01 April 2021

Fragments from Mars

Four years ago today we highlighted work invalidating ligand efficiency on Venus. Recently though, the planet of war has been getting all the love. You've probably seen the stunning pictures from the Perseverance rover on Mars. One of its missions is to collect samples for later return to Earth. Many scientists are eagerly awaiting their allotment, among them Herbert George Wells of Bromley University.
There are those who believe that life here began out there - maybe even on Mars. According to this theory, Martian meteorites, or even Martians themselves, seeded life on Earth. If so, any organic fragments on Mars could be ancestral to all life and may generate particularly high hit rates, perhaps approaching those of the "universal fragments" we profiled here and here. And any molecules that can remain intact near the harsh surface of Mars for a few billion years may also have good metabolic stability.
Prof. Wells plans to separate and identify all the organic fragment-like molecules in his sample. While this will undoubtedly make an interesting publication, Prof. Wells is also dreaming of cosmic riches and has teamed up with Dr. Lyttle, Jr. to sell a custom collection of Martian Fragments.
Some people are concerned that a Martian sample may harbor dangerous organisms, but Prof. Wells is not worried. "Frankly, with so many viruses running around Earth these days, it's the Martians who should be afraid!"

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