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View Full Version : Microscopic Tunnels Carved by Martian Microbes?



Fraser
2006-Mar-25, 05:15 AM
SUMMARY: Bacteria seem to live anywhere there's water. One class of bacteria are known to burrow through igneous rock feeding on iron and other chemicals, and leaving a tiny tunnel behind them. Now researchers have found similar tunnels in a meteorite believed to have originated on Mars called the Nakhla meteorite. This adds additional data to the mounting evidence that Mars was wet in the distant past, and gives the tantalizing possibility that it was inhabited with life.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/micro_tunnels_microbes.html)
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Fr. Wayne
2006-Mar-25, 03:46 PM
"There are two possible explanations," he added. "One is that there is an abiotic way to create those tunnels in rock on Earth, and we just haven't found it yet. The second possibility is that the tunnels on Martian rocks are indeed biological in nature, but the conditions are such on Mars that the DNA was not preserved."
Glad this scientist entertains both theories as worthy of pursuit. Abiotics need a boost. Personally, I am partial to the properties of water which seems to penetrate all known elements and compounds with a never-ending propensity to adjust to all known conditions and defy all known limits.

bernardz
2006-Mar-27, 11:25 PM
I have to admit being quite dubious about the whole theory. It appears to me that if life existed on Mars so long ago, we would have seen some clear signs by now.

trinitree88
2006-Mar-28, 12:10 AM
I have to admit being quite dubious about the whole theory. It appears to me that if life existed on Mars so long ago, we would have seen some clear signs by now.


The clarity with which we see life is a little tricky. I seem to recall a Science News article about seawater....that nice refreshing fun-to-run-in-on-a-sunny-day stuff. There's about a million viruses per liter of the stuff...and almost all of them are of unknown function...right under our noses.

It would be easy for microscopic life to exist on Mars, with the preponderance of evidence for ancient seas there. Proving it from a surface rover might not happen soon, but in time I'd lay odds on it now. I'll wager even up, dinner at a five star restaurant, we'll find life there within the decade.:dance: Pete.

hansb
2006-Apr-02, 03:41 PM
"There are two possible explanations," he added. "One is that there is an abiotic way to create those tunnels in rock on Earth, and we just haven't found it yet. The second possibility is that the tunnels on Martian rocks are indeed biological in nature, but the conditions are such on Mars that the DNA was not preserved."

I miss a third: life based on something else than DNA. Or is it already proven that life must be DNA-based?

At least it makes it likely that the rock was not contaminated by earth based life.

Hans Bausewein