‘Second genesis’: Assessing the evidence for life on Mars

| | March 14, 2019
pia mars rover artistconcept
Image credit: Wikipedia
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Today, the burning question isn’t whether Mars might once have been habitable – at various times in its distant past, it most certainly was – but whether it might have developed life before its climate became too cold and dry. If so, that would be evidence of what astrobiologists call a “second genesis” of life (the first being our own).

Even if that second genesis never developed beyond single-celled microorganisms, it would mean that life arose at least twice in our own solar system. And if that happened here, how often might it have occurred on the thousands of planets astronomers are finding, circling distant stars? …

Related article:  How NASA's struggle with radiation-resistant microbe could help us understand infections

The easiest way to find life on Mars would be if a multi-tentacled something from a science-fiction writer’s dream jumped out from behind a rock and waved to us: “Welcome, Earthings, here I am!” Second best would be if a rover were to scoop up a soil sample and see a bunch of wriggling microorganisms.

But the surface of Mars is an extremely harsh environment, and signs of life … could be hard to detect. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of well-thought-out ways to hunt for it.

Read full, original post: Is there life on Mars? Let’s assess the evidence

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend