Scientists understand why life has not yet been found on Mars

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of scientists says that ancient organic materials in Martian rocks are difficult or even impossible to detect using modern instruments and methods.

They tested the sedimentary rocks found in northwestern Chile, a popular geological analogue of Mars.

The researchers conducted geological tests using four instruments that are currently or will soon be on Mars.

They found in the samples numerous microorganisms of undetermined classification – what the researchers call the “dark microbiome” – and a mixture of biosignatures of modern and ancient microorganisms that can hardly be detected with modern laboratory equipment.

This showed the researchers that instruments sent to Mars might not be sensitive enough, depending on the instrument used and the organic compound being sought.

“In particular, the potential for false negatives in the search for life on Mars highlights the need for more powerful tools,” said study lead author Armando Azua-Bustos.


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