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Sensitive laser instrument could aid search for life on Mars
Date:10/15/2008

wider the variety of minerals we test, the larger the suite we can target on Mars," says collaborator Nancy Hinman, a geochemist at the University of Montana-Missoula.

The team's next step is to improve the laser on its machine. Right now, the instrument is ionizing only about 10 percent of the available biomolecules in the sample. If the remaining biomolecules could be ionized with a better laser, Scott says, the detection level could increase tenfold.


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Contact: Roberta Kwok
Roberta.Kwok@inl.gov
208-526-2941
DOE/Idaho National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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