Navigation Links
Life on Mars 'pregnancy test' successfully launched

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
Carnegie Institution

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:
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell ... will allow them to produce up to one ... one lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent ... laboriously preparing cells and spend more time doing ... through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... YORK , June 22, 2016  According ... growing next generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant ... of smaller sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, ... to growing demand for consumables including sample prep ... The Market for Sample Preparation for Next Generation ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):