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Microscopic Fuzz May Be Best Evidence of Martians

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posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 06:31 AM
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If Martian life existed a few billion years ago, scientists think any plant-like microbes would have left behind a stringy fuzz of fibers.

That's because here on Earth, researchers now say they have found such ancient fuzz, called cellulose, preserved in chunks of salt deposited more than 250 million years ago — making it the oldest biological substance yet recovered. The announcement comes about a week after a team of planetary scientists announced discovering evaporated salt deposits on Mars and adds another element of hope to the search for alien life or signs of its past biology.

In fact, microscopic cellulose fibers might be one of the best signatures of any past life on the red planet, said Jack Griffith, a microbiologist at the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"These fibers are the oldest native, intact remnants of a living thing ever directly observed," Griffith told SPACE.com. "It's extremely fortuitous timing, as we've just discovered salt deposits on Mars' surface."


Source

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[edit on 31-3-2008 by Jbird]




posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 02:23 PM
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Wow Enceladus, that's more Mod edits than I've seen for a long time.

Jbird really went to town with your opening post. Live and learn I guess.

But you did post an interesting topic.

I've always found it interesting that we expect life to be similar to what has risen on Earth. The source article speaks of cellulose as being a likely indicator of ancient life on mars because salt has been found on Mars and Earthly salt deposits have preserved cellulose in them.

Granted, salt deposits might be a good place to examine on Mars for potential residue of past life, but the same goes for the polar caps, the deep parts of the Great Rift, under the surface, and ancient volcanic vents. We could crack a rock almost anywhere on the planet and find evidence of fossilized microbial life.

If life did spawn independently on Mars and panspermia was not a factor it could be totally unique from our own. Who can say if glucose was available to form carbohydrates and leave traces of cellulose fibers ?

I'd like to see boots on the ground with biologists and geologists combing the surface for current or past life. I'd like to see a stream of humans making one way trips to the red planet backed up by a solid supply line from Earth to set up a permanent base of scientists. Colonists that intend to stay to properly study the world, and equipped with the tools needed to get a definitive answer.

I suspect we're in for some surprises when that happens, but it won't happen until humans move there. Robots can only do so much, and until people are on the surface public interest won't be high enough for the public to demand funding from their governments to really make it work.



posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
...
But you did post an interesting topic.
...


Agreed ad' , thus the quoting assist to keep this out of the bin.




Enceladus - You Have An Urgent U2U- Click Here.







[edit on 31-3-2008 by Jbird]

[edit on 31-3-2008 by Jbird]



posted on Mar, 31 2008 @ 09:09 PM
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As long as I'm here, thought I'd point out the interesting tie-in

which branches off from the original link.


Newly Found Martian Salt Deposits Suggest Ancient Life

Christensen, who co-authored a March 21st study in the journal Science detailing the findings, said the salt deposits are a clear sign of water's past presence, adding that they could be the most welcoming environment for life on Mars yet discovered...


Although there may be some challenges to the spectroscopy analysis.


He added that some of the oldest organisms ever discovered on Earth have been found locked away in salt crystals, and that there may be Martian life forms entombed in the new crumbly flats that are about 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters) thick.


Wonder if the Rovers are near any of these 'deposits'.



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