Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Martian Microbes Could Be Eating Carbon Monoxide From the Atmosphere

RATE THIS! +32
Posted in Science on 24th Mar, 2015 08:30 AM by AlexMuller

If you've heard of carbon monoxide, a simple two-atom gas, it's probably from warning about how you should have a detector in your house because it's fatal to humans. So how can a microorganism get its energy from this stuff?

 
We already know of organisms on Earth that can get energy from gas via a process called oxidation. In simple terms, it means reattaching an oxygen atom to the gas, which transforms it back into carbon dioxide. In doing so, the reaction releases a burst of energy. Scientists already know of several compounds in the Martian soil that the plucky hypothetical microbes could use to oxidize their carbon monoxide, such as the molecule perchlorate.
 
Sadly, we have no current way to test whether this is right. Neither the Curiosity nor the Opportunity rover is equipped with the tools to detect life. They're also not near the areas where such life could exist, and can't travel there. (Our current best guess is a Martian feature called the recurring slope lineae, a seasonally ebbing swath of land identified in 2011 by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.)
 
But NASA is currently evaluating a proposed mission called Icebreaker Life that would be sent in 2021 and would be able to detect microorganisms. McKay and King agree that this new research provides all the more reason to go forward with such a mission.
 
"Mars is a planet that's really no longer just a part of our imagination. This is something that's at our fingertips," says King.

Tags: MarsspaceplanetlifebiologychemistryNASA

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-03-25
+1
As explorations on mars intensify, it is clear that many exiting observations are coming. However, it is also clear that it will take quite some time before we are confident about some key questions, in particular about life on mars Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-04-23 16:03:05
    Google's universal quantum computer could become world's.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-04-23 15:51:27
    Anti-dementia drugs will soon start clinical trials..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-04-23 15:47:18
    Robots can handle a third of our workplace tasks, study.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-04-22 15:31:01
    Proposed Mission to find life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-04-22 14:32:54
    Global plan to wipe out hepatitis..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Daily consumption of tea protects the elderly from cognitive.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Unproven stem cell 'therapy' blinds three patients at Florida.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me