Views And Reviews

Interstellar bugs

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 25 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1721
  1. B Dixon

    It's nice to be cited, even anonymously, so I was chuffed to see a paper in the current Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (37:347) in which microbiologist Howard Gest quotes something I penned 17 years ago in New Scientist (17 November 1977:396). I was introducing what proved to be a notorious article by Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, who suggested that some disease epidemics originate with microbes carried to earth on cometary dust. Anticipating criticism, I commented that the authors, however distinguished, “have strayed far from their own field, making staggeringly heterodox extrapolations from their more conventional work …

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