Organic Molecules Do Have Martian Origins

Organic Molecules Do Have Martian Origins

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Organic molecules — compounds that on Earth can be linked with life — encased within Martian meteorites now reveal biological activity on the Red Planet could not have formed these materials, researchers say. Organic molecules are the carbon-based raw materials that building blocks of life such as proteins and DNA are made from. These organic compounds have been detected in meteorites from Mars that crashed on Earth before, but scientists have hotly debated what their origins are — they might be signs of life on the Red Planet, or merely contaminants that made their way into the rocks after they landed.

The investigators now reveal that organic molecules within these meteorites did originate on Mars, but do not appear biological in origin, rather were likely formed from volcanic processes.

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