Following extensive lab work in the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka Four scientists in a paper said , "We report the discovery for the first time of fossilized diatoms in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell on 29 December 2012". Diatoms are a variety of algae. They very firmly said contamination, a hazard scientists face when examining things fallen from the sky on the ground is, excluded in the meteorite they have named Polonnaruwa. The leader of the team, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe from the Buckingham Center for Astrobiology in UK said "I think the discovery of an unequivocal microbial structure such as a diatom deeply trapped in the rock matrix proves beyond doubt that this life existed in the parent comet from which the meteorite was derived. The highly intricate and woven patterns on the outer shells of diatoms are impossible to generate by any other process than biology. This could ultimately turn out to be the most important scientific discovery in 500 years. The cosmic ancestry of humans becomes ever more securely established."
"People might try to say that what we found were terrestrial contaminants. Contamination after landing on Earth is ruled out absolutely because of the way the diatoms are woven between the rock matrix. In any case we found many diatom types that are not known to be present on the soil where the meteorite landed."
At the time of entry into the earth's atmosphere on 29 December 2012 the parent body of the Polonnaruwa meteorite would have had most of its interior porous volume filled with water, volatile organics and possibly viable living cells. The scientists said a remarkable coincidence was the red rain.
They said the red rain analyzed at the Medical Research Insitute in Colombo contained red biological cells that show spontaneous movement and the ability of reproducing. Abnormally high in arsenic and silver they are connected to a non territorial habitat , possibly connected with a cometary asteroidal body. The four scientists said the Polonnaruwa meteorite was a result of a fragmentation of such a body.
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe was born in Sri Lanka in 1939 and was educated at Royal College, Colombo and later at the University of Ceylon. In 1960 he obtained a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and won a Commonwealth scholarship to proceed to Trinity College Cambridge. He commenced work in Cambridge on his PhD degree under the supervision of the late Sir Fred Hoyle, and published his first scientific paper in 1961. He was awarded a PhD degree in Mathematics in 1963 and was elected a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge in the same year. In the following year he was appointed a Staff Member of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Here he began his pioneering work on the nature of Interstellar Dust, publishing many papers in this field that led to important paradigm shifts in astronomy.