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In 1996 Nasa and the White House made the explosive announcement that the rock contained traces of Martian bugs.
Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike.
However, the excitement did not last long. Other scientists questioned whether the meteorite samples were contaminated. They also argued that heat generated when the rock was blasted into space may have created mineral structures that could be mistaken for microfossils.
The new study was conducted using advanced high resolution electron microscope techniques which were not avail
Although not a smoking gun, the new findings considerably strengthened the Mars life arguments that have been hotly and passionately debated for a decade, given that the discovery of life on Mars is the Holy Grail of science.