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Organic Molecules Found on Mars Could Have a Biological Origin, Study Shows

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posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 07:38 AM
Curiosity rover discovered the Organic Molecules in dried-up Martian mud while exploring Gale Crater back in 2018 but now a team from Washington State University have been examining the data and think it's possible that the Molecules could be a sign of past life on Mars.

The molecules were actually extracted by the Curiosity rover from a mudstone section of the Gale Crater called the Murray Formation; a study on the finding was published in 2018. The initial experiments revealed a number of molecules, including a group of aromatic compounds called thiophenes.

Here on Earth, these compounds are usually found in some pretty interesting places. They show up in crude oil - made of compressed and superheated dead organisms such as zooplankton and algae; and coal - made of compressed and superheated dead plants.

The compound is thought to form abiotically - that is, through a physical process, not a biological one - when sulphur reacts with organic hydrocarbons at temperatures greater than 120 degrees Celsius (248°F), a reaction called thermochemical sulphate reduction (TSR).

However, while this reaction is abiotic, the hydrocarbons and sulphur can both be of biological origin. So, researchers set out to investigate how thiophenes could have formed on Mars.

So the Molecules could either have a Geological or biological origin but the scientists have found clues that they could indeed be biological in nature.

But there's something interesting about the Martian thiophenes. The processes described above require the sulphur to be nucleophilic, that is, the sulphur atoms donate electrons to form a bond with their reaction partner. Yet most of the sulphur on Mars exists as non-nucleophilic sulphates.

"We identified several biological pathways for thiophenes that seem more likely than chemical ones, but we still need proof," said astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University.

"If you find thiophenes on Earth, then you would think they are biological, but on Mars, of course, the bar to prove that has to be quite a bit higher."

Of course this is in no way evidence that life existed on Mars but as someone who believes it did and to an extent still does this news is an interesting indication that as we send more and better science laboratories to the planet we are closing in on the realisation that Mars was once inhabited by simple life forms and perhaps some slightly more complex ones that could still exist to this day.

It could just be pond slime Jim but that should make us happy.

The question whether organic compounds occur on Mars remained unanswered for decades. However, the recent discovery of various classes of organic matter in martian sediments by the Curiosity rover seems to strongly suggest that indigenous organic compounds exist on Mars.

One intriguing group of detected organic compounds were thiophenes, which typically occur on Earth in kerogen, coal, and crude oil as well as in stromatolites and microfossils. Here we provide a brief synopsis of conceivable pathways for the generation and degradation of thiophenes on Mars.

We show that the origin of thiophene derivatives can either be biotic or abiotic, for example, through sulfur incorporation in organic matter during early diagenesis. The potential of thiophenes to represent martian biomarkers is discussed as well as a correlation between abundancies of thiophenes and sulfate-bearing minerals.

Finally, this study provides suggestions for future investigations on Mars and in Earth-based laboratories to answer the question whether the martian thiophenes are of biological origin.

edit on 7-3-2020 by gortex because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 08:26 AM
Excellent find, Gortex. I too am of the belief that that life once existed on Mars. I even believe that there's life there now.

I've seen pictures from the rover footage that looks like scattered debris fields. I think they wiped themselves out through war whereas only a few survivors remain.
edit on 7-3-2020 by lostbook because: paragraph edit

edit on 7-3-2020 by lostbook because: paragraph edit

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 08:27 AM
a reply to: gortex

Thanks for posting, gortex. I came across that story yesterday on some other channel and thought to myself: more and more finds are pointing to life having existed on Mars. Personally, I'm confident we will discover final proof for past and possibly extant life on Mars soon.

Let's just hope that both upcoming rovers, Perseverance and Rosalind Franklin, make it to the surface without any complications. They should have instruments on board that could answer that question once and for all.

edit on 7-3-2020 by jeep3r because: text

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 10:04 AM
Given what we're told by the scientists involved, a biological explanation appears to be likelier than a non-biological one. These results are evidence of the possibility of ancient life on Mars. Not conclusive evidence, of course, but still, what looks like fairly strong hints of life.

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 10:10 AM
Another funding grab ... There has never been life on mars. There has never been any real evidence to prove it . The truth of the matter is everything pointed to life being there. which is why we've spent billions on mars missions. We've seen articles like this time and time again ... vague building blocks of life trying hard to make it real . But they all just collect dust and fade with time ....

I'll repeat. there has never been any life on mars we would've found something by now . Billions spent on a educated guess, ego keeps us digging more to justify it . Its getting sad to see the straws people will grab for just to paint a maybe picture....

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 10:44 AM
a reply to: seedofchucky

I'll repeat. there has never been any life on mars we would've found something by now

We found something 40 years ago.

In 1976, NASA's twin Viking landers touched down on Mars in an attempt to answer a weighty question: Is there life on the Red Planet?

Gilbert Levin was the principal investigator of the Vikings' Labeled Release (LR) life-detection experiment. The instrument got positive responses at both landing locales. However, scientists did not reach a consensus on whether his results were proof of life.

In 1997, Levin concluded that the experiment had, indeed, detected life on Mars — and he has championed that viewpoint ever since.

As time has passed our ideas about Mars have changed dramatically from what they were just a couple of decades ago and now the chances of past life and even existing life on Mars are looking more likely , to flat out say there is no life nor has there ever been life on Mars is pure folly given the mounting body of evidence for life.
edit on 7-3-2020 by gortex because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 12:32 PM
Thanks for posting this.

Let's me know that we still have work to do in order to expand the horizon of humanity.

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 01:09 PM

originally posted by: seedofchucky
I'll repeat. there has never been any life on mars we would've found something by now .

How can you bee so sure? If life on Mars was extinguished millions of years ago then the evidence for its existence is most likely covered by dust. The evidence that is not covered by dust is submitted to solar and cosmic radiation, so it may have been transformed into something different.

Billions spent on a educated guess, ego keeps us digging more to justify it . Its getting sad to see the straws people will grab for just to paint a maybe picture....

Most Mars missions went there to study the geology, not to look for signs of life.

And I don't think it's a question of guesses (educated or not), it's a question of knowledge. The more we know about other planets the more we understand how our own has evolved and will evolve in the future.

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 03:03 PM
How do we know what they found wasn't the CoronaVirus huh?
All this could well be, and almost assuredly is, from the VERY reliable reports I've seen, an alien biological attack based from Mars hurling CoronaVirus infused mud rocks at us.
Mother of God.
I'm off for more TP. BBL.

posted on Mar, 7 2020 @ 11:13 PM
a reply to: ArMaP "The possibility of life on Mars is a subject of significant interest in astrobiology due to its proximity and similarities to Earth. To date, no proof has been found of past or present life on Mars."

posted on Mar, 8 2020 @ 06:40 AM
a reply to: seedofchucky

True, but I don't understand why you posted that as an answer to my post.

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