Tags: mars | life

Report: Water in S. Africa May Hold Key to Life on Mars

Mars landscape
An illustration of the foreboding Martian landscape. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 27 December 2019 08:08 PM

Researchers believe they may have found living matter in pockets of water trapped in rock for billions of years in South Africa, fueling speculation they could be a key to some mysteries on Mars, Inside Science reported.

According to the science news outlet, two miles under a grassy plain in South Africa, the pockets of water may be chemically similar to water deposits on the Red Planet, and may have things living inside.

“There is a potential that [the pockets] were isolated over that long time scale. So this would be a unique opportunity to see life, essentially, evolving in a bubble,” Devan Nisson, a graduate student at Princeton University who conducted the research with colleagues, including Esta van Heerden from North-West University in South Africa, told the outlet.

The findings were presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

To dtermine whether the water contains living cells, Nisson and her colleagues plan to try to extract and sequence DNA, the outlet reported.

But even without DNA, the researchers can still get clues about whether life might be able to survive there.

And according to Inside Science, the findings of the researchers so far suggest life could survive in extreme environments such as deep under South Africa -- adding hope that it could survive on Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies as well.

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Researchers believe they may have found living matter in pockets of water trapped in rock for billions of years in South Africa, fueling speculation they could be a key to some mysteries on Mars, Inside Science reported. According to the science news outlet, two miles under...
mars, life
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2019-08-27
Friday, 27 December 2019 08:08 PM
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