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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Life on Mars? Follow the flatulence

Methane-producing Archaea  (PM Poon)
A spike in methane levels at the Gale Crater on Mars could be a sign of past and/or present life.

That’s because most of the methane gas on earth has been produced by living organisms.  Polite humans refer to such gaseous excretions as flatulence.

Wikipedia explains that human flatulence stems from “gases generated in the intestines or stomach,” along with 
“swallowed environmental air.”  The generated gases include “oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane.”

This methane is produced by the Archaea, which can “oxidise
hydrogen into methane.” These microorganisms live within 
the colons and navels of many people, as well as within oceans, soils and marshlands.

It is therefore possible that the spike in methane is indicative of Martian microbes.  It is also possible that Martian microbes might be “housed” within more complex forms of life. 


Copyright December 20, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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