Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Laser could aid search for life on Mars

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Idaho Falls, Idaho (UPI) Oct 21, 2008
U.S. government scientists say they've developed technology that enables a laser to detect minuscule traces of cells in a mineral likely present on Mars.

Researchers said the instrument they created at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory could help scientists select martian surface samples with the most promise for yielding signs of life.

The new laser blasts off tiny bits of mineral and looks for chemical signatures of molecules commonly found in cells. "While other methods require extensive sample handling, this analysis relies on a 'point-and-shoot' laser technique that preserves more of the rock and reduces contamination risk," officials said.

The scientists said they could detect biomolecules at concentrations as low as 3 parts per trillion.

The research is reported in the Geomicrobiology Journal.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Shooting Life On Mars
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Oct 20, 2008
Scientists have detected minuscule traces of cells in a mineral on Earth that has also been detected on Mars. The results, obtained using a technique developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory, could help mission scientists choose martian surface samples with the most promise for yielding signs of life.

  • NASA Returns To The Moon With Instruments On Indian Spacecraft
  • India Shoots For The Moon In Asian Space Race
  • Spacecraft To Send Info About Its Health To Earth
  • Waterless Concrete Seen As Building Block On Moon

  • India To Build New Launch-Pad, Astronaut Training Centre
  • British defence ministry releases UFO files
  • Astrotech Awarded ATK Ares I-X First Stage Processing Contract
  • Simulating Survival In Space

  • Outer Solar System Not So Crowded
  • 1,000 Days On The Road To Pluto
  • NASA Spacecraft Ready To Explore Outer Solar System
  • Dawn Reaches It's First Anniversary

  • Jet Streams On Giant Planets
  • Studying A Giant Planet
  • Sharpening Up Jupiter
  • Mini-Sub For Small Spaces

  • Venus Express Searching For Life On Earth
  • How Windy Is It On Venus
  • Measuring The Winds Of Venus
  • Closing In On Venus

  • Giant Cyclones At Saturn's Poles Create A Swirl Of Mystery
  • The Ions And Isotopes Of Enceladus
  • Cassini Plans Doubleheader Flybys Of Saturn's Geyser Moon
  • Calculations Show Saturn's Rings May Be More Massive, Older

  • NASA Launches IBEX Mission To Outer Solar System
  • MSV Awarded Patents For Next-Gen Satellite-Terrestrial Comms Network
  • Theory Explains Mysterious Nature Of Glass
  • Youngsters Flying High After Winning Top UK Space Competition

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement