Can Ebola Teach Scientists How to Handle Alien Bacteria

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Measures taken in the current Ebola outbreak may hold some clues for how to handle samples brought back to Earth from Mars, a place that could potentially host extraterrestrial microbes.

The 1971 sci-fi film "The Andromeda Strain" dramatized the idea of alien organisms infecting the Earth. Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, the film depicts the spread of an alien germ brought back to Earth by a satellite. An elite team of specialists responds, relying on protective hazmat suits, decontamination and disinfection safety levels, and a secret, high-tech underground facility named Wildfire to study and deal with the deadly extraterrestrial organism.

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