Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bacteria on Mars

I think I ran into this article on about renewed questioning of the data sent back from the Viking landers that concluded there was no life on earth. Indeed one of the experiments apparently indicated that there was life and another test, looking for organic molecules came up negative. However, the same organic molecule test also came up negative in the Antarctic where there is such molecules and has been shown to have poor sensitivity. It seems that the discovery of some very strange bacteria adapted to crazy environments on earth inspired this renewed questioning of the "Life on Mars" question. Especially now that they have found a bacteria living far beneath the earth's surface that survives on energy supplied by radioactive isotopes underground. They also grow very slow. Like 45 to 300 years between cell divisions.