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This Chip Can Sift Martian Soil For Alien DNA

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posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:05 PM
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This Chip Can Sift Martian Soil For Alien DNA


www.popsci.com

Someday, microfluidics chips like this one might suss out life on Mars. The chip, developed by Gary Ruvkun, a professor of genetics at Harvard University, would ride along on a soil-collecting rover and search for microscopic life within Martian dust.

It will use a combination of buffer solution, detergent and high-frequency sound waves to disrupt the cells, causing any minuscule Martians to release their genetic material. Chemicals in the chip would then amplify the DNA found and label it with fluorescent dyes.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Mod Edit: Breaking News Forum Submission Guidelines – Please Review This Link.



[edit on 20/4/2010 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:05 PM
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I love articles like these! About a year ago there was talk about using the chirality of light to look for ET, now with this we'd have something more hands on. I say we link this up with NASA's LOCAD-PTS, go to an asteroid and things could get interesting!

It'd also be neat to see the size difference between this small little chip:



As compared to the tech used in the Viking 1 mission. I imagine it would be like looking at an old DEC PDP mainframe as contrasted against modern day PCs.


www.popsci.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 21-4-2010 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Very interesting! The only problem I can see with it, is that they're assuming that life there uses DNA.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:55 PM
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question:

how do they know what Alien DNA looks like??
do they have a database to cross reference?



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by Clisen33
 


I say any silicate lifeforms aren't worth our time anyways.
Though in all seriousness this is why I think the chirality test is probably more valuable in the long haul.

It'll be interesting to see how quick they can get this thing deployed in to space!



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint
question:

how do they know what Alien DNA looks like??
do they have a database to cross reference?


I smell a new conspiracy theory in the works!
I have a feeling they just do a spectroscopic test to look for sugar phosphates common in nucleotides. Though who knows, it may do something a bit more fancy.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 11:11 PM
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reply to post by Clisen33
 


This brings to mind a REALLY old "B" sci-fi movie...they were on a planet (Mars?) and something was attacking them which they couldn't see...it was ony visible when it walked through an electric fence...it was organized, intelligent energy ...so our little chip would never have picked it up.

given the size of our universe and the endless possibilities....gives me a headache just thinking about all the possibilities.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 12:47 AM
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toss a Morgellons fiber in there for a first run batch!

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