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Fraser
2005-Oct-05, 07:36 PM
SUMMARY: Members of the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) are working on devices that could detect life on the surface of Mars. But first, they're testing their equipment and methods here on Earth. The team analyzed samples of ice inside blue ice vents in a frozen volcano in Norway, and detected living and fossilized microbiota. Ecosystems of bacteria like this could live huddled around areas of relative warmth on the surface of Mars, and future rovers could detect them.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/test_microbe_detector.html)
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GBendt
2005-Oct-08, 01:38 PM
Hello,

It is useful to have an equipment that allows to detect life at places where nobody would easily expect to find life. This equipment has proven to function properly on earth.

But if life exists on mars, we do not know what this life feeds on, and how its biochemistry works. Such, the life detecting sensors that work fine with an earth life environment may fail to do so on mars. Life on mars may be too "strange" for what we may expect to find, and so we may fail to take the necessary provisions.

And even if we find life on mars, it will be difficult to prove that this really is "martian "and was not imported somehow from earth by the equipment brought to detect it. There may be some rows arising from that.

On earth, there are many forms of life. We are aware of the existence of animals, plants, fungi and bacteriae. But there is a further group of life forms which may outnumber all these by far, and of which many people, even scientists, are not aware.
Its the archeae. They are abundant, but compared to the other life forms, very little is known about them, because they are much smaller than even bacteriae, and develop much slower. We are just starting to learn about them. I wonder whether the new life detecting equipment is able to detect those archeae. Perhaps, martian life forms might be like them.

Regards,

GŁnther