Fossils in Mars meteorite? New and better evidence


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Michael Watson
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Message 1481662 - Posted: 25 Feb 2014, 20:51:06 UTC
Last modified: 25 Feb 2014, 20:52:33 UTC

It appears much more likely than it once did, that a meteorite from Mars contains the fossilized signs of past life on the red planet. A paper on apparent fossils in the Yamato 000593 meteorite has been vetted for nearly three years, and just now published. Tube and sphere shaped objects were seen in microscope images of the meteorite. The researchers went to considerable trouble to make the case that these were likely signs of life, rather than just the workings of geology and mineralogy. It appears that if such structures were found in ordinary Earth rocks, that they would be classified as fossils, with little delay. A link to the new paper:
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ast.2011.0733

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Message 1481698 - Posted: 25 Feb 2014, 21:44:48 UTC
Last modified: 25 Feb 2014, 21:47:09 UTC

I have believed since the initial announcement that what was found in that meteorite is the fossilized remains of a life form. I also think it is highly probable that maybe a few meters down this kind of life is still active on or in Mars. And man do I hate reading technical reports. They are almost as bad as the warning labels on most new medicines.
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Michael Watson
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Message 1481716 - Posted: 25 Feb 2014, 23:02:26 UTC

Yes, the typical scientific paper, and this one is no exception, is written in a rather dense, dry, passive style. I have been looking for good articles on this discovery, of a sort intended for the public. So far there seem to be none. One can tease out good, brief talking points from these sorts of papers though, given sufficient patience.
For example, the microscopic tubular structures they found undulate like the course of a river. This resembles structures in Earth rocks caused by living things. Both these tubes, and the minute spheres that were found have more carbon in them, than the surrounding rock does. This also seems to be indicative of once-living things.
We know that bacteria come in three main shapes, spiral, tubular, and spherical. Interesting that these supposed fossils assume two of these three forms.

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Message 1481740 - Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 0:03:05 UTC
Last modified: 26 Feb 2014, 0:06:53 UTC

A article written for the general public, covering the main points of the new scientific paper on the Yamato meteorite, has finally appeared. It can be read at the other end of this link

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/tiny-blobs-tunnels-meteorite-revive-debate-over-life-mars-n38431

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Message 1481914 - Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 14:53:44 UTC
Last modified: 26 Feb 2014, 14:54:29 UTC

A new article on the Yamato meteorite 'possible fossils' is linked below. It now appears that the undulating tubes in the microscope images may be channels in once-organic material eaten away by microorganisms on Mars.
Further analyses of the carbon enriched areas of the meteorite are planned. The researchers will presumably look for a strong predominance of the lighter carbon isotopes, which could point to life processes. It has been realized for some time that living things make greater use of the lighter carbon isotopes, in preference to the heavier ones.
http://www.space.com/24816-mars-life-meteorite-debate.html

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Message 1483339 - Posted: 1 Mar 2014, 19:36:52 UTC
Last modified: 1 Mar 2014, 19:43:37 UTC

Scientific American weighs in on the topic of the Yamato meteorite, and the suspected fossils therein. The point is made that the observed tunnels are not of the same shape as those derived from water infiltration of the rock, the other reasonable explanation for them, but do strongly resemble bacteria made tunnels already known on Earth.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/2014/2/28/rock-eating-martian-microbes/[/i]

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Message 1484386 - Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 12:23:12 UTC

Evidence of Water in Meteorite Reopens Debate on Ancient Martian Life

Nearly twenty years ago, a group of scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center published their findings that the the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite showed indications of ancient biogenic material; the paper caused quite a debate among the scientific community. The controversy has been opened once again, as a new analysis of the Yamato 000593 (Y000593) meteorite has revealed previously unknown features that might have been caused by ancient Martian life.

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Message 1484410 - Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 15:16:05 UTC - in response to Message 1484386.
Last modified: 4 Mar 2014, 15:17:20 UTC

This is exciting, but we should want incontrovertible evidence of past or present life on Mars. I would love to see them dig down and find some fossilized ferns or the like.

It is virtually a certainty that water once flowed on Mars and therefore one would expect some form of life (even if primitive plant life or bacteria) to have developed there as well.

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Message 1484461 - Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 17:01:04 UTC

If it is proved beyond doubt that there is a biosphere active on or in Mars will that cause a change in plans for the future development of a human community on the red planet?

I know we aren't dealing with anything that has potential for evolving to our level but will we take up the Star Trek ban on superimposing our biosphere on that of another world?
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Message 1484498 - Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 21:08:49 UTC

We all know there's no future for humans on Mars, just briefly when the sun becomes a red giant but not long enough for any life to evolve but it's quite exciting to discover there maybe was 'life' on Mars, biologically spoken I mean.
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Message 1484575 - Posted: 4 Mar 2014, 22:28:19 UTC - in response to Message 1484498.

We all know there's no future for humans on Mars, just briefly when the sun becomes a red giant but not long enough for any life to evolve but it's quite exciting to discover there maybe was 'life' on Mars, biologically spoken I mean.

No future meaning no evolution or no future meaning none of us will ever make Mars our home?
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Message 1484630 - Posted: 5 Mar 2014, 1:37:02 UTC - in response to Message 1484575.
Last modified: 5 Mar 2014, 1:37:43 UTC

We all know there's no future for humans on Mars, just briefly when the sun becomes a red giant but not long enough for any life to evolve but it's quite exciting to discover there maybe was 'life' on Mars, biologically spoken I mean.

No future meaning no evolution or no future meaning none of us will ever make Mars our home?


I'd miss the earth I think - some days anyway. Now if there were no mondays... SERIOUSLY NOW. It's seen as more of a stop gap isn't it? In case we can't find a way to plonk ourselves somewhere else entirely.

I suppose we'd have to hope - if there were other ready-to-move-into inhabitable planets elsewhere in the universe - that there were no other carbon based life forms requiring it.

Thanks for broadening my knowledge everyone! :)
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Message 1488022 - Posted: 12 Mar 2014, 21:18:34 UTC - in response to Message 1484461.

I know we aren't dealing with anything that has potential for evolving to our level but will we take up the Star Trek ban on superimposing our biosphere on that of another world?

The "prime directive" on Star Trek stated; "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations."; that's why we can't find ET.

As for cross contamination that is already being prevented. Galileo was intentionally crashed into Jupiter to avoid it possibly contacting a moon and contaminating it.
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Message 1488282 - Posted: 13 Mar 2014, 11:00:21 UTC - in response to Message 1484575.

We all know there's no future for humans on Mars, just briefly when the sun becomes a red giant but not long enough for any life to evolve but it's quite exciting to discover there maybe was 'life' on Mars, biologically spoken I mean.

No future meaning no evolution or no future meaning none of us will ever make Mars our home?



Both actually imo
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Message 1488336 - Posted: 13 Mar 2014, 13:58:02 UTC - in response to Message 1488022.

I know we aren't dealing with anything that has potential for evolving to our level but will we take up the Star Trek ban on superimposing our biosphere on that of another world?

The "prime directive" on Star Trek stated; "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations."; that's why we can't find ET.

As for cross contamination that is already being prevented. Galileo was intentionally crashed into Jupiter to avoid it possibly contacting a moon and contaminating it.

That was just one spacecraft. There are several landers sitting on or roaming around on Mars, and even though they took "precautions" there is go guarantee that none of them were contaminated with earth microbes.
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