The “building blocks” for life have been discovered in 3-billion-year-old organic matter on Mars, NASA scientists announced yesterday. Researchers cannot yet say whether their discovery stems from life or a more mundane geological process. However, “we’re in a really good position to move forward looking for signs of life,” said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a NASA biogeochemist and lead author of a study published yesterday in the journal Science. The findings also were remarkable in that they showed organic material can be preserved for billions of years on the harsh Martian surface. The material was discovered by the Mars Curiosity rover, which has been collecting data on the Red Planet since August 2012.
Photo credit: nasa.gov