Field of Science

Is Felisa Wolfe-Simon an Alien?

An anonymous source just sent me this very interesting document (they can be contacted at

“A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorous”
“This paper is silly” (Grace, 2011). We think Felisa is an alien (Fig. 1,pg 5) and this is why she has written such a flawed paper; because she is trying to hide the existence of her type by making scientists pick holes in her experimental design. Consequently these scientists will not believe her experiment , and therefore the existence of aliens will not be believed as there is only flawed evidence in favour of this possibility.
This is why the bacteria strain is called GFAJ-1; “Give Felisa a Job”, because Felisa is not human and would like a job in order to disguise her true identity and to be accepted in to the human race, like Clark Kent (Fig. 2, page 5). Additionally this job will enable her to gain the trust of humans in order to gain a better understanding of our planet.
This paper is clearly designed to distract NASA and other microbiologists from the search for alien communications on to simple arsenate-based life. This is to allow the complex alien species to invade earth. Furthermore, the lack of simple controls and correct washing techniques is to create conflict in the scientific community to further distract scientists from the reality of extra-terrestrial life. Of course, it is also quite possible that NASA funded this paper because they know of the impending alien invasion but want a place in the New World Order.


  1. I preferred your comments when they were more scientific in nature. This type of commenting from a grown adult, and a respected scientist, really gets me wondering what example you are setting to young scientists reading your posts. I enjoyed your fire when you objected to Dr. Wolfe-Simon's work in a educated context. It showed the power of educated dissent. I look forward to your scientific posts, but this type of crap is for high school students, and we have all sadly heard/witnessed how peer bullying can have unfortunate outcomes in every demographic. Even as a human being, shouldn't you treat others with a certain degree of respect. Maybe you skipped the week in kindergarden where they taught children how to play nice with others even if we disagree with them? Don't be that petty disgruntled scientist. I agree you are fighting up hill to a certain extent, but these types of posts don't help scientific communication or resolution. In fact this type of nonsense gives science a bad face. Again, looking forward to reading your scientific posts!

  2. I'm pretty sure this was meant as a joke....

  3. Thanks for explaining this was a joke, I'm sure everyone else took it seriously. This is the bully's favorite excuse. Stupid, mean jokes are still stupid and mean.

  4. Calling out bullies has become quite fashionable of late. And in a simplistic knee jerk way it seems appropriate. Further, I won't argue that some jokes cross some boundaries (though I suspect the exact location of said boundaries is rather fluid - one person's insult is cause for another's large grin).

    But our first Anonymous seems a bit inconsistent in first calling to set an example to young scientists and then insulting high school students as being the sort for whom this "crap" is appropriate. Perhaps I'm too old fashioned, but I consider high school students a great population of potntial 'young scientists'.

    As for respect - I generally reserve respect for those I encounter who I feel have earned it. I agree we should offer the benefit of the doubt to unknown new acquaintances... and we often bestow respect immediately to someone who others within our sphere suggest are worthy. But automatic respect seems inappropriate to me.

    Ridicule (pointed joking) can have real societal value as a disciplinary measure - perhaps more a deterent than as a directed punitive act. In a perfect world we would socialize our fellow workers to be absolutely without fault... perfect thinkers and communicators. Until we get to that point, ridicule (as ugly as some might paint it) is just another imperfect tool in an imperfect tool box.

    I actually thought the note might have been better posted last Friday. April Fools seems somehow more appropriate.

  5. Perhaps I should explain -- the essay is a spoof, submitted anonymously, from someone in my class of undergraduate students here at Massey University. The essay topic was to review the Wolfe-Simon paper, and to discuss the implications. And yes, the due date for the assignment was April 1!

  6. To confirm Wayne's note, I didn't write this. Wayne sent it to me, and because I though it funny I offered to post it.

    Dr. Wolfe-Simon probably has a thick enough skin to also find it funny.

  7. Anon #1: Relax, science ain't all that fucking serious, actually. And this young scientist reading Rosie's posts has been corrupted long ago already, she's a bit late to contribute much to that. Real bullying doesn't often come in the form of jokes, actually. Real bullying is a derogatory peer-reviewed response co-authored by 139 scientists entirely dismissing a critique for it challenges a mainstream idea. It's very formal and proper, and far from a joke, but far more disruptive and counter-productive to science than snarky humour. Chill the fuck out.

  8. Subtle troll trolls softly.

  9. Not funny, disappointing.

  10. Felisa Wolfe Simon was incorrect most likely in her original paper about GFAJ-1 substituting arsenic in its dna for phosphor, but some recent study from suggest that the organism has shockingly low levels of phosphor in its DNA possibly by using poor DNA purification she miss read the results. Any how her paper may be wrong but still opens up a new window.


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