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Report: Evidence for Mars life found
Posted: Wed, Feb 16, 2005, 9:52 PM ET (0252 GMT)
Hubble image of Mars NASA scientists have found evidence that could support the existence of life on Mars today, SPACE.com reported Wednesday. According to the report, NASA Ames scientists Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke told a private meeting of NASA officials Sunday that they had found "methane signatures and other signs of possible biological activity" on Mars. That evidence, they said, could be explained if conditions below the Martian surface were like those in the Rio Tinto in Spain, where bacterial life thrives despite the very acidic conditions there. A paper describing the findings has been submitted to the journal Nature for potential publication in May. Methane was detected in the Martian atmosphere by the Mars Express spacecraft, although that discovery remains somewhat controversial. New Scientist reports that the discovery of methane, and possibly formaldehyde, will be the focus of discussion at a Mars Express science conference next week.
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