|Looking for Life in Antarctica...and on Mars|
This article reports on the search for microscopic organisms on Earth and Mars. It discusses the work of Chris McKay, an astrobiologist with NASA, what we know from previous missions to Mars, the planetary similarities between Earth and Mars, and current research in the valleys of Antarctica, including the discovery of 3.5-million-year-old bacteria. The article explains how the work of McKay helps NASA decide where to search for life in the solar system. McKay states that distinguishing whether any such life forms are built of the same building blocks as life on Earth would be relatively easy because now we can do Polymerase Chain Reaction, genetic sequencing, with exquisite accuracy.
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This is an excerpt from Earth: Inside and Out, edited by Edmond A. Mathez, a publication of the New Press. Copyright 2000 American Museum of Natural History. All text, images, and software code on this website are copyright property of the American Museum of Natural History and its programmers unless otherwise noted. They may be used for the personal education of website visitors. They may not be placed in the public domain. Any commercial reproduction, redistribution, publication, or other use by electronic means or otherwise is prohibited unless pursuant to a written license signed by the Museum.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-750
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