Life Discovered on Mars–36 Years Ago

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This is just one more example of why you should never throw away your data, and that old data is frequently worth a second look (from msnbc):

New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.

Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.

"The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope — watch the bacteria move," Miller said.

"On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," he added.

Miller's confidence stems in part from a new study that reanalyzed results from a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA's Viking Mars robots in 1976.

Researchers crunched raw data collected during runs of the Labeled Release experiment, which looked for signs of microbial metabolism in soil samples scooped up and processed by the two Viking landers. General consensus of scientists has been that the experiment found geological, not biological, activity.

The research is published online in the International Journal of Aeronautical and Space Sciences.


Viking Lander on Mars. NASA Photo.

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One Response to Life Discovered on Mars–36 Years Ago

  1. This is only the latest salvo in the decades old controversy over the Viking data. If the paper really announced new and persuasive evidence for the discovery of life on Mars, it would have been accepted and published by Science, Nature or another of the major journals and be splashed all over the news. Is there an amateur science connection here? Can we have acces to the data?

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