Navigation Links
Life on Mars 'pregnancy test' successfully launched
Date:9/22/2007

Washington DC*-- Key components of a new approach to discover life on Mars were successfully launched into space Friday as part of a twelve-day, low-Earth orbit experiment to assess their survivability in the space radiation environmenta prelude future journeys to Mars.

The new approach is based on technology similar to that used in pregnancy test kits. The so-called immunoassays are embodied in the Life Marker Chip (LMC) experiment, which has the potential to detect trace levels of biomarkers in the Martian environment. Biomarkers are molecular fingerprints that indicate if life currently is, or ever was, present on Mars. The LMC experiment has been proposed for the European Space Agencys ExoMars rover mission, which is planned for launch in 2013. The LMC experiment is in the development phase and is led by an international consortium with researchers including Andrew Steele, a staff member of Carnegies Geophysical Laboratory in the United States, and scientists from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Germany.

For the current mission, the consortium developed a tiny component, measuring only 1.5 inches x 1.6 inches x .5 inch ( 3.8 cm x 4.1 cm x 1.3 cm) and housing over 2000 samples, to test that the key molecular components to be used in the LMC technology can survive the rigors of space.

The experiment was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as part of the European Space Agencys BIOPAN-6 experiment platform. The LMC components will experience both weightlessness and the harsh space radiation environment while orbiting the Earth 180 times at an altitude of up to 190 miles (308 km) during the 11.8 day mission.

The BIOPAN-6 platform is mounted on the outside of an un-manned Russian FOTON spacecraft. Once in space the BIOPAN-6 platform will open to expose its contents directly to the space environment, testing both their resistance to space radiation and the space vacuum, before closing and returning to Earth on September 25th. The LMC components will then be taken back to laboratories in the United Kingdom and the United States to analyze the effect of the space flight.

The lead members of the consortium involved in the current mission are Deutsches Zentrum fr Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) (Germany), Cranfield University (UK), Carnegie Institution of Washington (USA) and University of Leicester (UK).

Dr. Andrew Steele from the Carnegie Institution of Washington (USA) and one of the initial experiment proposers said, in the USA we are currently flying related technology and components within the protected environment of the International Space Station (ISS) but this will be the first time that these types of materials will have flown unprotected in space in a manner similar to a flight to Mars.

Dr. Lutz Richter of DLR (Germany) and the principal investigator for the current experiment said, This experiment is the culmination of a number of years of hard work and ground based tests to prove the viability of the LMC technology.

Dr. David Cullen, from Cranfield University (UK) and who leads the scientific input into the current experiment, said, ?this will be our first space experiment to demonstrate our belief that immunoassay technology will have an important future role in space exploration and the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System.

Dr. Mark Sims from the University of Leicester (UK) and who heads the overall LMC project said, this mission will be an important stepping stone in our ultimate goal of putting a LMC experiment on the surface of Mars and using it to search for evidence of Life.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Steele
a.steele@gl.ciw.edu
202-478-8974
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Reliable Assessment of Micronuclei for Genotoxicity Testing in Mice or Rats
2. Restriction Endonucleases Undergo Rigorous QC Testing to Ensure Optimal Performance
3. Sequence-Validated and Expression-Tested Human cDNA in a Dual Expression Vector
4. PatchMan - Test Report
5. Rapid hit confirmation and early hERG liability testing using the IonWorks HT system
6. Test More siRNAs for Less
7. The Fastest, Simplest, and Most Effective Way to Remove DNA Contamination
8. A Multiple Mutation Model System as a Test Development and Training Tool for Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis
9. Preparative SDS-PAGE Electrophoresis of a Recombinant Epstein-Barr Virus Encoded Protein and Its Application in Serodiagnostic Test Systems, Rev C
10. Bio-Plex Cytokine Immunoassays and ELISA: Comparison of Two Methodologies in Testing Samples From Asthmatic and Healthy Children, Rev A
11. Protein Truncation Tests Using the DCode System
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This ... introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016   Acuant , the ... solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce ... add functional enhancements to existing physical access ... venues with an automated ID verification and ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced ... new role of principal product architect and that ... director of customer development. Both will report directly ... officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in ... to high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):