Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life From Meteorites?

Two more stories this month added to evidence that life exists elsewhere, and may even have seeded life on Earth via meteorites. From National Geographic:

Life Ingredients Found in Superhot Meteorites—A First

NASA researchers have found traces of amino acids, the building blocks of life, in a meteorite that landed in Sudan during 2008. During its journey to Earth the meteorite was heated to 1100 degrees Celsius. If amino acids can survive such conditions, they may have journeyed here in the past. Instead of originating on Earth, the ingredients for life may have come from elsewhere.

Even Ordinary Microbes May Survive Radiation on Mars

From The P. cryohalolentis microbe, commonly found in permafrost and Antarctic ice, has been found able to repair DNA damage caused by cosmic rays, even in subzero temperatures. Extremes of cold and radiation are found near the surface of Mars. If a common microbe can survive such conditions, similar organisms might survive on Mars. They may even by cousins!


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