Navigation Links
Relic of life in that Martian meteorite? A fresh look

Since the mid-1990s a great debate has raged over whether organic compounds and tiny globules of carbonate minerals imbedded in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001 were processed by living creatures from the Red Planet.

The materials have been under intense scrutiny ever since. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues,1 have taken a fresh look at how material associated with carbonate globules was created using sophisticated instrumentation and they compared the results to analogous globules from a volcanic complex on Svalbard, an island north of Norway. It does not appear that living organisms were at work. The research is presented at NASA's Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2006 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. March 26-30. See http://abscicon2006.arc.nasa.gov/ for details.

To some, the tiny carbonate globules from the meteorite seem to resemble minerals that arise from microbial activity on Earth. The team focused on whether macromolecular carbon (MMC) in and around the globules was processed organically or not--an unresolved issue. The team had a complete depth profile of the meteorite. Lead author Andrew Steele explained, "By using micro-Raman spectroscopy and a scanning electron microscope we could detect both the structure of the minerals and the forms of carbon present. We did a similar analysis on carbonate globules from Earth in terrain analogous to Mars--the Bockjord Volcanic Complex on Svalbard--for comparison."

The researchers found that the macromolecular carbon is always associated with the mineral magnetite. This association is important because magnetite is known to act as a catalyst in the formation of MMC. Macromolecular carbon present within the carbonate globules in ALH84001 may represent the first evidence of non-biological synthesis of organic molecules on Mars.

"Although we haven't settled the debate on whether evidence of life is contained in Allan Hills, we have shown that these carbon complexes likely formed by non-biological processing on Mars," concluded Steele.


'"/>

Source:Carnegie Institution


Related biology news :

1. Dig deeper to find Martian life
2. Aloe vera coating may prolong freshness, safety of fruits and vegetables
3. New research puts a fresh spin on current thinking of speech evolution in humans
4. Chemical in many air fresheners may reduce lung function
5. Many cleaners, air fresheners may pose health risks when used indoors
6. Ghost protein leaves fresh tracks in the cell
7. Pharmaceutical compounds found in nations fresh water
8. LSD treatment for alcoholism gets new look
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the ... Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... growth in each of the following categories: net square feet ... of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... The Conference Forum has announced that the ... will take place on February 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York ... program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which addresses the most up-to-date information regarding business ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Technologies Consortiumâ„¢ (ETC), a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to ... is seeking companies interested in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market ... a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to ... laboratories segment accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, ... , ... immunohistochemistry (IHC) market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced the appointment ... of Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman will oversee ... company,s proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite empowers molecular ... sequencing data and clinical decision support, from quality control through ... , , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: