Are We All Martians?

Martian

Ray Walston as "My Favorite Martian"

Sounds a bit like panspermia but occurring within our inner solar system. Interesting post from David L. Chandler of MIT News Office:

According to many planetary scientists, it’s conceivable that all life on Earth is descended from organisms that originated on Mars and were carried here aboard meteorites. If that’s the case, an instrument being developed by researchers at MIT and Harvard could provide the clinching evidence.

In order to detect signs of past or present life on Mars — if it is in fact true that we’re related — then a promising strategy would be to search for DNA or RNA, and specifically for particular sequences of these molecules that are nearly universal in all forms of terrestrial life.

That’s the strategy being pursued by MIT research scientist Christopher Carr and postdoctoral associate Clarissa Lui, working with Maria Zuber, head of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), and Gary Ruvkun, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, who came up with the instrument concept and put together the initial team. Lui presented a summary of their proposed instrument, called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG), at the IEEE Aerospace Conference this month in Big Sky, Mont.

The idea is based on several facts that have now been well established. First, in the early days of the solar system, the climates on Mars and the Earth were much more similar than they are now, so life that took hold on one planet could presumably have survived on the other. Second, an estimated one billion tons of rock have traveled from Mars to Earth, blasted loose by asteroid impacts and then traveling through interplanetary space before striking Earth’s surface. Third, microbes have been shown to be capable of surviving the initial shock of such an impact, and there is some evidence they could also survive the thousands of years of transit through space before arriving at another planet.

Read More on MIT News Office

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  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    Don’t you see? Then it will turn out that the Martian life was seeded from another solar system, which was seeded from another galaxy…

    And THAT is why Kirk can successfully have sex with green women!

  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    Don’t you see? Then it will turn out that the Martian life was seeded from another solar system, which was seeded from another galaxy…

    And THAT is why Kirk can successfully have sex with green women!

    • Haystack

      I think there’s a Next Gen episode where they find out that some benevolent elder race seeded the galaxy with elements of its DNA so that all races share a common ancestor. And that’s why Kirk can have sex with green women.

      • http://twitter.com/AnitaCigarette Anita Cigarette.

        That sounds like a better answer than the Martian BS they are trying to feed us.

      • ralph

        Wow, it all makes sense. Also means Kirk may have some little green kids he doesn’t know about. Hopefully he does a better job with them than the one the Klingons killed.

  • Haystack

    I think there’s a Next Gen episode where they find out that some benevolent elder race seeded the galaxy with elements of its DNA so that all races share a common ancestor. And that’s why Kirk can have sex with green women.

  • DeepCough

    You mean Chavez was right all along? That Capitalism raped Mars, and when it was finished, it decided to rape fresh, Young Earth?

  • DeepCough

    You mean Chavez was right all along? That Capitalism raped Mars, and when it was finished, it decided to rape fresh, Young Earth?

  • http://twitter.com/AnitaCigarette Anita Cigarette.

    That sounds like a better answer than the Martian BS they are trying to feed us.

  • http://disinfo.com ralph

    Wow, it all makes sense. Also means Kirk may have some little green kids he doesn’t know about. Hopefully he does a better job with them than the one the Klingons killed.

  • http://disinfo.com ralph

    Wow, it all makes sense. Also means Kirk may have some little green kids he doesn’t know about. Hopefully he does a better job with them than the one the Klingons killed.

  • Djembe85

    maybe MIT and and Harvard need ro reevaluate whats worthy research. i hop im not paying for it

  • Djembe85

    maybe MIT and and Harvard need ro reevaluate whats worthy research. i hop im not paying for it

  • Butter Knife

    If microbes could, potentially, survive on such a satellite long enough to complete an interplanetary trip…

    Is it possible that some Earth microbes might have traveled to Mars by way of a man-made probe or rover?

  • Butter Knife

    If microbes could, potentially, survive on such a satellite long enough to complete an interplanetary trip…

    Is it possible that some Earth microbes might have traveled to Mars by way of a man-made probe or rover?

  • Anonymous

    I’d love it if the origin of life on Earth was on Mars.

    The reason for that would be there would be massive pressure to “Terraform” Mars, to establish a long term project to send humans to Mars and make it habitable. It wouldn’t to be science then mining then ecological desperation as it was in the “Mars” trilogy, it’d be “Going Home”. And the establishment of humanity on Mars would double it’s long-term survival chances, giving time to properly stage an interstellar voyage.

  • greengestalt

    I’d love it if the origin of life on Earth was on Mars.

    The reason for that would be there would be massive pressure to “Terraform” Mars, to establish a long term project to send humans to Mars and make it habitable. It wouldn’t to be science then mining then ecological desperation as it was in the “Mars” trilogy, it’d be “Going Home”. And the establishment of humanity on Mars would double it’s long-term survival chances, giving time to properly stage an interstellar voyage.

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