Is there life on Maaaaaars?

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We (Probably) Can’t Tell Whether Mars Has Life

State-of-the-art equipment can’t always identify life inhabiting the most Mars-like spot on Earth, leaving scientists wondering how to do better on the Red Planet.

For Eos:

Many features on the surface of Mars look similar to features right here on Earth—from towering volcanoes to weathered rock outcrops to clear traces of dried-up lakes and riverbeds. The similarities have led many—including noted space oddity David Bowie—to ask, Is there life on Mars?

Although robotic landers have found evidence for water and organic molecules, the answer so far seems to be no. A study published in Nature Communications, however, may give reason to hope the issue isn’t settled. Researchers showed that even with the most advanced laboratory equipment we have, it’s difficult to identify life on Earth, much less another planet.

[Read the rest at Eos]


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