this PR crap stop?  Please?

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