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Searching for signs of Martian life in the United Kingdom

16 May 2018, 15:23 UTC
Searching for signs of Martian life in the United Kingdom
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Acidic stream in Dungy Head, Lulworth Cove, on the eastern end of St Oswald’s Bay, UK. Credit: Imperial College London.
Scientists of the Imperial College London have taken to the coast of Dorset, United Kingdom as a way of studying organic matter that we might find on Mars. This stream on the UK coast is teeming with organic matter that could have been around on Mars earlier on in its life, which could also help find traces of life on Mars.
Along Dorset’s acidic streams Imperial College London scientists have found traces of fatty acids, which are key building-block materials of biological cells. Due to the very intriguing similarity of the acidic streams in Dorset and on Mars, there could be hints for life that could have once been lingering on the Martian surface.
From what we’ve learnt about these streams, and applying it to the Red Planet, the scientists have claimed there could be nearly 12,000 Olympic-sized pools of organic matter left on Mars that could represent traces of ancient life. What we do know is that Dorset has many highly acidic sulphur streams that contain bacteria that thrive in these extreme conditions. A notable region is St Oswald’s ...

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