From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Molecular and Cell Biology (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Molecular and Cell Biology. To participate, visit the WikiProject for more information.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

General problems[edit]

So, what are the codes for "lacking evidence", "personal opinion" and "not enough good references"?

This is a terrible scientific article. Sources and references need to be provided.

Controversial; yes. Unproven; yes. License to promote any old opinion; not really.

Can someone append tags to this article to indicate its tenuous nature? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:08, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Wishful thinking?[edit]

The statement "Some researchers believe nanobe-like organisms might be implicated in a number of diseases. They might be responsible for the formation of some types of renal stones. They might even explain mysterious calcification of teeth in the human mouth, and thus actually be a useful or necessary symbiont (like Acidophilus)." is, I feel, absurd to mention unless it has some sources directly mentioned. In point of fact, the article mentioned says that "*Biomineralization* could result in the formation of bones, shells, teeth, and kidney stones, and arterial plaque.", so the paraphrase is very far from the written article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Ten times smaller???[edit]

How can something be ten times SMALLER than something else? It's impossible. If it's even 1 time smaller it becomes non-existent.. What exactly did the contributor mean by "ten times smaller"? 1/10 the size? That's what I'm going to assume and change the article to reflect, because having it read "ten times smaller" is simply ludicrous and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  • Thanks for changing this. I see the phrase a lot in sloppy journalism, and it drives me crazy: "700 times smaller than a human hair"! (even ignoring that human hair of different colours varies in size quite a lot). Monado (talk) 15:07, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Nanobes are not Nanobacteria until the two are officially equated[edit]

Please note, Nanobes are not nanobacteria. So far no mention has been made (on the web) equating nanobacteria and nanobes. They two shouldn't be confused.

Recently there has been much published about NANOBACTERIA and the human body. I have not read anything saying that NANOBES were discovered in the human body, if there is such a discovery... please add the link to the page or the discussion page.

  • Actually, "Nanobacteria" is a misnomer. The reason users of the word "nanobe" don't say "nanobacteria" is that it's entirely possible that some or all of the less than 200 nm cellular organisms are not actually a kind of bacteria, per se, but are some other small organism. You're confusing a different vocabulary for a different entity.
What you are mistaking for a geology vs biology separation is based simply on the fact that the word nanobe has come into more popular use among geologists examining fossil "nanobacteria".
In fact, you're mistaken about the a search for both words, nanobe and nanobacteria, on Google, and you'll find a great many sites, including scientific ones, which definitely associate the two. Kaz 00:43, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • The reason why it's popular to use nanobe to describe fossil "nanobacteria" is because Dr. Philippa J.R. Uwins' discovery of nanobes was used to bolster the argument that the fossils found in a martian asteroid could be remnants of something that was once living. Even on her website she keeps the distinctions separate.
No, I'm not mistaken about the web. Oh yes, an association is there and I agree with you on that without question. However, please reread my original posting where I wrote "equating" (as in they are equal), not "associate". If you read the articles you searched, you'll notice that nobody equates the two directly; instead, the terms are skillfully inserted into articles (sometimes a title will say nanobe, but everything will be about nanobacteria; I've even seen articles that use them but only use nanobe when referring to Dr.Uwins). Of greater importance are the published works and alas, I've only read what's available to me. Nanobes are Nanobes[1]. Nanobacteria are Nanobacteria[2].
I tend to agree that this could be a biology vs. geology problem. As in most cases Nanobes are used to refer to geological specimens; whereas, Nanobacteria are used to refer to the biological variety.
As originally stated, I invite you to add a link to help bolster any of the assertions you made, --Sp00n17 04:29, Dec 31, 2004 (UTC)

No Merge with nanobacteria?[edit]

For more about this merge (that probably won't happen) goto Talk:Nanobacterium

Why is it being merged? Some researchers say they have live nanobacteria. Nanobes are clearly not alive, even if they once were. 16:37, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No evidence exists equating Nanobes and Nanobacteria. It's easy to relate the two because of overlapping information. This does not mean that they are the same, as particularly nothing has been published on the discoverer's website (Philippa Uwins [3] ( that suggests that Nanobes are the same. I don't believe it should be merged unless actual evidence is found that they are. I invite you to prove me wrong about this, perhaps there's some literature out there describing nanobe taxonomy or otherwise equate nanobes and nanobacteria. Sp00n17 14:41, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

According to a issue of Discover Magazine, The person who coined the term "Nanobe" did so to rename nanobacteria so that they weren't so easily confused with bacteria.

Which exact issue? Which article? — Omegatron 06:06, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

First google result for nanobe & nanobacteria search: - "While nanobes and nanobacteria are sometimes used as distinct terms, they are often used interchangably. These terms will be used interchangably in this web page.". For that matter, the local science mag grouped nanobes and nanobacteria as more or less synonumous concepts as does this NASA link: - G3, 11:58, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Nanobe is obviously a contraction of Nanobacteria. If it's not the case, this unusual, contraction-like variation in terminology requires notation, surely? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Are there new developments?[edit]

A quick check reveals no new publications by Philippa Uwins related to nanobes for at least the last four years, and I cannot find much useful information in this article either. The last I heard was that the DNA traces found in the nanobes are similar to bacterial DNA and could be contamination. Are there any recent developments or agreements on what this is, or is the field dead. If someone has new information I'd appreciate an update of the main article.

A completely unrelated thought: in a way this has similarities to the ideas of Cairns-Smith on the origin of life, according to which evolution got started in competing clay crystals which used amino acids as a structure templates, but that these amino acids took over and got rid of the crystal scaffolding as they got better at replicating. The suggested properties of nanobes with organic parts (including DNA-like matter) in clay materials seems similar. Has this been proposed in any published article.

The last I heard was that a plastic eating bacteria had contaminated supposed samples (leading to interest in the bacteria discovered, incidentally). A symposium on the topic settled on the argument that the proposed Nanobe would be too small to include DNA, RNA or any kind of information complex enough to define life. Regardless of phosphorus or other elements, carbon based information needs to be able to replicate itself, which Nanobes appear to be much too small to do.

New Developments[edit]

No news that I've heard. Having just re-read the paper for the first time in several years, and being a geologist working in the oil industry (which Phillipa never was - I knew her in her PhD time at Aberdeen), the prospects that I perceive for the 'nanobes' described being a contaminant in the rock samples is very high. My suspicion is that Phillipa et al have realised this and moved onto their next project. Crucially, though they describe that they had samples from several wells and across a 1700m (vertical, implied) depth range and temperature ranges of 117 to 170°C (bottom-hole stabilised temperature, implied), they describe NO differences in the behaviour of 'nanobes' from the different samples. That's a pretty major difference in implied environment, for no observed differences in behaviour. (That the paper cites sample depths as being below sea bed is an indicator of the author's unfamiliarity with oilfield work. You cite either measured depth, or true vertical depth sub-sea, but not an unqualified depth below seabed. But I see that mistake made every week by people in the industry.)

Full disclosure - I remember Phillipa from when I was a BSc student and she was doing her PhD. I'd really like this report to have been good science ; unfortunately the team seem to have spent their time on the microscopy and biochemical assaying, and not looked at their sampling protocol. That's not good. Looks like a surface-living contaminant to me. A weird bug for sure.

A Karley (talk) 05:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I've looked for new developments several times over the years and been disappointed. Reluctantly, I now classify nanobes tentatively as pseudoscience because of the lack of follow-up and confirmation by other labs. This would be so exciting to theories of abiogenesis that I would expect solid confirmation by further sampling and analysis, which they've had twelve years to do. As far as I know, they haven't looked at another drill core or even disclosed where they found the samples. Science by press release or website puts this in the same class as cold fusion. Monado (talk) 15:18, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Conflicting information[edit]

The third paragraph in the article says that nanobes are 20nm in diameter, while the third point under 'Claims' says that they are 20nm in length. From the provided photos, it is clear that those can't both be true. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Current investigation into nanobes reveals that they are abiotic[edit]

Mabye this article should review and take into account new evidence not supporting nanobes as living, please see physorg article or references below:

Referenced in Article 
Martel, Jan, and Ding-E Young, John. 
“Purported nanobacteria in human blood as calcium carbonate nanoparticles.” 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. April 8, 2008. vol. 105, no. 14, 5549-5554. (talk) 01:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

FYI: The article also mentions that they also are called nanobes (talk) 01:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Life question vs prevalence and behavior[edit]

I'm not sure why this article focuses so much on the "life or not" question. I would like to know how prevalent nanobes are (say, in my immediate environment, or on or in my body) and what their behavior consists of (growth rate, favored substrates, effects on air/water/minerals). What advance in scientific instrumentation led to their observation? Same tools as have allowed the pursuit of nanotech? I cannot find any information on this. My sense is they are more common than microbial life, coating the world around us and being present in tissues of biotic organisms. Anyone know?

Big A (talk) 04:01, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Their observation depends on electron microscopy. Since there is no knowledge of their genomes, or if they even have genomes, we can't detect them using methods like PCR. As to how common they are, if they are just peculiar forms of crystals, then they will be as common as the rocks that produce them. Tim Vickers (talk) 19:06, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
They are interesting. But until the "life" question is solved, if ever, they are just peculiar curiosities. Student7 (talk) 21:55, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

improper link[edit]

I find the * Color photo of a nanobe colony link in the links section at least improper. It has someone's face (probably the hoaxer's) imposed in the background, an artificial colouring and lens-flare. If you have to see something by electron scanning microscope, it does not have colours. As far as I know of course. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Chemical composition?[edit]

I am not previously familiar with the subject, but I do not feel nanobes are well described here. The text calls them "filaments," and the illustrations show something that looks like electron microscopy. But of what substance? Are they inorganic silicates, or nucleic acids, proteins, or sugars? Are they structures containing several of these elements? Surely there's been some chemical analysis? Thanks. (talk) 19:00, 14 January 2012 (UTC) Agreed.