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New Gadget May Reveal Your Martian Ancestry (interesting concept)

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posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 08:33 AM

It's possible that the family tree of all life on Earth has its roots on Mars — and a new device could put that theory to the test in a few years, researchers say.

Researchers are developing an instrument that would search through samples of Martian dirt, isolating any genetic material from microbes that might be present — bugs that are living or that died relatively recently, within the last million years or so. Scientists could then use standard biochemical techniques to analyze any resulting genetic sequences, comparing them to what we find on Earth

"It’s a long shot,” said MIT researcher Chris Carr, who's working on the life-detecting device, in a statement. "But if we go to Mars and find life that’s related to us, we could have originated on Mars. Or if it started here, it could have been transferred to Mars. Either way, Carr added, "we could be related to life on Mars. So we should at least be looking for life on Mars that’s related to us."

Ancient Martian life?

The idea that all Earth life could be descended from Martian organisms may not be fully mainstream — but it's not too crazy to dismiss, either. While the Martian surface appears to be cold, dry and lifeless today, there is plenty of evidence that the planet was much warmer and wetter in the distant past, billions of years ago. Here on Earth, life almost invariably occupies any niche that contains liquid water. So ancient Mars may have once supported some form of life — perhaps even before Earth did, researchers said.

If that's the case, these Mars microbes may have colonized Earth, zipping through interplanetary space aboard rocks blasted off the Martian surface by asteroid impacts. An estimated 1 billion tons of Martian rock have made this journey over the years, researchers said. And microbes are incredibly hardy, so it's possible that some bugs could have survived the asteroid impact and the trip through space to a new planet, they added. Orbital dynamics show that it's about 100 times easier for rocks to travel from Mars to Earth than the other way around, Carr said.

Digging through Martian dirt

The proposed instrument, being developed by researchers at MIT and Harvard, aims to do just that. The device — known as the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes, or SETG — would take a sample of Martian soil and process it to separate out any possible organisms, living or dead (within the last million years or so). While finding anything on the Martian surface might be a long shot, digging a little deeper could bear fruit; researchers have found evidence over the years that liquid water may lurk underground. Also, subterranean environments are more protected from the harmful ultraviolet radiation bombarding the Martian surface, making life more likely to survive underground.


Now how Freaking cool is this concept? Someone's thinking "outside the box". Way to go.

This is what I like about us Humans. The striving for knowledge of our beginnings/past.

If this somehow became useful/workable imagin the possibilities. Eventually the whole universe could be "DNA mapped out" and then you could find out exactly when you came from-literally.

Well, if anything, at least someone is trying.

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 09:03 AM
I`ve actually thought for years that humans originally came from Mars. I`ve had a theory that we used to live there, but the sun got hotter and we made the environment uninhabitable through all the same stuff we`re doing to this planet (destroying rainforests, nuclear waste, etc.) - so then we packed up our stuff and moved to Earth.

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 10:57 AM
reply to post by jhnsmth

I your theory, did they go or explore anywhere else?

Also, do you believe that all the different types of alients come from Mars exclusively?

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 11:57 AM
In an early solar system why is the small Martian planet always the one that people cite as having life before Earth? Things in the distant past of Mars may have the appearance of signs of life or the appearance of canals from liquid water flow but Mars is a failed planet because it has insufficient mass for an electromagnetic field and any liquid H2O to seep to it's surface would quickly vaporize into space. It has insufficient tug from the sun and it's insignificant moons to create sufficient tectonic warming of it's once hotter core so it rapidly cooled like our moon and largely solidified. Also, imagine the forces involved in creating that Valles Marineris on Mars, an extinction event if created from a huge skimming impact, or the planet nearly splitting as it lost it's once heat? We don't know.

Venus had more of a chance to ever have had life, but it's too hot which creates much havoc in its atmosphere.

posted on Mar, 25 2011 @ 05:49 AM
reply to post by anon72

My Thread is older than this thread i'm sorry but you hi-jacked my thread move to this thread please

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