Is life elsewhere?

Published: Friday 31 January 1997

A group from the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK has analysed the isotopic composition of samples from ALH84001, the original Martian meteorite and reported results that support claims of the existence of life on Mars. On the other hand, Jeffery Bada of the Scripps Institute of Oceanogrphy analysed the amino acids in bits of EETA79001, ejected from Mars some 600,000 years ago. He says that the sample matches those found on the Antarctic ice! Meaning the organic matter detected in the samples are contaminations from Antarctican ice. The jury is still to come up with an answer ( Science , Vol 274, No 5289).

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