【火星上到底存不存在生命呢?NASA又有新证据】

【火星上到底存不存在生命呢?NASA又有新证据】近日,NASA好奇号探测器在硫酸钙矿脉中发现了火星上曾经存在过生命的另一个明确的指标——硼。硼酸盐在形成RNA核糖核酸)中起着巨大作用,它是促使简单的有机分子形成RNA的中介物。没有硼酸盐,生命将无法形成。研究人员称这显示远古时代的火星具备生命可能存在的条件。http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4855658/Breakthrough-hunt-life-Mars.html

Breakthrough in hunt for life on Mars as boron find adds to evidence life DID once exist on the red planet

  • Presence of boron is indicator chemical reactions needed for life occurred
  • Was discovered in calcium sulfate mineral veins, by Curiosity 
  • Show conditions from which life could have potentially grown may have existed on ancient Mars, independent from Earth

 

Researchers have discovered another clear indicator that life once existed on Mars.

NASA's Curiosity rover has found evidence of boron on the red planet's surface.

It is a key ingredient for life, and scientists say the find is a huge boost in the hunt for life.

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'Because borates may play an important role in making RNA—one of the building blocks of life—finding boron on Mars further opens the possibility that life could have once arisen on the planet,' said Patrick Gasda, a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author on the paper, said.

'Borates are one possible bridge from simple organic molecules to RNA. Without RNA, you have no life.

'The presence of boron tells us that, if organics were present on Mars, these chemical reactions could have occurred.'

The paper was published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The boron found on Mars was discovered in calcium sulfate mineral veins, by Curiosity, meaning the boron was present in Mars groundwater, and provides another indication that some of the groundwater in Gale Cater, where the rover currently is, was habitable, ranging between 0-60 degrees Celsius (32-140 degrees Fahrenheit) and with neutral-to-alkaline pH.

The boron was identified by the rover's laser-shooting ChemCam (Chemistry and Camera) instrument, which was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in conjunction with the French space agency.

'We detected borates in a crater on Mars that's 3.8 billion years old, younger than the likely formation of life on Earth,' said Gasda.

'Essentially, this tells us that the conditions from which life could have potentially grown may have existed on ancient Mars, independent from Earth.'

Curiosity is climbing a layered Martian mountain and finding chemical evidence of how ancient lakes and wet underground environments changed, billions of years ago, in ways that affected their potential favorability for microbial life.

As the rover has progressed uphill, compositions trend toward more clay and more boron.

These and other chemical variations can tell us about conditions under which sediments were initially deposited and about how later groundwater moving through the accumulated layers altered and transported dissolved elements, including boron.

原文链接:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4855658/Breakthrough-hunt-life-Mars.html#ixzz4rrfUszcx

 


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