Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Curiosity may have found precursor of life on Mars


Rome, November 28 - NASA's Curiosity rover may have
found a precursor to life on Mars, the director of the agency's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Wednesday.
"Perhaps Curiosity has found simple organic molecules,"
Charles Elachi said at the fringes of a Rome conference. "It's
preliminary data that must be checked (on) organic, not
biological, molecules".
Broadly defined, organic molecules are characterized by
containing carbon, which is present in all known life forms,
but not necessarily evidence of life.
Biological molecules, on the other hand, are produced only
by living organisms.
"Curiosity is not equipped to find traces of biological
molecules," Elachi said, stressing that some media reports in
recent weeks had gotten "carried away".
Last week Curiosity Project scientist John Grotzinger told
American public radio NPR that it was about to announce new
"This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's
looking really good," he said.
A number of news sources went on to say that NASA was set
to reveal what could be "the most significant scientific
discovery in modern times".
While not traces of life itself, the discovery, if
confirmed, would nonetheless keep the possibility open.

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