Curiosity might prove we've already found life on Mars

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PostThu Aug 09, 2012 9:12 am » by One-23


Curiosity might prove we've already found life on Mars

08 August 2012 by Michael Brooks

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GILBERT LEVIN aims to appropriate the Mars Science Laboratory for his own ends. "Since NASA has disdained any interest in MSL looking for life, I'm taking over," he says. "I claim it."

He is only half joking. If MSL's rover Curiosity finds carbon-based molecules in the Martian soil, Levin - who led the "labelled release" experiment on NASA's 1976 Viking mission - will demand that his refuted discovery of life on Mars is reinstated.

Levin, a former sanitary engineer, will make this call next week at the annual SPIE convention on scientific applications of light sources in San Diego, California. He wants an independent reanalysis of the data. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... r-all.html

The experiment mixed Martian soil with a nutrient containing radioactive carbon. The idea was simple: if bacteria were present in the soil, and metabolised the nutrient, they would emit some of the digested molecules as carbon dioxide. The experiment did indeed find that carbon dioxide was released from the soil, and that it contained radioactive carbon atoms.

Levin's team went out and bought champagne. He even took a congratulatory phone call from Carl Sagan. However, the party was ruined by a sister experiment. Viking's Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) was looking for carbon-based molecules and found none. NASA chiefs said that life couldn't exist without these organic molecules, and declared Levin's result moot. "NASA powers that be concluded that the lack of organics trumped the positive labelled release experiment," says Robert Hazen, a geophysical scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC.

Since then, some of the GCMS team have admitted that their experiment was not sensitive enough to detect organic molecules even in terrestrial soils known to contain microbes.

Source http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... -mars.html
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PostThu Aug 09, 2012 8:46 pm » by Seahawk


Levin's team went out and bought champagne. He even took a congratulatory phone call from Carl Sagan. However, the party was ruined by a sister experiment. Viking's Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) was looking for carbon-based molecules and found none. NASA chiefs said that life couldn't exist without these organic molecules, and declared Levin's result moot. "NASA powers that be concluded that the lack of organics trumped the positive labelled release experiment," says Robert Hazen, a geophysical scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC.

Since then, some of the GCMS team have admitted that their experiment was not sensitive enough to detect organic molecules even in terrestrial soils known to contain microbes.


So, do you know if anything came of it, since the admission, or did they just totally scrap his findings?

Rather simplistic, but kind of reminds me of the fckn little kid that takes a toy away from another and says "You can't play with that, that's MY toy." and then smashes it onto the pile of his other toys- rendering it useless. Fckrs.


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PostFri Aug 10, 2012 1:40 am » by Harbin


No life on Mars.
No rover on Mars.



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