Re: LOHAN contamination.
Other balloons? Rocket launches? For my money the microbes hitched a lift up to that altitude on the same flight as the sampling kit. Their shield may have prevented the sample drawer being contaminated directly by the balloon, but the balloon must have contaminated the atmosphere being sampled. Or the microbes were on the outside of the sampling box and shook loose at sample time. I can't see how this method could possibly produce an uncontaminated sample (Which unfortunately makes it likely their efforts will shortly be 'successfully' replicated.)