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Looking at home for extraterrestrials
(Posted 25 October 2001)
|Is there life on Mars? You’d think that to find out you’ll have to go there and take a look. But if you can’t wait for Martian coach fares to drop to reasonable levels, there is a second choice. David Wynn-Williams (British Antarctic Survey) tells us that he and his collaborators are approaching the question of extraterrestrial life by studying the persistence of cyanobacteria and other photosynthetic bacteria in our own backyard.|
The results of their studies may enable them to assess the degree to which Antarctic microhabitats model conditions that prevailed on Mars and to develop methods that may be used in recognizing the conditions for life on Mars and beyond.
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more on Antarctic Astrobiology Project of the British Antarctic Survey.