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The footprint of life on Mars may have been plain to see all along in the sulphurous minerals that litter the planet's surface. What's more, the next Mars lander should be able to detect the evidence.

No mission to Mars has ever found complex carbon-based molecules, from which life as we know it is built. But sulphur is everywhere on Mars - it is more abundant there than on Earth - and it could contain one of the signatures of life. On Earth, the activity of some microbes converts one class of sulphur-containing compounds, the sulphates, into another, the sulphides. The microbes prefer to work with the lighter sulphur-32 isotope, so the sulphides they produce are relatively deficient in the heavier isotope, sulphur-34. Planetary scientists have long wondered whether we could use this pattern to discern signs of life on Mars. Now the prospects for this technique look better than ever.

John Parnell of the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues found sulphides, apparently formed through microbial activity, permeating the rocks of Haughton crater in the Canadian Arctic (Geology, DOI: 10.1130/G30615.1). "It was amazing - it was everywhere," says Parnell, who pressed the case for investigating sulphur isotopes on Mars at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, last week.
Exciting stuff. If the only known way to get isotope imbalances like that is through biological processes, and the probe going to Mars in 2012 can detect imbalances three times smaller than what they found in the Earth crater, then I'm definitely keeping an eye on the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

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Let just send a canistor of microbes over to Mars and start terraforming it already!
 

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someone get a really big rocket, then fill it with algae and slam it into mars, wait a while and we have a new home woot!
 

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Originally Posted by JohnDProb View Post
someone get a really big rocket, then fill it with algae and slam it into mars, wait a while and we have a new home woot!
No need for a big rocket... microbes self multiply.


Something like an astrochicken: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrochicken
 

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Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Let just send a canistor of microbes over to Mars and start terraforming it already!

No point in terraforming Mars, even if possible for other planets, definitely not possible for Mars.
 

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About the astrochicken. Wouldn't it be scientifically possible to time the launch perfectly with the Earth's and Mars' rotation to angle the astrochicken to land right on Mars?

Just sayin'... cause 2012 is only 2 years away. We better find a new planet we can live on before then.
 

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Originally Posted by DuckieHo
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Let just send a canistor of microbes over to Mars and start terraforming it already!


You made me realize how close we are getting in genetics to being able to start the development of the organisms we would need to terraform Mars.
 

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Originally Posted by SpykeZ
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Total Recall anyone?


Personally I would hope we don't move to another planet in any lifetime, the inhabitants of earth can't even manage this one.

What does that matter? Is Mars precious or special? Mars is just a rock in space. Earth is special on the other hand for being a breeding ground for life and intelligence.
 

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Originally Posted by vdek
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What does that matter? Is Mars precious or something, it's just a rock in space. Earth is special on the other hand for being a breeding ground for life and intelligence.

ya, because humans are amazingly intelligent. Maybe back then we were but now days were not progressing, were degressing into a state of stupidity. Just look out your window.

People sitting on welfare cause it's easier to sit than work, and they get away with it, and it's only getting more popular. Messed up health system. Richer stay rich while the poorer are taken care of, theres no place for the middle man, they struggle to keep up with everything with no government aid because their too worried about those who popped out 6 babies for fun. Can't even discipline children anymore without someone calling this imaginary DCFS where they think they have the right to invade peoples privacy.
 

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I will be staying tuned to this too.....
 

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Originally Posted by SpykeZ
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ya, because humans are amazingly intelligent. Maybe back then we were but now days were not progressing, were degressing into a state of stupidity. Just look out your window.

People sitting on welfare cause it's easier to sit than work, and they get away with it, and it's only getting more popular. Messed up health system. Richer stay rich while the poorer are taken care of, theres no place for the middle man, they struggle to keep up with everything with no government aid because their too worried about those who popped out 6 babies for fun. Can't even discipline children anymore without someone calling this imaginary DCFS where they think they have the right to invade peoples privacy.

Nice Avatar.
 

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Originally Posted by SpykeZ
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Total Recall anyone?


Personally I would hope we don't move to another planet in any lifetime, the inhabitants of earth can't even manage this one.

This is exactly why we need to find another place to live before we totally destroy this one.
 

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Originally Posted by vdek
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What does that matter? Is Mars precious or something, it's just a rock in space. Earth is special on the other hand for being a breeding ground for life and intelligence.

I would argue this point...
 

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Originally Posted by SpykeZ
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ya, because humans are amazingly intelligent. Maybe back then we were but now days were not progressing, were degressing into a state of stupidity. Just look out your window.

People sitting on welfare cause it's easier to sit than work, and they get away with it, and it's only getting more popular. Messed up health system. Richer stay rich while the poorer are taken care of, theres no place for the middle man, they struggle to keep up with everything with no government aid because their too worried about those who popped out 6 babies for fun. Can't even discipline children anymore without someone calling this imaginary DCFS where they think they have the right to invade peoples privacy.

You have no idea what intelligence actually means do you?

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Originally Posted by airbozo
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I would argue this point...

Argue as much as you want, you're just blowing hot air and playing politics and you'd still be wrong. Humanity is quite possibly the only intelligent space-faring species in this galaxy and potentially this universe during this period of time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Originally Posted by vdek
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You have no idea what intelligence actually means do you?

Do you have anything constructive to add?
 
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